Why to stop a project before it gets started?

Why would you stop a project before it even got started?  Because the business benefits don’t stack up.

There has to be a good reason why time, money and resources are spent on changing something.  That good reason is the business benefits that are going to be gained from making the change.

Sometimes it is relatively easy to document the benefits, and other times it is a lot harder because the benefits are intangible.  There may not be huge dollar savings in making the change via the project, but the customer satisfaction rating will go through the roof, so as an intangible and not necessarily measurable benefit it makes making the change worthwhile.

But, should you do something just because the business owner is passionate about making the change?

I would say, No, you shouldn’t.  Whilst being passionate about making a change is a great thing, if the benefits and the reasons for doing it aren’t stacking up, then it is crazy to waste time, money and resources on the project, just for the sake of it.

You will have a project team that isn’t committed, because they can’t see the value in what they are doing.

You will have a CFO or financial delegate who doesn’t see the numbers stack up and so should be totally against spending the money on the project in the first place.

You will have customers who consider that you are wasting money (if you are in an organisation where funding is closely scrutinised).

You are better to consider other options and areas for improvement, than continue with something that in the longer term is going to be harder to get over the line.

It takes a strong Project Control Board, or Administration to say No to a project going ahead.

If that decision isn’t made no matter how hard it might seem, the members of the PCB may well be criticised for not being strong enough and the end result will be a project that is undertaken just for the sake of it.  Not a good outcome.


Written by Karen Munro

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net