Discontinuance End-of-Life Planning


Quick Summary
Provides approaches and document outlines for planning ahead for the time when you will discontinue offering a product or service.


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What this is

Approaches and document outlines for planning ahead for the time when you will discontinue offering a product or service. Includes impacts internal to the company (e.g. impact on support functions) and external impacts on your customers/users (e.g. decisions on supporting old products and services, migrating customers to a replacement product or service. release, etc.)


Why it's useful

Initial discontinuance planning often uncovers additional requirements for the product or service design, to enable a smooth transition of your customers at its end of life. How an end-of-life is handled can have serious economic impacts for your company as well. How do you ramp down materials purchases in manufacturing, to avoid excess inventory when end-of-life approaches? What do you promise customers in terms of migrating them to new offerings, and who will pay for that?

Later, more detailed discontinuance planning occurs closer to the end-of-life of the product. This planning is more tactical, geared to setting in motion all the activities that must happen to remove the product/service from the field, close down any manufacturing, move service and support to the replacement entity, replace old product in the field, etc.


How to use it

  • Use the diagram and table on the following pages to identify how discontinuance planning fits into the program life-cycle, and the scope of needed discontinuance planning for your product/service.
  • Do initial discontinuance planning during the project that first creates and deploys that product or service to its customers!
  • Once the new product/service has been deployed to customers, create a plan for your "end-of-life process" for this product/service. The plan should include:
    • Ongoing evaluation of how the product/service is performing functionally and value-wise for the customer, and financially for your company.
    • Milestones for reviewing potential end-of-life timing based on those evaluation results.
    • Decision criteria and time points for triggering detailed end-of-life discontinuance activities.

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