Kill your darlings

This project should have been taken outside and killed already.

Yet limps on still.

The firm bleeds time, money, talent.

Costs are sunk.

The politically-inclined are in a tough spot.

To abandon admits failure.

Reputations matter.

So double down, then.

Sink some more.

Suffocate alternative ideas.

Abandon ship

Find courage. Recognise this bias.

Sink the costs, not your team.

Don’t shackle them to past decisions.

Cut losses and surface.

Does it make the boat go faster?

Review the portfolio with one test:

Does this support our current strategy?

Empower multi-disciplinary teams to review, decide and communicate.

Teams with diverse backgrounds and seniority.

They can help engage all stakeholders.

Be clear

Use clear criteria:

  • financial impact
  • time to value
  • complexity

Periodic reviews are learning opportunities.

Understand what factors may have changed.

New information makes today’s decisions smarter.

How to kill

Drown projects that no longer support the strategy.


Be courageous. Be consistent. Be transparent.

Bundle failing projects together and kill them, all at once.


Celebrate decisiveness as a regular portfolio review.

This is an easier sell than the psychological drain of ‘death by a thousand cuts’.

Be better.

Kill your (sunk cost) darlings.

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