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.

Recommended Project Management Software

If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following:

1 ClickUp

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ClickUp is one of the highest-rated project management tools today. Use Docs, Reminders, Goals, Calendars, Chat, scheduling, assigned comments, custom views, & more with this all-in-one project management tool.

Used by 800,000+ teams in companies like Airbnb, Google, and Uber, it brings all of your projects into a single app! Built for teams of all sizes and industries, Our fully customizable & proprietary features make it a must-have for anyone wanting to keep project management in one place.

Learn more about ClickUp

2 Wrike

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Tackle complex projects with Wrike’s award-winning project management software. Break projects into simple steps, assign tasks to team members, and visualize progress with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars. Manage resource allocation and forecasting with software that’s easy to launch. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life. Streamline your practices, align your team, and ensure you hit deadlines and stay on budget.

Learn more about Wrike

3 Smartsheet

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Smartsheet is an online work execution platform empowering organizations of all sizes to plan, manage, automate, and report on work. Over 80,000 brands rely on Smartsheet for project and work management.

Learn more about Smartsheet


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