I like Adam Thomas’s idea of identifying “survival metrics” at the start of a project. It’s a way to help teams stay grounded throughout the project and ask themselves whether they should stop the project, pivot in a different direction, or continue to invest in completing the project. From What Are Survival Metrics & How Do They Work?:
Survival metrics help a product team determine if an initiative is worth investing in more, pivoting or stopping completely. They are a forcing function to prevent product teams from suffering due to the sunk cost fallacy. Survival metrics put resource allocation and company incentives, both implied (think politics) and direct (think data), in front of the team before a project begins and again at regular intervals, giving permission to act quickly.
Adam goes on to discuss three questions that help teams identify those survival metrics.