Stopping failure in its tracks

Some IT projects become a negative self-fulfilling prophecy, gaining a drive toward failure that seems inevitable. How can one interrupt this downward spiral before it's too late?

Some IT projects become a negative self-fulfilling prophecy, gaining a drive toward failure that seems inevitable. How can one interrupt this downward spiral before it's too late?

In an article called Surviving Failure, Watts S. Humphrey, founder the Software Process Program of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, has this to say:

When you are on a troubled project [there are] six steps.

  1. Understand the source of the problem.
  2. Decide how to fix it.
  3. Fix what you can fix by yourself.
  4. Review what you have done with your manager.
  5. Decide on a strategy for the next steps.
  6. Agree on what you can do to help.

Turning around failure mid-stream requires at least one person to take action.

Stepping up is difficult, often involves risk, and sometimes requires real bravery. Nonetheless, true leadership is born when skillful, mindful action is pursued despite the danger. Are you ready to be the person who steps up when the rest will not?

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