Letting Go: When Should You Cancel a Failing Project?

"When things go wrong, don't go with them." -- Elvis Presley, American singer. "Don't throw good money after bad." -- American folk saying. As much as it goes against the grain for most of us, sometimes the most productive thing a manager can do is give up on a project. Now, I'm not suggesting you throw in the towel as soon as the going gets a little tough; productive people never give up without a fight. But there may come a time when you hit a point of diminishing returns, when investing further resources in the product would just be wasteful. Remember Microsoft Bob, or Gerber's attempt to create adult entrees? Both companies wisely dropped those products when they flopped. Little Clues As a manager, canceling failing projects may be one of your most important secondary … [Read more...]