CANCEL THE PROJECT

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Many organizational portfolios have some programs and projects that are no longer necessary to the success of the organization. They drain the energy of the staff as they sit on hold but require weekly meeting time and soak up mental bandwidth. They stay in the "hopper" for a multitude of reasons but none of those reasons are logical.

Projects cannot be put on hold. They are either being worked or they are cancelled. That's the rule of Project Management, I didn't make it up. A project put on hold has a set of requirements that begin aging and decaying day one. Employees change, subcontractors change, technology changes; nothing stands idol.

You start over on a cancelled project if necessary. Rework the requirements, re-address the issues and risks, prioritize based on current organizational and market demands.

As I review and "rake" the projects for my clients, I have found that on average we could cancel 10%-15% of the projects and nobody would miss them as they are not being worked anyway, the need they were addressing is no longer there and on some occasions, the client who "needed" the project is no longer a client, but nobody took notice of that.

So, the next time someone says "put that project on hold" you make him aware that what that has to mean is the project is cancelled.

Conserve the energy of your project teams and producers by giving them work that is absolutely necessary and filtering out that which is not necessary.

Jeff Minder, PMP

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