Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.
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Zombie projects are the ones that fail to fulfill their promise and yet keep shuffling along, sucking up resources.
They happen because shutting a project down can be very emotional, and people often struggle to acknowledge when something just doesn’t work.
o To make people view the process more rationally, create clear and simple guidelines for when to continue — or kill — a project. Consider these questions: Is there a real market need? Can we fulfill that need better than competitors? Can we meet our financial objectives?
o If it’s still hard to make a final decision, bring in objective outsiders, such as someone from a different division or even outside the company, to weigh in.
o You can also help people accept a project’s conclusion by emphasizing what was learned along the way.
o Hold action-after reviews to capture lessons learned, and create a database to store and share them.
Adapted from “Zombie Projects: How to Find Them and Kill Them,” by Scott Anthony, David Duncan, and Pontus M.A. Siren.
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Also, you may wish to check out an anthology, Management Tips from Harvard Business Review, by clicking here.
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