Saturday, October 9, 2010

Can’t Succeed? Redefine Success

We set goals.  We set exit criteria.  We define requirements.

Unfortunately we don’t always reach our goals, complete our exit criteria, complete all our requirements.

So what do we do about that?

Now Failure sometimes happens.  Sometimes we completely miss the mark.  But often we simply need to redefine what we see as success.  That might mean adjusting your goals mid-flight.  Maybe fudging the exit criteria for a situation that you didn’t anticipate. Change the requirements based on the evolving understanding of the customer needs.

How do we know if we Failed or if we Succeeded?  Most of the time a simple “5 Whys” exercise will get us there.  (Sometimes 1 Why might be sufficient!)  Why did you set that goal?  What is the purpose of the exit criteria?  Why did we define requirements in the first place?  If we failed at “the why”, then we failed.  Otherwise, redefine success and take a victory lap!

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