International Day for Failure an opportunity to learn from the lows

The celebration of failure — as long as one fails early and often while working on a series of small projects — is one of the big themes in the present wave of enthusiasm for Silicon Valley style innovation and entrepreneurialism.

Government agencies especially are coming under increasing pressure to abandon the approach by which new systems and services are replaced through ambitious one-off projects that take years to plan and deliver. If things go wrong — or even if they go mostly right — this is now seen as a recipe for budget blow-outs and delivery disasters.

Stop doing what doesn't work

Of course, failure is seen as a good thing only as part of an iterative approach to developing new services and functions, which tackles problems or user needs one at a time, breaking up the risk of it all going belly-up in one big steaming pile of failure and allowing lessons to be learned and applied quickly.

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