Thursday, January 17, 2008

Halt the Train Wreck

At times a project is deemed to be "out of control", "a train wreck", or a "catastrophe". A time-out is required to assess the project, the team, and the management, and to see if the project can be salvaged.

While it may seem reasonable to some that project development could continue in some way while these evaluations are being made, it is best to stop the project.

Evaluation of a project disaster requires the full involvement of the key team members (stakeholders, development staff, key management), and if project development is taking place in parallel you will not get the time and focus from them required to salvage it.

Unraveling the project will require decisions that may not be pleasant. These decisions can affect the team and project significantly. Allowing the project to limp along in catastrophe mode absorbs valuable resources without any real benefit to the project, and will allow important decisions to be put off. Halting the project will hopefully "light a fire" and drive home the point that the sooner decisions are made, the sooner the project can continue.

Halting the project also sends the message that top level management is serious about the disentanglement process.

1 comment:

Ross Walsmith said...

In the words of an old friend.... "Sometimes ya gotta decide whether you're gonna fish or cut bait!"