Friday, March 19, 2010

The Project Slayer

I just love getting rid of wasteful, redundant projects and I did just that this week. I was a Project Slayer. The project I got rid of was a study for portable desktop solutions. It was to evaluate three viable solutions. A little digging revealed that one of the solutions was the strategic direction for the organization, already in use and with some very simple service/help desk requests, the current solution would work extremely well.

The project would have spent 2 -3 months having technicians and analysts write up the findings for each of the proposed solutions. Followed by a drawn out approval process and additional funding if another solution was chosen. The person requesting this evaluation was advised of these facts and promptly dropped the study request in favor of the simple service/help desk request.

There are many that might ask: "But how do you know when to slay a project?" So, here are some simple guidelines to help you get started:

Been There, Done That
The work was already completed by another within the organization. A good PM would have done their homework and will have found out that the project has already been completed. Then will use the product of the prior project and eliminate additional/redundant work proposed in the current project.

An Executive Decision
Does the project go contrary to the current strategic direction? If you aren't sure of the strategic direction, then ask. If there isn't a strategic direction, then help to develop one, to give your project a framework to work in. If the project is contrary to the organizations strategic direction, then by all means slay this project.

Organizational Readiness
Does the project attempt too much change, too fast for the organization? To help you answer this question you must consider among other things the capability maturity of the organization. If the organization is not mature with change and the project is a big step, you must consider that it may be too big of change. Next review the change the project will implement the skills of those who must use and support it and their willingness to assume ownership. How long have these folks been on the job? When was the last time they changed their processes & procedures, attended training, brought in new ideas (other than government mandates). How technically savvy are they? Consider all factors for organizational readiness when making this assessment for slaying the project.

3-C's of Project Management
This is my favorite. Communication, communication, communication are the 3-C's of Project Management. Once you implement the 3-Cs, it's like magic, the scope, the risk, the costs, the payback all become crystal clear. You just may discover that this project is just someone's pet project that has no value and should be discarded from the portfolio.

These are just few of the methods to discovering projects that should be eliminated and there are more but follow these basics to get started. For the project that I eliminated, I used the 3-C's of Project Management and An Executive Decision to find and eliminate the redundancy.

So having read this, have you ever slayed a project? If you did, what guided you to slay your project?


Armada Business Consulting, Inc.

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