How Can You Avoid the Never Ending Project?

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Many of us have been associated with “Never ending projects”.  They typically involve constantly changing requirements and significant re-work which is a classic source of waste.   Additionally, the changes are not prioritized based on business value so it may take a long time before the business sees any functional capability that delivers value.  The philosophy behind Agile and iterative development is supposed to provide a framework for managing these changing requirements.  Unfortunately, many project teams mis-interpret these frameworks which leads to  never-ending projects, significant re-work and waste, and marginal business value.

What can be done to avoid these issues?

  • Define a functional framework and iterative strategy that allows the evolution of requirements and minimizes re-work
  • Implement high-value low-effort capabilities first in order to expedite the delivery of value to the business
  • Quantify and measure the expected value to ensure the desired outcomes are being delivered
  • Know when to stop.  When the remaining ideas are high-effort and low-value, perhaps it is time for the project to end.
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