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KONNECT SUMMER EDITION 2017

Dear Members, Cover Story: Should PM be the first one to recommend project
cancellation?
Season’s Greetings to all members, patrons and
You may have heard about the BCG`s Growth Share Matrix that characterises the
volunteers of the Chapter. We would like
product into four categories based on their growth rate and market share. The
highlight that Chapter has made strategic move
centre of this article are projects that are no longer aligned with company`s
to collaborate with NGOs and renowned social
objectives.
organization (e.g. Rotary Club etc.) to extend
Google Glass, Apple Lisa, Ford Edsel, Pepsi Crystal & New Coke are famous
volunteering services to the society. Its also
examples of products (or projects developing them) that were shelved before the
envisaged that success in these initiatives can be
launch, or were unsuccessful when launched, and had to be shelved a while later.
achieved with the volunteering support from
(Varner, 2014)
our elite and motivated member base. Needless
to mention that the Leadership Team of Chapter
What went wrong with these projects? Was it possible for the project managers to
has been successful to coach and mentor the
timely spot the future failure and make an early recommendation to stop the
members to fulfill their aspiration for securing
project, consequently, saving company the money and loss of reputation?
volunteer role within the chapter and in turn the
volunteers had been able to prove their
While doing so, if the project manager is putting at risk his reputation or his job
excellence while delivering the programs.
with a recommendation to stop the very project that he/she has so dearly managed
Volunteers get an opportunity to learn from
so far?
varied industry specialists and inculcate the best
of leadership skills in their professional
This article focuses on issues arising from poor conception of project outcomes
engagements reaping success. West Bengal
rather than poor project management.
Chapter has created an open platform to
nurture and demonstrate individual leadership
PM`s Dilemma: Whether to kill the project
charisma for enlightening chapter glory.
Volunteers have collaborated to provide a
Does the dilemma of recommending an early cancellation the project manifest
mechanism for building a sustainable echo
itself into a principal agent problem?
system to strengthen chapter transformational
Consider a project manager (agent) hired to act in the best interest (manage the
journey ahead to ensure the Jewel in the crown.
project leading to the desired outcome) of project sponsor (principal), but project
manager may not always act in the sponsor`s best interest as this may not be in his
Cheers,
own interest.
Editor’s Desk
COVER STORY CONTD…

Example: Even though early cancellation of project may be in the best interest of the sponsor (as it is no longer destined to produce the
promised outcomes and continuing with the project would simply incur waste), the project manager may still not recommend stopping the
project, as
• he/she may end up losing the job (or an assignment)
• be deprived of successful completion bonus or highest ratings in performance reviews
• carry a reputation of being associated with a failed project or even feel responsible for failure (in lesser mature organizations)

So, what should the Project Manager do?

Industry experts believe that earlier you stop the project that is no longer aligned with the promised outcomes, the better it is. Knowing
when to say "I give up!" seems to be very important to the project manager. The earlier the decision is made to cancel a project, the
quicker the resources can be assigned to other projects that have a greater opportunity for value creation and commercial success.
(Kerzner, 2013)

"Stopping a project is not a failure," said Donny Shimamoto, CPA/CITP, CGMA, founder of consulting firm IntrapriseTechKnowlogies LLC in
Honolulu. "Failing to stop a project when it should have been stopped: That's failure." (Amato, 2017)

In 2005 KPMG did a Global IT Management Survey. In it they discussed projects that had to be stopped, and one commentator said,
“Cancelling a project unlikely to deliver expected benefits should not be seen as a failure — failing to cancel such a project should be.”
(Cancelling a Project (Without Cancelling Your Career), 2013)

One Planview customer shared, “If we can kill a project just one gate earlier, we save over one million dollars.” With each gate, a mediocre
idea passes through, it’s wasting time along with money and resources that could be working on those ideas with much greater potential
to shine and achieve your revenue targets. (Nauyalis, 2016)

Even PMI recommends that Project manager must make a recommendation to cancel a project if it cannot produce the desired outcome.

When does it make sense to cancel the project?

Classical literature and industry experts indicate several reasons such as change of business plans or strategy, competitor`s
outperformance, lack of know-how, increased cost or risks, technological limitations or breakthrough, resource/time constraints, market
conditions and macroeconomic influences as key factors that influences the decision to stop the project. (Roberts, 2009)
COVER STORY CONTD…

Many experts propose dealing with such a decision via governance at the portfolio level or as part of project`s Go - No Go decision or
through phase gates or establishing an early warning system from the beginning (Royer, 2003), the centre of it revolves around
establishment of management controls that enables the organization to make a timely informed decision about a running project`s future.

