Stop the madness: 10 steps to kill failures

Are you too pussy-footed to pull the plug on projects that will inevitably fail? If so, you're not alone. Whether through fear, denial, or ignorance, many organizations don't kill their doomed projects fast enough. It's a darn shame because these lousy things can drive everyone crazy while burning scarce resources.

10 steps to kill IT failures

Are you too pussy-footed to pull the plug on projects that will inevitably fail? If so, you're not alone. Whether through fear, denial, or ignorance, many organizations don't kill their doomed projects fast enough. It's a darn shame because these lousy things can drive everyone crazy while burning scarce resources.

Baseline has assembled a set of ten solid steps to help you kill IT failures mid-stream:

  1. Build in Ways to Cheaply Pull the Plug. Canceling bad projects is much easier when there's already an evaluation and chartering process in place.
  2. Set Risk Tolerance in Advance. If the tolerance level has been breached, the project gets canned.
  3. Don't Delay the Inevitable. CIOs should try to pull the plug as soon as possible after imminent failure makes itself apparent.
  4. Hone the Business Case for Cancellation. [T]ry to collect hard figures on costs and benefits to make your case.
  5. Get Your Resume Together. [T]hese situations can get ugly.
  6. Get Senior Management On Board. [K]illing a project is as critical as [convincing the board] to release project funds in the first place.
  7. Articulate Reasons for Cancellation to Project Team Members. [A]void finger pointing when breaking the news to a project team....
  8. Tie Up Loose Ends. [C]lean up documentation before reassignment....
  9. Look for Salvageable Intellectual Property. [A]nalyze everything to see if components can be made useful.
  10. Do a Post-Mortem. [H]ire an independent third party to conduct confidential interviews and present their findings.

Don't be a victim: kill the failures before they kill you.

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