Project Management

Cockburn´s Failure Modes

last edited by: Conor Allen on Aug 1, 2020 10:19 PM login/register to edit this page
Keywords: PMI-ACP


Alistair Cockburn describes “failure modes and alternatives,” that are related to the human aspect of performance. There are five failure modes:

  1. We make mistakes
  2. Prefer to fail conservative (control and command)
  3. Prefer inventing than researching
  4. Creatures of habit
  5. Inconsistent
To counter “failure modes” Cockburn advises that teams should inculcate discipline, receive feedback regularly, and assign work based on personalities of individual team members.


last edited by: Conor Allen on Aug 1, 2020 10:19 PM login/register to edit this page


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