November 23, 2009

Anything That Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong !!

Who is the Murphy anyway?

Who ever he is, he makes his presence felt when you are least likely expecting him. Sometime he acts as spanner in the wheel and other just a deflated tyre. But for sure you , me and others are affected by him day-in , day-out. Him affecting us can be minimized but the thought of altogether removing his presence would be a foolhardy one.

However we can be better prepared to tackle anything and everything which may, potentially, go wrong.

By paying attention to detail. Even before you start executing, a well thought out plan should be in place. This is the "well thought out" part of the planning I am stressing at. Proper care should be taken in initial planning so as to capture all necessary activities needed to complete the task. While listing down activities you would know what could possibly go wrong while executing the task. And that's where you need to have your contingency management in place. Which can be arrived at by "what if" analysis. What if one of your key people falls sick !! What if your development system crashes!! This analysis will help you identify possible areas where things related to your project can go wrong. You can anticipate them and can avoid them by taking proper care during execution or you can be well prepared in case the event occurs.

Even after paying proper attention to detail at various stages in the project things can go wrong. Now use those learning as your experience but make sure that next project onwards these learnings are put in to practice. Or still better learn from others mistake.Please remember that everybody needs help sometime. It is good to learn from one's mistake but it is still wiser to learn from others mistake. Perhaps at organization/team level a document capturing what went wrong in a particular project and what was the learning, can be maintained and shared. Just to ensure that same mistake is not repeated / similar situation dont repeat.

Sooner or later, something fundamental in your business world/ the factors contributing the the success of the project will change. As Andy Grove said "Only the Paranoid Survive". Being paranoid helps you to analyse ,to be better prepared. Be paranoid , but be sure that you act as well. Otherwise being paranoid is sure sign of failure. Dont overdo.

But one thing is for sure that in spite of one's best effort shit happens and then you dont have any other option than to accept it. Dont fret , take lesson and move on. You'd be better prepared for future.

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