10 Reasons Why Your Project Could Be Failing

The sun was out yesterday. We even saw some men wearing shorts (even though it was only 11C).

It can only mean Spring is here - and that means the Lab are entering a new 12 week programme. We'll share our new pipeline tomorrow - which comes with a new series of blog posts and test plans as we try to take Lab transparency to a new level.

As a reminder - let's look at why the Lab attempts to complete things in 12 weeks - or just 84 days.

Ten Reasons You Could Be Failing

Failure to start with why. You've started your project with the how or what but not asked or answered the question “what are we really trying to achieve?” and why are we doing this? Why will this make people's lives easier? 

Failure to turn the “why” into a succinct and clear vision. To gain support you'll need a really effective vision (ideally a picture) that can be used to communicate the end goal to colleagues and customers.

Failure to start small. People often look at the resource and risk implications and at reasons for NOT doing something before you've even got a viable concept. Looking for big transformational change sounds good but the bigger the transformation the less likely people will be to support it. Derisk by making small and safe to fail. 

Failure to network and learn from others. It's highly unlikely that the bright idea you are working on is 100% original. Find out who else has tried it and learn from their mistakes (and successes). 

Failure to prototype.  Creative thinking around the problem leads to a number of possible solutions, this minimises the chance of failure as only the best of these are taken forward and mocked up into rough, early versions that we can begin to test.

Failure to test.  Short testing will kill off most of your ideas - further decreasing project failure. These are time-bound, typically low resource and low risk exercises. We can fail many tests in order to refine a new process/product/offer.

Failure to understand the adoption cycle or barriers. Even the best ideas will have no chance of success if the organisation is hell bent on rejecting them. Get together a band of early adopters who believe in what you are doing and will spread the word.

Failure to get to market. Red tape may slow the development therefore the idea languishes in product development limbo. When it is finally released it has missed the market window or needs have shifted. 

Failure to manage. Getting the idea supported by someone with the right skills is key. A great idea will be killed by a bad manager. 

Failure to scale. Just because something worked well when it was small doesn't mean it will grow to adult size. Scaling needs to be supported by a robust business and resource plan. The people involved might be very different as early stage innovators don't necessarily make the best implementers.

Look our for our latest pipeline - available Tuesday 15th March!