Learning the lessons of failure

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  1. I believe Carillion accepted failure too quickly because failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that Carillion lacks. It could have measured failure as profit and introduce Failure Modes and Effects Analysis [FMEA] which is a structured approach to identify the process before failures. By estimating the risks associated with the failures, and the likelihood of realising risks, there could have been a way to prioritise functions with stakeholders so as to reduce the risk of failure.
    Immediately from the boardroom, a coexisting FMEA should be the light of the day to identify the potential risks of a new process in order to tighten up believes of failures. To kickoff new resolutions, the question of what could go wrong? What can be done to mitigate the most likely & most severe things that could go wrong? These alarming questions should prompt the Analyst. To understand potential risks of a change or improvement to a process, Carillion needs to understand the effectiveness of a risk mitigation plan. I pray all buyers will make Carillion failures as steps to success.

  2. Late design information is often a problem, I’ve seen it enough myself. But often where I have had to deal with it (and been nominally responsible) you find yourself stuck between demands for a job done quickly, and one done right, while you also have other plates spinning in the background.

    Projects also tend to be started too early, with design incomplete, as gung-ho project managers and clients (neither of whom are likely to be from a design background) think it can all be sorted out on the way, and quickly; it isn’t as if design work is so difficult is it?

    Anyone could do it, and if we weren’t so lazy, fussy, or busy sipping our lattes, we could easily do it in half the time.

    That seems to be the attitude, anyway.

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