Project Closure or On Hold
06 Oct 2020
Our Upgrade Infrastructure Project was well on its way with Initiation stage in full swing with refining business case, detailed planning, calculating project costs etc. Funding for the project was approved in this FY2021. However, last week our CFO has asked us to postpone project realization up until next FY2022. My question is - how to look at this situation? I do not believe it should be considered as project closure (no project product delivered) or premature closure (business justification is still firmly in place). My suggestion to the team was to place project On Hold and restart next year from where we ended now - the reason for this is to keep documentation in one place without any future references in new project required. Issue register would be updated noting request from CFO. The opposing opinion is to close this project with end project report specifying the reason for closure and start with completely new project next year. Any ideas/suggestions? Thank you.
I had a similar situation at the start of lockdown as the organisation I was working with needed time to organise home working for staff etc etc.
We initially looked at the possiblity of sticking to the original go live (1st July) and created an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) however it was clear that we would not manage this with the time and resources available.
We therefore decided that a project hiatus of 3 months (July - October) would cover the set up period for home working so we completed as much as possible, took a break and continued from 1st October with a revised PID, Project Plan and MVP for the new go live date.
In your situation you sound to be looking at a longer break. However, for continuity, where you have a project hiatus of a known period and the project is guaranteed to continue to the same brief, I think it is helpul to maintain contact with your original project documentation.
I hope it works out well for you which ever decision is made.
Thank you for your time to provide feedback. I am leaning towards the same opinion as yours. I always prefer to keep everything in one place to make it simple for any outsider to get familiar with project quickly if needed.
When our projects started to be delayed or put on hold by the customer, we didn't close them as we knew they would be delivered and instead placed them on hold and keep up with tracking actiivites to see how the situation was changing and how we could resume the work once released.
Due to COVID-19 panedemic the priority might have changed, so even after the business case is justified due to change in priority it shall be considered as project product not viable in present scenerio (Business not justified).
Whenever the project will be reinitiated the business case i.e. Project Product requirement, Customer Specification, budget, RISK may be different so altogether new business case shall be prepared at that time.
So in my opinion it shall be prematurly closed with business not justified due to change in the customer/sponser/corporate requirement. It shall be started with completely new project next year where reference of present project can be taken to prepare project brief.
I have faced similar issues in the project 5years back in my present organisation where we have started a New product development considering the forthcoming market need, but due to change in Government in the country the priority and policy were changed .
We have to prematurly close that project and Now we have restarted that project with updating the previous business case with improvement in the project product requirement.
You can also consider any pharma industry in pandemic changed their priorities and started working on covid vaccine though their earlier project are still justified but due to change in priority either prematurly closed or rescheduled.
hope this will help, reply your comments
Ankit kr Airun