Regardless of the industry you work in, there is a good chance you were assigned a project to complete. As is typical with projects there was probably a planning phase, an implementation phase, and lastly a delivery to a customer or just for your own department. As a software developer, I am very project based and am charged with either taking the project from inception to delivery or leading a team through the same phases. Projects have a way of making their way to this delivery phase because presumably, they have been budgeted and subsequently paid for.
Sometimes though, projects have a way of dying. This can happen in the early stages of planning, or during some R&D phases. But as I said, once the money has been budgeted, and the money all but spent, you usually see most projects cross the finish line. Today, I had a project that I had led the development efforts on, die. Just dead…
Several months worth of effort in planning requirements, creating a new architecture, and code just up and disappeared like dust in the wind. Most of the project had even already been billed and paid for, so the thought that the plug would get pulled was almost unfathomable.
But it happened. Even with maybe a month of work left to go, my boss just stopped by this afternoon and said priorities for the customer had changed and that the project was being shelved. All of our work, for naught. The consultant I have in working the project with me, almost looked heart-broken for all her hard work. In truth, she has done the lions share of the work and been doing a great job.
Lessons can be learned from this though. Firstly, the experience gained with the project will always stick with me, and while we didn’t get to see the new architecture we used out in the wild, it still served as a nice little proving ground for our future projects. So, in an effort to look for the silver lining, despite seeing a lot of work not being used, I can take solace in the lessons learned and use them on the next project.