Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar icon
Adobe PDF icon

5 Reasons to Kill a Project

~ By Trevor Roberts

Furious project manager tearing a document

We all want to deliver successful projects. That's why we became project managers, after all. But sometimes the right thing to do is to stop a project. When is this the right choice?

1. Too Expensive

Maybe the costs weren't estimated correctly at the beginning. Maybe a supplier has hiked their prices dramatically. Maybe it turns out you need more people working on the project for longer. Whatever the cause, sometimes it turns out that a project is going to cost too much, in terms of money, time, or staff. If your project starts moving in this direction, you should consider recommending spiking it - better to stop the expense now.

2. Not Good Enough

This one is trickier. One of the possible responses to the fear of a project costing too much could be to try to have the project do less. Sometimes this is a sensible response - cut out the extras, leave only the vital parts. But if this goes too far, and you start reducing the costs by cutting so much that the project starts to become useless, then it's time to stop the project.

3. Competitor Beats You

If you're working on a project to make a product for the marketplace, you need to keep an eye on what the competition does. If you are trying to be first to market, but get beaten by a competitor, you need to re-evaluate the position. Will the product you produce be able to compete? Do you need to improve the quality? Perhaps the cost of continuing no longer makes sense when compared to the possible returns. It may be time to stop the project.

4. More Important Project

You're doing the project for the business - you are trying to make sure they get a benefit. But for the business, it's about getting the most benefit for the money they are spending. And sometimes that means the resources being used on your project will give a better return on a different project, and the project gets stopped.

5. Changed Business Plans

This one is more general. A business can undergo many changes in its lifetime. And sometimes such a change could involve a dramatic change in their business plans. Your project may be excellent, with a great chance of financial return - but if the business has decided it wants to change which markets it is involved in, then it still may face the chop. Ultimately, the business gets to decide what projects it wants to do.


Trevor Roberts is a project manager who runs his own project management consultancy, working with business and government to help deliver successful projects. He is passionate about project management and its importance in helping organisations achieve success. He is continually learning more, and passing on what he has already learned to others through his blog www.ProjectManagementGuide.org where he aims to help you learn more about project management. You can follow Trevor on Twitter @trev_roberts


Comments

Be the first to comment on this article.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
2000
Is it true or false that purple is a number?
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

Project Risk: Is It All Bad?

Road warning sign - Risks Ahead

Risk Management is an essential part of any programme or project and can vastly contribute to successful delivery.

Taming MS Project

Gantt chart and plan

Microsoft Project can become a huge overhead, even for seasoned project managers. This article contains some tips and tricks that will help you tame the tool.

Building Your Project Team

Friendly successful project team of young executives

How should you set about choosing people for your project and forming them into a well functioning project team?

10 Steps to Setting SMART Objectives

Measuring tape showing number 10

Setting SMART objectives to guide your team is important for a leader to get right. Badly formulated objectives will steer a team in the wrong direction.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Megan Wale commented on…
Six Time Management Tips for Project Managers - Infographic
- Fri 17 November 11:03am

Jo commented on…
How to Report Status on a Project
- Mon 6 November 12:54pm

Duncan Haughey commented on…
Project Management Checklists
- Mon 30 October 4:59pm

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Re: What degree should I choose to further my career? https://t.co/SoRiB3S9MX #projectsmart #pmot about 1 day ago

General Project Management • Re: Project management software for personal use? https://t.co/nl3aO2i0Oh #projectsmart #pmot about 4 days ago

General Project Management • Re: Project management software for personal use? https://t.co/Y1cMtVnxax #projectsmart #pmot about 5 days ago