Have you PFFed yet?! (Planning for Failure)

Yes, you read it right!

No, this is not my take on glorifying the “butt”, but a take on Failures and Success, as what I experienced over my career.

Over my two decades something years of delivery experience, having been a part of a variety of IT programs – transformational, complex, simply difficult, humanely impossible, utterly atrociously unimaginable etc (don’t believe me, then you must not have heard of or met with any of our sales guys) and having seen most of everything, I value my failures more.

Success is always more memorable and it is easy to bask in its glory, but one should NOT cast failures away, but keep these in constant memory instead. These (failures) should serve as lessons learnt and viewed as buoyant factors that guide us in present , future.

Failures are to be used as reminders for us to understand, analyse and correct – as each one of these would have occurred at some point, from where the symptoms where not either detected / or were understated / or were not amplified enough / or plain ignored for various reasons or are better understood only after they happen.

You may be right in asking – why must one remember the painful stories? We all are conditioned to let go of the past.

It’s not about downplaying success(*), but more about focusing on ensuring that the mistakes you were aware of , continue to be a part of your thinking and you ensure that your future actions and behaviour are always checked against these.

I do this whenever I am tasked with something. I call this – Planning for failure – PFF. (Read more about this in my article

https://himeshkc.com/2017/07/06/the-project-managers-oath/)

So, have you PFFed yet? 🙂

Unless we know all the possible ways in which a plan can possibly fail, and then build mitigations around them, only then can we say we have done justice to our project / program planning. Else it’s always going to be Murphy’s law versus your optimism 🙂

And what better way to do this, than by reviving your own experience around failures, and using those to strengthen.

And in closing, as one wise gentleman once said – keep your successes close and your failures closer!

* how to “rightly” celebrate success, would be another future blog post

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