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Topics: Agile, Strategy
What are your feelings on 'failing fast and failing cheap'?
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I have some experience in R&D projects, and for a while we had this mantra of failing cheap and failing fast. Are you familiar with this concept? What do you think about it? We did it in a waterfall environment, and a "fast fail" would take some three to six months, at least. When you are doing agile project management, does the adaptative nature makes it hard to fail, at least when you consider scope?

Thank you!
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I think it's great. By failing fast we invariably fail cheap. I think Agile reduces the chance of failure, but that really isn't the point. The point is to fail (make mistakes) early so we can either correct them and move on, accept/ignore them and move on, or cancel the project.
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Sante,

I just want to say that i loved the way how you simply described the process. But what you are saying could be interpreted as "all companies and teams should failed first?". I think the point is not fail, but make small mistakes, correct them, and learn from them and continue with the project, what do you think?
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Oct 06, 2018 12:47 AM
Sante Vergini
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Cesar, yes we don't want to fail all the time. The precedent in this question presumes something has already failed, is failing, or is about to fail, and in that regard, we always want to fail fast.
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As Sante points out, the two are interrelated. Agile's iterative nature with its inherent feedback loop allows for teams to adjust/correct course without going too far down the wrong path. Saves $ and time, both from a delivery standpoint, as well as from a business aspect. The goal is an MVP in which can go to market - generating revenue.
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Andrew,

But i think an MVP is a bit different than a full blown project unless I misunderstood. Which yes if the goal is an MVP then i am completely in agreenment with the process.
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great question...good discussion.....@Cesar I liked your first reply. I get fail early and cheap but sometimes find the notion semantical....I mean in the end we have to succeed right?
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Guilherme -

Fail fast is not an excuse for a lack of discipline, vision, or basic planning. Good agile delivery does promote exploring key areas of uncertainty earlier in the life of a project but it also champions the cause of quality architecture and design.

Kiron
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Oct 05, 2018 6:02 AM
Replying to Cesar Fiestas
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Sante,

I just want to say that i loved the way how you simply described the process. But what you are saying could be interpreted as "all companies and teams should failed first?". I think the point is not fail, but make small mistakes, correct them, and learn from them and continue with the project, what do you think?
Cesar, yes we don't want to fail all the time. The precedent in this question presumes something has already failed, is failing, or is about to fail, and in that regard, we always want to fail fast.
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The term and definition of "fail fast and fail cheap" would differ based on the organization structure.
The fate of a startup or product-based organization is determined by its target market and by its target customer. Understanding the market is essential and crucial. This means, for a startup or for a product, creating a failure plan is necessary. Kindly note, there is a difference between failure plan and failover plan.
Here, "fail fast" means, getting feedback from the market and from the customers. There are various ways to get this done. But the feedback you receive will help in releasing a product with a shorter time cycle - read it as "fail cheap."

As a service provider, I cannot take the risk in applying this technique with my Client. It would be a disaster.

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