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This is unfortunate but it’s better to “kill” the project then to continue through the Improve phase, where a significant amount of the effort usually happens.

Killing projects can be a good thing because it can be a tough decision at times and leaders don’t always make the tough decision in a timely manner. They can drag their feet and ending up wasting more time. I actually see this happen more often than killing projects in Analyze. Don’t associate killing projects as a bad thing.

Organizations recognize that employees’ have too much on their plates and they want to reduce the workload. I wish leaders would do more of that!

Tracy O'Rourke

Tracy is a Managing Partner at She is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Instructor at UC San Diego and teaches in San Diego State University’s Lean Enterprise Program. For almost 20 years, she has helped leading organizations like Washington State, Charles Schwab and GE build problem-solving muscles.