David Caulfield

Kill It

Kill your projects The Sunk Cost Fallacy applies to almost every discipline you can think of. Even in the Silicon Valley world of startups, success is only about 10%. Most companies don't succeed. Most projects don't work out. Most initiatives don't last.

Maybe your project lacks engagement, stakeholders or customers. Maybe it didn't address its objectives. Maybe it was a great initiative but the wrong time. Maybe it was effective in the beginning but lost steam.

Many things can cause a project or initiative to be deemed "unsuccessful". And we need to be ruthless with unsuccessful initiatives.

If your initiative doesn't output more value than the effort that goes into it, you need to kill it. If it has little to no engagement, you probably need to kill it. If it once provided value but doesn't anymore, you need to kill it.

In my discipline, Learning+development, we need to constantly shift to meet the business needs again and again. We cannot do that if we are bogged down by managing a long list of low-value initiatives. To quote Steve Jobs, focus is about saying no.

To focus in the areas that provide most value, you must say no to the low-value items. Doing so will hurt feelings and egos (most of all your own). But focus is key to success in all disciplines - we need to be comfortable killing our projects.

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