Management Square | Jun 15, 2017 | 0
Project Failure : How to Learn From ?
When you failed a project, it seems like it’s the end of the world. You berate yourself for letting such things happen and you wrack your brains for reasons why a project resulted in failure. Turns out, it’s not the end of the world and project failures are one of the most common reasons we learn from our mistakes.
When you experienced something terrible, usually it’s hard to forget it. This means it’s also not easy to simply forget the lessons that you learned from it. Even if you fail twice or more than that, for the record, the world will still revolve. You have to go on and see these project failures with a whole new mindset and perspective. Carry on and make another project, taking notes of the prior mistakes, and commit them to memory.
Since project failure is a damage that has already been done, it will be hard for both your team and the organization to rise up and recover. And even if they did, you as a project manager might still bear the scars of that experience. Hence, below are the steps or ways on how to cope and learn from that project failure.
Step 1: Gather Input. Lots of It
Get all the inputs from your project team members, other managers involved as well your stakeholders and sponsors. Immediately obtaining their individual insights regarding the project failure can help you see and understand clearly the specific areas that cause such incident. They don’t need to specify which part they think have triggered project failure; their experiences and feedback are enough to help you gain perspective on what happened.
Step 2: Resolve
After acquiring input from every people involved, it’s time to show resolve on what exactly have caused project failure and what could have done to contain it. There will be a lot of questions, especially situational and hypothetical ones to ask yourself; such approach will help you visualize the big picture if the project failure hasn’t occurred in the first place. The following questions might involve resources utilization, tasks assignments, implementation, and the tasks done during project execution.
Step 3: Confirm
Once you are done running the questions in the previous step, you need to confirm the inputs in Step 1 that the people involved provided. These differing insights will help you narrow down the following factors and information that affected or triggered the project failure in some way. This can also be used for future reference in case the project will fall back down again to failure.
Step 4: Engage
Engage or communicate is the last step for project failure learning and recovery. Gather everyone involved in the project and have an overview of what happened prior to this event and share each other the lessons that they learn from this project failure. This will serve as your reference in the following projects to come; don’t forget to document it and always have it around with you during project operation so as not to end up making the same mistake again.
Sometimes project failure happens because of an incident that is out of your control. Beating yourself up over it won’t repair the damage. Always learn from project failures and don’t make it as a reason to give up. Never yield and always persevere. Some project managers have to let themselves be immune to project failure so they can implement the steps or solutions that will help them start over again with a new light. Don’t let a project failure get you down. Use it to your advantage to fight back.
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