How many failed projects have you seen? Did you follow up with the people or companies who ran those projects, and asked them for their learnings or studies on their failures, and if they can help you avoid it?
This video is almost 8 years old, but I think it is essential viewing for anyone working on any project, because it touches on the core issues.
“David Damberger: What happens when an NGO admits failure”
Please don’t be fooled to think that this is only “Western” projects that make this mistake. I am sure we have all seen how the exact same thing has happened to many different projects in our own countries and projects run by our own governments.
I think this ties into the post on “Key factors for a successful and sustainable network” and has given me food for thought to add - there I mentioned “skills” as the important thing, because the people with the right skills will know about all of this - but I have been working on trying to distill the important points about the details of the skills needed - for example, detail about cost of maintenance, and how long things take in different environments… hopefully we can draft good interview questions and things that can be checked, such as: How long does it take do to something in a rural area, as compared to an urban area? How much of the budget would be needed for maintenance, depending on the technology or configuration. And - can you write some notes on failures you’ve observed, and ways that you countered them, or how they could’ve been better countered in the first place.
This video is part of the introduction of a free EdX course: https://www.edx.org/course/community-engagement-collaborating-for-change-2
Sharing information about failure is hard, because it can be taken as a personal attack on someone, but can we please accept that it’s not - and that we all make mistakes. Let’s use this topic or channel to share about failures - but lets remain sensitive by not sharing where it happened or who was involved - just what happened, and our questions and suggestions for how we think it could’ve been avoided - and let’s discuss it here.
Also, an idea from my experience - that seems to be often neglected: Schedule and make time to write about what went wrong, and why, and how you could avoid it - but first, and importantly, also ask yourself that if you were looking for this, where would you go looking? Make sure you publish this in a way that will be easy to find - and please link it here!