So what would you do, he asked me?
It was an interesting question and based on:
the design of a machine that had taken over 5 years to develop
costs over 7 figures – millions in whatever currency you use!
sales – the forecast is good but someone else has developed a cheaper machine
This was a conversation I had at a networking event recently. In summary, over a 5 year period this company had invested a huge amount of money, massive amounts of management time with no return on investment and with a competitor developing a similar machine at a much lower cost than they would likely sell their for.
So what would I do? I told him I would have killed off the project much sooner saving time, money and investing intellectual capital in a project that would bring a real rate of return.
I also said I would have developed a business case that would have shown the viability of the project OR carried out a research project.
What do I mean by this? I would have developed a project to look at the feasibility of the idea. It would be strictly controlled by time and budget to really examine whether it is worth while. There would be analysis of everything possible and the end result would be a go no go decision, probably made by a project board.
Fairly typical in your organisation?
Too many projects in your project portfolio?
Too many without a solid business case
The benefits of projects hard to identify?
Project management plans too scant?
Too many projects that do not contribute to the overall agenda of the business.
Maybe, just maybe there is a need to kill off a few of your projects!