How to ‘Fail Better’ on IT Projects
A wide range of tech requirements, resource limitations, user needs, market shifts and other factors combine to overwhelm IT project teams.
Behaviors shaped by hard-to-predict human and machine relationships will play out in unpredictable ways, making it hard to draw a line from actions to results.
Everyone comes to a team with various ideas about how to pursue and manage information. When their cognitive processes aren’t in sync, unfortunate decisions may follow.
Establish early on what kind of failure is ultimately beneficial, and what defines inexcusable failures that cannot be tolerated.
By breaking a large project into manageable chunks instead of tackling it as a monolithic effort, you can more easily contain any failures.
Get agreement from influencers to incorporate discovery (with no guarantee of success) into various project phases. With this, even notable failures will instruct.
When you get a sense that something is going wrong, take a step back to identify and correct issues before they gain too much traction to undo.
Analyze the mental processes that went into methods, interactions, problem-solving, change management, etc. to integrate individual approaches into a cohesive team “brain.”
It’s better to get started and end up with something that’s good-to-great but still flawed, then to stall indefinitely in search of a perfect game plan.
At the end of the project, collaborate with team members to assess miscues along the way. Designate new habits to preserve and old ones to drop. Share with other project teams.