Learning To Learn From Failure

  1. Review incidents and have an incident process. For many start-ups you will think this is overkill. But by having a very simple process that allows incidents to be managed and communicated will mean your team have a support system to fix an issue and it will mean that management have a way of getting updates on an issue, without sitting on top of the engineer that is trying to fix something
  2. Use the 5 whys process after an issue has occurred (https://buffer.com/resources/5-whys-process/). It does not matter if the issue was a failure in production, or a problem with a process that creates lots of manual work, running an open and honest 5 whys session will always help you discover some of the underlying issues. I love this process and I am a huge champion of it, but that does not mean I want to fix everything that we uncover. Typically at the end of the a 5 whys session, we only look to ‘fix’ 30–40% of what we discover. This may not sound a lot, but the difference it makes and the ongoing gains you get is huge.
  1. Put in systems and process to be the framework as failures occur
  2. Be the support system for your team to learn and move forward
  3. Find your own support system, so you can better help your team
  4. Find a coach for you and key employees, who can provide a sounding board for how to manage this process.

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