Many of us have been associated with “Never ending projects”. They typically involve constantly changing requirements and significant re-work which is a classic source of waste. Additionally, the changes are not prioritized based on business value so it may take a long time before the business sees any functional capability that delivers value. The philosophy behind Agile and iterative development is supposed to provide a framework for managing these changing requirements. Unfortunately, many project teams mis-interpret these frameworks which leads to never-ending projects, significant re-work and waste, and marginal business value.
What can be done to avoid these issues?
- Define a functional framework and iterative strategy that allows the evolution of requirements and minimizes re-work
- Implement high-value low-effort capabilities first in order to expedite the delivery of value to the business
- Quantify and measure the expected value to ensure the desired outcomes are being delivered
- Know when to stop. When the remaining ideas are high-effort and low-value, perhaps it is time for the project to end.