Failure is inevitable; suffering is optional

It’s a similar story every time; you bootstrap a product or start a project and you’re optimistic that this time you’ll be doing it right; you’ve learnt the lessons of previous failed projects that you’ve been involved in and you’re convinced that this time it will all run smoothly and things will turn out swimmingly.

How many times in your experience have you thought this?

How many times has your optimism been borne out?

This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t copy some of the processes and methodologies that successful projects have thrown up; but the most important part of a successful project or product launch is the team. The team that is doing the work; the team that is doing the marketing; the team that is liaising with the customer; the team that is managing the project. If you have a project management team that the developers cannot work with for whatever reason (it’s rarely ever one side’s fault; developers can be too opinionated, project managers may be bad micro-managers) then the project is doomed to failure no matter what Kanban, Agile, Kaizen style methodology you try to put in place. You haven’t got a team, you just have a collection of individuals most of them (but not all) going roughly in the same direction.

When you’re in a start-up; you will know everyone else, and maybe you’re all friends first so you have a shared emotional bond that transcends any petty squabbles you have about work. The bigger the team; the harder it will be to retain that bond. If your team has synergy then it doesn’t matter what methodology you put in place, the projects that they tackle will more likely succeed than fail.

Failure is inevitable; if you build the right team then you don’t have to suffer along that journey.

originally posted on medium



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