FINANCIAL TIMES: Capgemini Consulting makes judgement call on when to pull the plug on a big project

Capgemini Consulting features in the Financial Times’ regular ‘Judgement Call’ series today, where a panel of experts are asked to give their recommendation and view on a major dilemma for organizations. Today’s dilemma is “when to pull the plug on a big project?”, a question that has arisen on the back of the BBC’s announcement that it is shutting down its digital media initiative and writing off almost £100m spent on the technology project. Capgemini Consulting’s Didier Bonnet says:
“Stopping large projects is one of the hardest decisions in organisations. Emotions and internal politics often get in the way of rationality. The complexity of most large projects (large technology projects, in particular) defies mechanistic recipes. However, strong leadership, good risk management and independent governance go a long way to avoid projects getting out of control. Leadership is about having clear goals and outcomes and sticking with them. Risk management is about having a clear process and milestones to identify potential problems early. Governance concerns making sure there is a rational process to assess progress – and that this process is independent from the entities tasked to deliver the project. No large project is guaranteed success, but proper early set-up can save organisations a great deal of time, not to mention throwing good money after bad.”

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