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By Hari Nallan, CEO, Think Design Collaborative Pvt. Ltd.
I came across the concept of failing early a few years back, when I understood the several facets of Design Thinking. A decade later, today, this is catching up like wildfire across established technology companies and start-ups alike. Let us get an understanding of why and how of it.
Challenges Associated With the Implementation:
There was a time when a product or service was well thought out, designed, developed, brushed up and released to its customers. Over time, the creators would understand that many assumptions that were made earlier didn’t hold good; and it demanded revamp of what was built earlier. The exercise was expensive, time consuming and highly labour intensive. As a result, it took several months to manage change and by that time, it again demanded fresh thinking.
It felt like a cul-de-sac. Come, concept of ‘failing early'
The introduction to ‘Failing early’:
Concept of failing early addresses these specific issues around new product, service or process innovation. The underlying concept is that, when we are creating something out of the box, the outcome could be in any direction that we couldn’t have imagined before. It is hard to accurately predict the outcome; and it’s not fair to expect that the outcome will always be positive. By inculcating the concept of 'failing early' in organisational practice, we could drastically change the way things are conceptualised, built and delivered… failing early gives us a chance to succeed early (as well) and it now seems a no brainer that it is better to fail and succeed sooner than later.
A process of continuous iteration, prototyping, validation and iteration again leads to results that are mature over time; and accepted progressively by its users.
Cautious Steps Needed to be Followed :
Innovators by their very nature are restless and question what they do, constantly. While it is in their very nature to do so, it is important to keep from this habit. It can lead to demoralisation of teams, expensive investments in change management and confusing updates to the users. You may find these tips handy:
Wish you a happy innovation!