Many failing IT projects are quiet, hanging around almost indefinitely like a form of annoying background noise. These purposeless ghosts consume time and resources, perhaps fulfilling a checklist on some bureaucrat's chart, while ultimately producing little return. Such project vampires should be stabbed through the heart and put to rest.
Will Weider, CIO of Ministry Health Care and Affinity Health System, says this about killing failures: "Our organization has learned to embrace killing projects. And I think it is very healthy." He adds:
At Ministry, our IT Steering Committee congratulates business leaders that have the insight to see when something will not meet the planned expectations and having the courage to kill the project.
If you are not killing a project or two each year you are going to suffer more failures.
As I've said before, denial is the handmaiden of IT failure. One healthy way to interrupt the cycle of denial is developing a project watch list and being prepared to kill the failures. An introspective, committed organization willing to sacrifice lousy projects will execute and deliver IT successfully.