When Should You Kill a Project?

Starting a project entails a lot of planning, the proper allocation of resources, and the commitment of the project manager. So when faced with the prospect of having to kill a project, many don’t want to consider it. Killing a project should only be the last resort when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Despite everyone’s best intensions though, there will be instances when a project needs to be stopped for the benefit of the entire organization.

Here are some reasons why:

There is no ROI from the project

When the cost-benefit analysis isn’t done right from the very beginning, it can result to the untimely demise of the project. There are also instances when the supplier has hiked up the prices significantly. Whatever the case, a company must kill a project when it is costing too much in terms of time, money, and resources.

The project isn’t good enough

If so far, the output that has been created doesn’t live up to expectations and it doesn’t look as if it might get better soon, then throwing more money into the project simply isn’t realistic. Maybe the goals of the initial project scope were too ambitious or maybe the team members simply don’t have the capability to deliver the job. It’s the time to reassess whether to go ahead still or to stop the project.

Opportunity to take on a more important project

In some cases, it may be best to allocate time and money into a new project with better prospects. The ROI can be a lot greater. This is something you need to analyze carefully because you certainly don’t want to end up with two half-finished projects in your hands.

Changes in the business plan

The project might be going as planned but when there is a fundamental shift in the company’s business plan, then it might still face the chop. At the end of the day, projects are undertaken to help the organization become bigger, better, and stronger. If the project doesn’t fit in with the objectives anymore, then it would be futile to continue.

Initial benefit of the project no longer holds true

There may be a variety of reasons for this. In the IT environment, for example, someone might have come up with the same idea and have already launched the product in the market. The same is true in all industries. Changes in the business environment may mean that it would no longer be cost-effective to continue the work when the benefits aren’t the same anymore.

These are just some of the reasons why a project can be scrapped midway to completion. Sometimes, the smartest thing to do is to reassess the benefits of the project without bias and move from there. It may be undesirable for the project manager and team members to abandon a project they worked so hard to complete. However, there is no point in continuing with something that provides no value or negative value to an organization.

Rosanne Lim

Rosanne Lim

I'm a business graduate with 5 years experience as a web writer. I've written everything from in-depth business reports and magazine articles to product descriptions for ecommerce websites.

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