Help With Sunsetting Software

Sandhya is a program manager in California.


Topics: Communications Management, IT Project Management, Stakeholder Management

At some point, every software product will reach its end of life. This refers to the point when a company will no longer support the product moving forward. Each company defines when this happens and what it means for them (and the specific product). It most likely means no further code changes, features, enhancements or bugs.

It’s important to understand that there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into defining and completing an end-of-life cycle; it also requires a skilled program/project manager to successfully accomplish it. It’s important for the PM to understand the reasons for the end-of-life decision; they should also be aware of all the workings of the product(s). This will help ensure that all of the different and necessary stakeholders are involved in the process to successfully sunset the product. 

Here are some of my recommendations to help facilitate this process:   

1. SKUs: Every company that creates a software product has some form to identify it; in most industries, it is referred to as a SKU. This uniquely identifies the product and is used to sell it. This SKU should be removed from all of the various channels where a customer can buy the product.

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"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence."

- Xenocrates