Broadly, there are three key aspects below covers most factors for cancelling the project.

Alignment with Organizational Goals: How well is your project positioned to support the realization of the organizational goals? Does the
project outcome (products or services or operating model, new tool or ways of working) supports the organization, directly or indirectly, in
realization of their strategic and/or operational goals?
Examples
• The project's objectives cannot be met and continuation of the project will not necessarily create intellectual property
• The project can be completed but it will not create any sustainable value for the company
• There has been a significant change in the company's interest and strategy.
• The project`s outcome, despite meeting all the requirements may still not necessarily help the organization as its benefit conception was
inherently flawed.

Environmental Development: Does the micro & macro environment development impacts the attractiveness of undertaking the project.
Does the project itself or its outcomes makes sense in the given internal or external environmental context? Has there been a change in
external environment such as law, taxation, governmental policies or internal environment such as company culture, policies, strategies
etc.?
Examples
• The project's assumptions have changed and it may not be the “right” project to work on.
• Market conditions have changed such that the ROI or sales expectations will not be met, or the competition is expected to introduce a
more advanced product.
• The final product may become obsolete earlier than expected, or the company may not be able to provide customer support for the
product to meet customer expectations.
• Key resources have left the project or resigned from the company.
• The company is experiencing a significant cash flow problem.
COVER STORY CONTD…
Achievability: Is it possible to achieve the project goals within a reasonable time, money & human resource investment? Is the project goal
specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound?

Examples
• There are technical difficulties beyond the capabilities of company personnel
• The problem is too complex for the company to manage
• Costs have risen on the project and the schedule has slipped significantly

While there are some high performing organizations that employ specific considerations to help them make the difficult decisions on
projects future, the project management practice itself has not yet evolved to the level of maturity to have “self-destruct” feature built in. A
“self-destruct” feature that continues to monitor & assess the lucrativeness of continuing with the project. A self-destruct feature that
screams aloud when it's the time to stop the project.

What would it take to have such a “self-critique” feature built into the project management methodology?

Projects in today's world operative in a very dynamic environment where everything is fast changing, be it the external market conditions or
internal company environment, team composition or stakeholders, strategies or risks and the approach to acclimatize
to constant changes.
This means that is a strong need to periodically revisit business case and re-evaluate the conditions that made undertaking the project
lucrative. This activity is usually performed at the portfolio level but suffers from oversight into critical details and d lack of timely
information for decision making. On the other hand I think the project manager and his team are best located in the delivery chain to make
that assessment.
Often the project team members can sense the signals of critical issues impacting project`s future, that are sometime clear and at times
hidden. I think project manager has a professional ethical responsibility to proactively look for such signals and trigger risk response. At the
same time a simple periodic assessment of developments in project against business case could give useful early insights to prevalent
factors for project cancellation.

If at all a project must be cancelled, project manager should be the first one to make such a recommendation supported by a strong
business case appraisal. Project manager in such scenarios must strongly advocate sensitivity in communication to avoid it being seen as a
reflection on team`s performance.

So, let’s not just cancel the project but bury it with a reflective epitome in the organization`s lessons learned repository.

This article is contributed by Ameeq Mohammad - Project & Portfolio Management Consultant at a Swiss consultancy firm Arcondis Ag in
Basel Switzerland ; PMP & MOPF professional
Learn & Earn- Consulting for Project Managers

Beating the hot afternoon sun on Saturday 20th May, more than 20 project
management professionals attended the Learn & Earn Session organized by PMI
West Bengal chapter on “Consulting for Project Managers" at IBM office at DLF II,
Newtown. The speaker Mr.. Anindya from IBM shared his vast professional
experience and provided insights on how a project manager will enhance the
consulting skill, how and in what scenario’s a project manager will become a
consultant to the customer. Mr.. Anindya also provided tips & techniques on
developing and delivering a winning presentation. It was quite an interactive and
informative session. The day ended with light snacks and tea.

