Over 70% of projects fail on one or more of the dimensions of time, budget or intended deliverables. If you are really unlucky you fail on all three. Many projects are a leap of faith grounded insecurely on 'Optimism Bias' - that it will always be better next time. Failure is costly to organisations, individuals and reputations given the scale of scarce time, money and goodwill that has been expended. More often than not more time, money and goodwill is thrown at the project to make it work (the sunk cost fallacy) or to continue to hammer a square peg into a round hole.
At Outhentics we have been taking inspiration and learning from the Agile movement in software development and seeing how we could translate this learning into service redesign and improvement. This has involved some genetic engineering to marry the core principles of Agile with the Model for Improvement. The result is a methodology and evolving toolkit that supports rapid cycles of small scale testing and evaluation that allow teams, organisations and systems to rapidly mobilise and make progress on major change projects. Using Porter's 'Fail Fast, Fail Forward' approach teams recognise that small scale failures are learning opportunities rather than costly calamities. If 70% of your test cycles need to be adapted or discarded then 30% are successful and build up cumulatively into a more successful project outcome.