Risk Management

5 Reasons You Should Turn Down an IT Project

A truly skilled project manager isn’t just good at handling projects. They’re also experts at knowing when to turn them down. In a CIO.com article, Brad Egeland says you only need one of five reasons to refuse that stinker of a project – whether you’re a consultant looking to make more money or an employee without an alibi.

Just Say No

  1. It’s too much work.
  2. Lack of experience
  3. Conflict of interest
  4. Not familiar with a technology / skill
  5. Fundamentally disagree with client

Egeland says that it’s important to speak up when a workload just doesn’t look doable. This can be a potentially reputation-damaging endeavor, especially if you’re an employee – not to mention it might not work. State your case using as much evidence as possible. You’ll only look weak if you frame the refusal in the form of a complaint or an excuse. In a different scenario, you may want to do your client or employer a favor by turning down a project wherein you lack the requisite skills:

If you lack the amount of experience necessary for the size of the project at hand and feel that success will be difficult, you may need to pass on the project at hand. If you lack any technical expertise and the project at hand is a complex technical project, then you may need to pass on this project as well.

Likewise, sometimes we get to be project managers, but there are also occasions that call for a bit more – perhaps some technical experience or a niche skill. If the untried requirement is too big to risk mediocrity, better give the project a pass. Another time to say no will always be the conflict of interest case. Close relationships with project sponsors or competitors can put you into risky legal waters. Better to speak up or refuse the deal.

And lastly, if you fundamentally disagree with the client (this doesn’t necessarily work for employees) you can always refer them to a different source – a lost opportunity? Perhaps, but think of all the lost time and effort (and hence, money) you’ll save by turning them down!

Read the original article at: http://www.cio.com/article/2914646/project-management/why-you-should-turn-down-a-project.html

Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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