Good Stop is Even More Important Than a Good Start

Why should we stop our paused projects?

We all know how starting a project and shaping a team can be challenging, and usually we try to learn how to improve the way we do it to have a faster and optimal take-off. However, we forget how stopping a project is important too.

We mostly have a lot of started projects that have been "stopped" gradually or suddenly, and those always try to stay alive somewhere in our mind.

How is that happening?

It usually starts with a new probably innovative idea and then if you are lucky you can form a team to work on it. You continue for some time spending either full-time or part of your daily work on it. Then after a couple of failures, changes in a teammate's schedule, or changes in motivation you realise that the working speed is slowing down or even suddenly dropped to zero.

Then if you are lucky you are working on another project or continuing your day-to-day work while always looking back to the not-truly-stopped project that will be in your mind wishing to be reborn sometime in the future.

Isn't that good?

Yes and no. It is good to keep the experience in mind and use it somewhere in the future when you are working on a similar topic. But it shouldn't reserve too much of your resources (time, money, cognitive capacity, network, etc.) and make you less agile.

So if we are actually pausing the project and not properly stopping, it is important to consider how much resource we are still spending and how much freedom we are loosing.

I mean we are in a fast-changing world and it is ok if after some time we feel something else is more interesting, and we need to shift all of our attention. But be careful, the world is changing so fast and changes are making so much noise. Therefore, in the other hand, we need to have balance here.

How to improve?

I would like to focus on it this year and see how I can close my paused projects properly and make room for a couple of new projects that are more interesting and practical. So far I found the following resources interesting. Please feel free to share any resources you may have, so we can make a better list for people who have the same problem.