The decision to cancel a project that has little or no chance of meeting its envisioned benefits or meeting its objectives can be a difficult and complex decision. Many people are afraid to face the truth when it comes to a failed project. According to Bart Perkins, euthanizing these projects is important to the health of the organiza¬ tion. However, before "pulling the plug," it's important to understand and plan for a number of important issues. For example, large projects can have political ramifica¬ tions, especially if powerful stakeholders have a vested interest in the project.
This can lead to finger pointing and looking for someone to blame for the project's fail¬ ure. Moreover, a cancelled project can be expensive if cancelling a project includes severance packages, con¬ tractual agreements (i.e., early termination penalties), litigation, writing off sunk costs, or missed business opportunities. Failed projects can also impact relation¬ ships. This may include damaged working relationships with suppliers who may refuse to work with your orga¬ nization in the future. Lastly, killing a project can also affect the project team. Project team members' morale may suffer if they have an emotional attachment to the project's failure. Disillusioned employees may become unproductive or those with highly marketable skills may leave, often making it difficult to attract or retain other valuable project team members.
What criteria should be used to cancel a project?
2, Who should make the decision to kill a project?
3. How can an organization ensure that a doomed project is euthanized as early as possible?
4. As a project manager of a doomed project, what would be your top three priorities for planning the cancellation of the project?