3 Steps after a Project Failure


Everyone fails in life.

Someone hasn’t passed a test at university, other had failure in the workplace.

There are a lot of quots which compare fiasco and success. This article will help you to to work with failures more effectively.


Step 1

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room! People often respond to workplace failure as they might respond to personal tragedy. They don’t know what on earth to say, so they avoid discussing it entirely. Make it your mission to address the elephant in the room, by acknowledging the failure and looking to understand underlying causes. Take a lesson from the software industry, where teams conduct “blameless post-mortems” (BPMs) to identify systemic vulnerabilities in process, technology, and practices in order to learn and improve. These meetings take place shortly after an event, and bring together the relevant people involved. The meetings may include different questions, such as timelines, team members’ states of mind, mental models for how things should work and how they are shared or differ among team members and etc.

Step 2

Evaluate your personal actions. While project failures may have many different causes, project leadership has ultimate accountability. Examine how your behaviors contributed to the failure. The more tactical of these may have come to light in the blameless post mortem and resulted in changes to your approach. But dig deeper: are there aspects of your leadership that you can improve? Perhaps people fear you will shoot the messenger, or you’ve been too slow to react to warning signals. Ask the project team for feedback on your performance.

Step 3

Use the learning outcomes for next project. Don’t forget to collect not only Good Case Practice, but also Bad Case Practice. Sharing the practical learning outcome from a failed project more broadly can be helpful to you as well as to others in your organization.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that work wrong.Thomas A.Edison

Article By
Polina Maximchenko
Business Development (Intern) – Loons Lab
Credits (Pictures)
https://www.personneltoday.com | http://www.surroundtech.com