Three strikes and you’re out

In Project management on September 25, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Have you ever been working on a project and there is a recurring issue with a deliverable. You discuss the issue with the people involved – nothing happens, you discuss the issue with the project sponsor – nothing happens, you discuss the issue with the steering group – nothing happens. Well guess what, you probably do not need that deliverable. If the deliverable were important, it would have been completed a long time ago.

Something I heard a long time ago, was that if something is delayed twice drop it. I would expand this to give the project sponsor one final change to justify the deliverable. That is, the sponsor must present a compelling case why the deliverable is still required and then provide significant reassurance that he will support the completion of the deliverable. This expands the two strike rule to a three strikes and you’re out.

Follow the three strikes and you are out rule to stop wasting time in your projects riding dead horses, and to ensure that you are focused on the priority deliverables.

  1. There is this small deliverable, which gets revived every 2 months, we discuss it, we have someone test it, the tester gives us a few comments, we finish them, and then we put it asleep. 2 months later, we revive it, discuss it, tester gives comments, comments are implemented (sometimes the comments are contradictory to those given a few months earlier), and it’s put asleep again.

  2. Deliverables need clear acceptance / completion criteria and a process for moving deliverables from the project to the business as usual environment. Check the completion requirements and involve the final business owner to provide direction as needed. Hope this helps.

  3. Thanks for you answer,

    The main issue is that it’s a very low priority.

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