Keeping Failing But do it Fast – Projects / Pet Agendas and Companies
No option to fail , serious problem. Not failing not quite true anymore ? …This is sounds quite a ridiculous statement more like saying that if you wish to live forever then you should be prepared to die any moment meaning for a cause then you become immortal and then you live forever. The only way to remove a thorn is with a thorn. Does not mean get pricked by a thorn to remove one. What it means is if you the quicker you fail the faster you realize why you failed introspect and move on. Yes inspect why you failed and move on. What this goes on to state in so many things in different facets of life.
Software Projects : You have a mandate from product management on some feature that looks cool in the market and have been asked to roll it out without questioning authority. This then leads teams to prototype it and then check what are the pain points involved before you can say it looks ok to go ahead or not ok. This means you have imposed an increment of work unit which is short time boxed and you come back with your conclusions or state what is possible and not possible in black and white. At times the shiny new thing on the tools available might force one to think that it is the way to product stardom etc. But once you have developers dig their claws into the library or framework it can really reveal whether the framework really promises rapid application development or it is just another cool thing but not so cool when really played around with. Once you get used to failing every now and then you get to learn a new way of handling things in small iterations. This reinforces one to believe that failure is after not all bad in fact we are now more knowledgeable with all our combined failures put together. When someone says we trying out that thing in the market you know what that means and know your way around it . Fail fast is the new world order. It was always like that we never noticed it enough. So all such truth lay hidden reveal themselves to us when we move around try new things and fail , yes fail. Once you know it then the other side of the coin has success embossed on it . The trick is to identify it first and get it right. Know you have failed and that too fast. Do not worry about the project estimates going for a toss , put them with the knowledge that there is going to be 20 % this way that way to it. The message is don’t aim for perfection keep failing and refining.
Pet Projects : Read some where that what ever was in your mind a while ago is now on TV and leaves you thinking that “Oh Oh that was my idea for my pet project” . Do not keep them so bring them out do what you can do to flesh them out bring them to reality else they remain pet projects. This principle also translates it into a fear principle. The guy who has failed first becomes more successful. School dropouts can only create a Microsoft , Facebook or Oracle. Do not keep anything a pet project is the moral here.
Companies : With everything lean and mean a company now unashamedly keeps on revising its mission statement from time to time and does not think twice before changing course many times during the day instead of months or years. Earlier you needed the big consulting companies to say where you are heading and when to turn left and right. Now most companies seem to follow the agile way of doing things and shorter project iterations reveal what we need to do eventually with the product , roadmap etc. So when the failure principle is inculcated into teams , individuals and then the company culture then it becomes easy to drop your opinionated theories and see for yourself in short cycles and tailor your turn around quickly.
What it means that the more agile you are more prone you are to repeated failure. Stay agile welcome failure in leaps and bounds.