OnPoint, LLC

Is it Agile Decision-making? Or Inadequate Planning?

Even in a well run organization, it may be necessary to cancel a project in response to new information. A new competitor may have already introduced a game-changing product. Market pricing may have changed, making a new product economically infeasible. It may be necessary to reduce capital outlays to keep the business afloat. Cancelling a project under these conditions may be a great example of agile decision making. But it could also be a sign of inadequate planning.

Whenever a decision is made to cancel a project, it is worth taking some time to reflect on the project and ask a few questions:

  • What were the flaws in the original planning premises?
  • Do these flaws indicate shortcomings with access to market intelligence?
  • Was the project clearly tied to a strategic objective?
  • If the project was tied to a strategic objective, should that objective be evaluated?
  • How was the decision made to launch the project?
  • Would there have been a different outcome with a different project team?

Cancelling a project is a very painful decision and it is human nature to want to move on quickly. An agile leader must ensure that the organization first learns from the pain, and then moves on.

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OnPoint, LLC