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When to Cancel a Project – Project Management

Not every bright Idea is a good idea. Not every good idea is worth doing. Not every idea that is worth doing can or should be done right now. As you plan, and especially at the Preparation Review Gate, you should consider canceling the project. Why? Because it makes no sense to throw good money after bad. If a project can’t be done, the sooner you stop it, the sooner you quit wasting precious time and money.
It’s hard to give up on a plan. It hurts the ego. But, ultimately, we have to choose between our egos and our business. If we are humble enough to admit that our idea is bad or that we are overwhelmed and don’t have what it takes to do a project right now, then we can stop the project and use our time and money well. If not, we’re headed for humiliation, for failure, and for bigger problems with our company. We’re a lot better off deciding what’s good for our business than we are just plowing ahead trying to make a bad idea work. 

(Image Courtesy: AIMS Project Management Academy image taken from project management courses and diploma in project management lectures)

When we review a project, we should go ahead only if we are confident of success. If we see problems we can’t solve, it’s time to stop or at least pause. When we pause, our next step depends on the size of the problem:

·         For a small problem, get some expert help or do some brainstorming and think outside the box. If you can come up with a solution, add it to your plan and roll through the preparation Gate.

·         For a medium-sized problem, ask what you need to fix the problem. Sometimes, waiting is enough. Maybe you and your team are just too busy to do this right now. Maybe you need to hire someone with the right skills. Maybe you need to do another project first—like catching up on last year’s bookkeeping and taxes before you plan next year’s budget. Plan a way to get from where you are to a point where you can make this project work.

·         For a big problem, be ready to cancel the project, before the project cancels your business.

Preparation is the most important part of any project, so we’ll discuss the preparation stage in Chapters 4 through 12. If we pass through the preparation review gate, we start doing the work and tracking our progress.

We’ll discuss that in detail in Chapters 13 through 18. When we’ve done all the work in our plan, we’re almost finished with the project. But there are three more steps: the doing gate, the follow-through stage, and the follow-through gate.

The doing gate is where we check that we did everything and that everything works. We make sure our product and we are fully ready for the customer. In follow-through, we deliver the project results to the customer: we handle delivery, installation, and training. In the follow-through gate, we ensure project completion and customer delight. So far, we’ve looked at a project from beginning to end. We’ve looked at the stages and gates of project management in time. Now, we’re going to shift our perspective. We’re going to look across a project—what are all the things we need to manage? Those are defined in the nine areas of project management.

When I was teaching in my project management institute I gave that lecture for my students of project management certification during my project management training session. Now I am doing job as a certified project manager in a company and teaching students in a part time to masters in project management, diploma of project management students and other friends who are related to project management qualifications so I thought that I should share this core and very useful lecture for professionals and students.

This post first appeared on ISLAMIC FINANCE AND RELIGION  - Maria Educational Blogs, please read the originial post: here

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When to Cancel a Project – Project Management


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