Before you start a project, always have the ending in mind. We have all been in positions that have made us worry about endless timelines and budget overruns. These are hallmarks of projects that do not have an evaluation and termination plan.
If you have seen these before, the solutions are simple. You should know what the ending looks like. If you know the ending, you know if you are winning or losing.
Agile Implementation provides a way to know the ending. The key to knowing the ending of any project is to decide on the metrics early. The evaluation and termination plan requires parameters to be set to the project during the early stages. Having these ground rules is beneficial because they can be referenced back to at any point in the project. If the project breaks one of the ground rules, the project ends.
Think of these like the score board of a soccer game. You have points and time. The end of the game is at the 90-minute mark. The winner has the most goals at the end of 90 minutes. The parameters are what will tell you whether you are winning or losing.
The parameters you choose should be clear. Duration of the project or a descriptive statistic are often used for the evaluation and termination plan. Based on these parameters you will know how the project is going. If the project is behind the timeline, then your project should be examined.
It is hard sometimes to end a project. When Apple hired Steve Jobs back, he used evaluation and termination plans to ensure that the company was on the right trajectory. Steve Jobs used these plans to realign the company’s overall direction. When he first implemented these and drastically cut service lines, project teams were not happy. But after showing how cutting those projects would lead to the development of something world changing, those teams were onboard. Perhaps if you have evaluation and termination plans you could be the next Steve Jobs.
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