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Knowing When to Pull the Plug? Coursework Example

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Coursework

In many circumstances, the decision to continue a project only adds additional risk. Effective management should acknowledge the application of proper timing in knowing when to terminate a project. Many individuals can reflect upon an instance when they should have ceased a particular course of action. The failure which occurred as a result of the Lockheed L 1011 is an example model of this type of deficiency in decision making (Straw & Ross, 1987).

Many managers persevere with a decision longer than they should. Very often organizations are committed to following a course which is destined for failure.  The circumstance which may deter the withdrawal from a project is the salvage assessment of the project. An administrator could cease an advertising initiative which is not showing promise. A project which possesses minimal retrieval value is much more difficult to cease than a project where the expenses can be recuperated. This aspect causes it to be comprehensive why many projects continue beyond their point of feasibility (Straw & Ross, 1987).

The aspect of the dilemma being created in a manner which causes commitment may be another aspect. The managers may look at failure as a situation which could have been remedied over time. In addition, the funding which has been delegated to a project may be perceived as recoverable upon the completion of the project. The expenses may not be retrievable, that is to say that it may coast more to terminate the project than it would cost to continue.  Social pressures may be one of the reasons for the inability to be able to terminate a project. Administrators may have erred in judgment and they might not wish to demonstrate these errors publicly (Straw & Ross, 1987).

In the situation where an individual’s professional well-being is connected to the requisites for performance, the continuation of a particular project may appear sensible.  Studies have demonstrated that the aspect of being insecure about one’s employment position and the deficiency of administrative support may only enhance the need for outside rationalization. Consequently, when an administrator intimately identifies themselves with a commitment, they may be forced to provide a defense of the project notwithstanding the inability of the project to succeed (Straw & Ross, 1987).

From a cultural perspective, the aspect of perseverance is related with effective administration. This is especially true in the case where the perseverance is justified by success. The primary role in these situations which caused the chance of not knowing when to cease a project is the failure to acknowledge the potential risks and costs. These projects should have been terminated once they reached the point where the costs outweighed the benefits. The aspect which deterred this decision making is that many administrators may have biases toward enhancing the commitment in a project (Straw & Ross, 1987).

The administrators may conduct a self-delusion into believing that a project may have the capacity for success. The acknowledgement of commitment is much more feasible to discuss than to exercise. The administrators must view commitment for what it actually purports itself to be.  The questions which may be posed by the managers with regards to knowing when to diminish the level of commitment in a project are the following questions:

  1. Do I have challenges in ascertaining what would be defined as failure for this program? Is my explanation for failure well defined or is it changing as the project continues to change?
  2. If I were to experience failure on this project, would it alter my self-perception as an administrator? Have I over extended myself on this commitment?
  3. Do I have difficulty realizing the concerns that others manif4est with regards to the project. Is the support of colleagues on the project viewed as a measure of their competence?
  4. Do I view the manner by which certain actions will affect a project prior to considering the manner by which an organization will be influenced as an entity by the activities? Do I have the perceptions that if the project concludes that there will be no future?

The answers to these questions may be to decrease commitment which is placed upon a project. The project must be viewed from an objective perspective. Administrators could learn a great deal about timing from banking personnel.  Quite often a modification in the organizational structure is the answer. The activity of replacing administrators on a project is often an effective idea. The replacement of administrators may be non-cost avoidant. In addition, the decision makers should not endeavor collectively. The division of decision makers may cause the project to be managed in a more objective manner. The separation of administrators and the replacing of administrators on a project may serve to diminish the hazard of failure (Straw & Ross, 1987).

The veracity of the organizational information documenting system may need to be improved. The aspect of subjectivity is a major reason why many managers will not discontinue a project (Straw & Ross, 1987).

Conclusion

All projects should be perceived as less than optimal. The administrators would be prudent to view the projects form the perspective s of bankers. It is important for administrators to be subjective and not to associate the success of the project with their own professional future.  Management objectivity is the key in the assessment of any project.

References

Straw, B. M. & Ross, J. (1987). Knowing when to pull the plug? Harvard Business Review, March- April 1987(87212): 1- 8.

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