Rotary Club Renaissance


PMI West Bengal Chapter was invited by Mr.. Chirabrata Majumder, President
of Rotary Club Renaissance in one of the Board Meeting at Deshapriya Park on
17th June.
Chapter showcased its capabilities in Education and Training along with
engagements in Social Sector.
Chapter's Initiative for hosting regional conference was also highlighted .
It was well appreciated by the BODs followed by the felicitations from the
Senior Rotarian.
Felicitation of Members for earning PMI credentials Learn & Earn - “Stress Relief through Meditation and Pranic
Four members of the chapter were given a token of appreciation Healing”
for completing their respective PMI credentials on 24th June 2017
• Rajarshi Arun - PgMP in May , 17 On 24th June, 2017, PMI West Bengal Chapter conducted a
• Snigdha Ghosh - PgMP in Nov, 16 unique and one of its own kind of session of Stress relief through
• Subhajit Ghosh PMI-ACP in June, 17 meditation and pranic healing.
• Arijeet Bose - PgMP in May, 17 Stress management has become part and parcel of our life which
can really help us to maintain a work-life balance. The members
were guided on various simple yet effective ways to reduce stress.
The speaker/instructor covered practical meditation and
application of Pranic healing to improve different facets of our
life: health, relationships, prosperity and spirituality.
There was a satisfactory response from most of the participants
for this session and they shared their joyous experience. The
Instructor of the sessions namely Dr. Debasree Roy
Chowdhury, Mr.Sanjay Agarwal and Mr. K K Chakraborty were
handed over the Memento for conducting the session.

President meet – 24 June


There was President meet for all Indian based chapters to
discuss strategic initiatives to sustain and take chapters to
next level. Engaging Students and Faculty for the growth
and development of management community is the
prime focus. PMI CXO meet would be conducted in
Kolkata in Dec 2017
Strategic Meet – CSM Technologies Bhubaneshwar

On 24th June, 2017, Chapter President Mr. Sumit K Sinha


had visited CSM Technologies Bhubaneshwar for strategic
discussion with CEO and Mr. Prabhu. The focus was to
conduct regular Learn and earn sessions, seminars etc. for
Bhubaneshwar and around the cities. Also there would be
awareness session conducted on PMI.

The first Learn and Earn event for Bhubaneshwar would be


conducted by the chapter in July 2017.

This was indeed a privilege and honor for the chapter to


extend its support beyond West Bengal and support near
by regions to spread the PMI flagship
Chapter welcomes our new members Volunteer of the Quarter
A warm welcome and hearty wishes for a successful career in project management. “Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do
Debashree Dutta something”;
Abhijit Chakladar Susmita Mishra
Partha Chakraborty Saurabh Ghosh Chitravanu Mukherjee Special Appreciation as
Aniket Chatterjee Pralay Chand Ghosh Sumit Nandy “Volunteer of Quarter ,
Suman Chattopadhyay Ramachandraiah Goduguluri Sauradipta Pal
Summer 2017” goes to
Amit Jain Prosenjit Roy
Sankha Subhra Chaudhury Koushil Paul
Sudipto Chowdhury M Hassan Khan Deepak Rai Chapter recognizes and appreciates the effort and
Tanumay Das Mohammad Tauqeer Khan Arijit Saha support of volunteers for their contribution. This
Pradyut Mohan Dash Chirabrata Majumder Amit Sen prestigious award of the chapter is in recognition
Parthasakha De Abhishek Singh Rathore Amitabh Sen of your leadership to take forward PMI West
Prasanta Kumar Mohanty Gunjan Surana
Bengal Chapter initiatives in the region
successfully aligned with its vision

Congrats Prosenjit!!!
Etc that matters
Chapter Congratulates PMP pass outs of last 2
Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017-2027
quarters.
Demand over the next 10 years for project managers
Well done! Your good results will open new doors of
is growing faster than demand for workers in other
opportunities. Make the motto of your life, to never
occupations.
settle for anything but the best.
Organizations, however, face risks from this talent gap
1. Ms.. Tabitha Paulraj (TCS) on 29-Dec-2016.
http://www.pmi.org/learning/careers/job-growth
2. Mr. Pushpak Nandi (IBM) on 12-Jan-2017
3. Mr. Sarup Patghak (Voltas) on 27-Feb-2017
India's premier project management conference is here 4. Mr. Bikas Debnath (TCS) on (29-Mar-2017)
5. Ms. Tanushree Ghosh (IBM) on 03-Apr-2017
Block your calendar for India's most awaited Project Management event of year!
(PMIWBC Feb 2017 batch)
The event theme of #PMNC17 is Project Management - Powering India's Global
6. Mr. Mainak Mitra (Bridge & Roof) on 20-Apr-2017
Leadership is pertinent in the current socio-economic scenario.
(PMIWBC Feb 2017 batch)
Above participants had attended PMP training
http://www.pmi.org.in/events/pmnc17/
conducted by the chapter
Share your thoughts and suggestions to Visit Chapter Website http://www.pmiwbc.org/ PMI West Bengal Chapter
pmiwbc.communication@pmiwbc.org
@PMI_WB PMI West Bengal Chapter