GeneralHr Library

When to Kill a Project?

Source | LinkedIn : By Hari Thapliyal

Any project is a temporary endeavour which must end on one day. A project is an investment on a business objective or on some change initiative which is valuable from sponsor’s perspective. Project’s output need to justify the money spent by sponsor and time and energy spent by other stakeholders. Projects should not be done just to keep any organization or person happy or busy.

For successful project delivery, project manager need to have proper resources, understanding of business and technology complexities, lessons from previous projects and understanding of client’s business and objective of the project. It is not easy or sometimes it not feasible to understand all the dimensions at the start of the project.

Projects are progressive in nature. More you work, more you understand. More you understand, you discover the client’s need and then work towards it. However, sometimes project do not progress due to some reasons including lack of direction or too many changes in the project by stakeholders. Due to this project come to a stage where stakeholders are not interested in the project or sponsor is not willing to finance any more. This is the time you should consider killing a project.

When to ‘kill’ a project?

Project manager should think of recommending killing a project under following circumstances:

  • Sponsor does not find it worthy to invest any more
  • Sponsor does not have money to invest
  • Technology has changed so much that delivering out dated solution does not make sense
  • Competitor has come up with better solutions which your project’s product will not be able to provide
  • Community around the project see the project as a challenge to their quality of life and sponsor is not able to convince them
  • Objective of the project is already achieved by other means

 Role of a project manager in Killing Project

Project monitoring and controlling processes provides input and indicator about project health regularly to project manager. A seasoned project manager can notice changes in the project, can take corrective measures immediately if project is going off the track. If there are too many changes from stakeholders during the project progress, project manager need to determine how much is too much or what is the tolerance limits? Project manager need to discuss with the sponsor and other important stakeholders if there are too many changes or project going off the track. Project manager has all responsibilities to bring back project on the track and revive it. If project is closed before its objectives are met, project sponsor and manager are the most affected stakeholders. Project manager makes a convincing recommendation based on progress data available from monitoring and controlling process.

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