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Project Management: A Managerial Approach, 8th Edition by Samuel J. Mantel Jr., Jack R. Meredith

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CHAPTER 13

Project Termination

As it must to all things, termination comes to every project. At times, project death is quick and clean, but more often it is a long process; and there are times when it is practically impossible to establish that death has occurred. The skill with which termination, or a condition we might call “near termination,” is managed has a great deal to do with the quality of life after the project. The termination stage of the project rarely has much impact on technical success or failure, but it has a great deal to do with residual attitudes toward the project—the “taste left in the mouth” of the client, senior management, and the project team. It also has a great deal to do with learning about the things that lead to success—or failure.

At this point, the joy of discovery is past. Problems have been solved, bypassed, lived with, or ignored. Implementation plans have been carried out. The client is delighted, angry, or reasonably satisfied. In construction-type projects where the project cadre remains intact, the termination issue is eased because the team moves on to another challenge. For non-recurring projects, the issue is far more akin to the breakup of a family. While the members of the family may be on the best of terms, they must now separate, go their individual ways, divide or dispose of the family property, and make plans for individual survival. Unless the project life was only a few weeks or a few months, the change is stressful. For projects ...

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