When it's time to abandon...
One of the 12 Agile Principles (http://agilemanifesto.org/principles.html) is, “Simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done – is essential.” One way to maximize the work not done is to abandon a project that has already been approved or is underway. Since only a small percentage of projects are successful, there is a strong case to be made for reviewing projects to determine if it is time to abandon.
A change to corporate strategy should always trigger a review by the Governance Team to determine if any projects should be stopped. Certain escalated risks or issues should also trigger project reviews. Here are some real-world examples.
· An enterprise software conversion project has missed milestones due to contention for key resources with other projects
· An IT infrastructure project that relies on an unproven technology is reporting quality issues
· A software development project is experiencing delays in approving deliverables due to lack of attention by the business owner
· The kickoff meeting for a next-generation proof-of-concept project has been delayed because a business sponsor has not yet been identified
The decision to abandon is painful so it is typically delayed far too long. Establishing a regular process for project reviews may not eliminate the pain, but it will at least shorten the duration.