How to choose when to start a project

I have observed this happen several times: a development team or teams are busy working on several projects and are fully occupied. Suddenly management thinks of an attractive new project and want it to be done quickly.

What happens next?

What should happen next is:

  1. Remind themselves that change is necessary and good, but change has to be managed, not random
  2. Do some ball park cost-benefit estimate of the new project
  3. Review the list of projects being executed and in the pipe-line
  4. Decide whether (a) new resources should be hired for the new project; (b) some current project is not necessary or of lower value and delay or cancel it
  5. If choosing to delay an on-going project, take into account that when a project is stopped and then re-started later it usually takes longer to do (ramp up time) and might also have lower quality (loss of momemtum/enthusiasm)
  6. announce the decision to the existing members of the project?
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