Short note on project termination?
1 Answer

Although all projects must come to an end, a project can be terminated for any reason. There are 5 circumstances for ending a project:

1) Normal:

  • Project that ends normally is completed as planned. The project scope is achieved within the cost, quality, and schedule objectives, although there probably was some variation a modification along the way. The project is transferred to the project sponsor, and the end of the project is marked with a celebration, awards, and recognition for a good job well done by those involved. As you might suspect, this is an ideal situation.

2) Premature:

  • Occasionally, a project team may be pushed to complete a project early even though the system may not include all of the envisioned features or functionality. For example, an organization may need to have a new system operational—with only a core set of original requirements to respond to a competitor's actions, to enter a new market early, or as a result of a legal or governmental requirement. Although there is pressure to finish the project early, the risks of this decision should be carefully thought through by all the project stakeholders.

3) Perpetual:

  • Some projects seem to take on a "life of their own" and are known as runaway, or perpetual, projects. These projects never seem to end. Perpetual projects may result from delays or a scope or MOV that was never clearly defined or agreed upon. Then, the project sponsor may attempt to add on various features or functionality to the system, which results in added time and resources that increase the project schedule and drain the project budget.

4) Failed:

  • Sometimes projects are just unsuccessful. In general, an IT project fails if insufficient attention is paid to the people, processes, or technology. Even though the project's MOV may define the project's value to the organization, cost and schedule overruns may drain the project's value to a point where the costs of completing the project outweigh the benefits.

5) Changed Priorities:

  • In some circumstances, a project may be terminated as a result of a change in priorities. Financial or economic reasons may dictate that resources are no longer available to the project. Or, management may decide to divert resources to higher priority projects. This change can happen when the original importance or value of the project was misjudged or misrepresented or when organizational needs or technology change over the course of a long-term project.
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