The Fail Better Method has three main steps: Launch, Iterate and Embed.
Explore each one detail below.
Explore how to lay the groundwork for a new project in a way that sets the stage for learning. To reach success sooner, we will show you how to link your actions to results, marshal your resources, and build a successful team.Go to Launch Checklists
Uncover how small steps can yield big results when you design your work carefully, building in room for experimentation while meeting project goals. We show you how to plan your actions, capture useful data, and determine what works.Go to Iterate Checklists
Instead of losing hard-earned wisdom as you rush on to the next project, capture and share your findings. Make the most of your work by examining project outcomes, enhancing your methods, and sharing your discoveries.Go to Embed Checklists
Launch your innovation project with the right groundwork
Explore how to lay the groundwork for a new project in a way that sets the stage for learning. To reach success sooner, we will show you how to link your actions to results, marshal your resources, and build a successful team.
Link Actions to Outcomes
This checklist will help you develop an understanding of what your project is trying to achieve and how the methods you will undertake and the deliverables you will produce lead to those achievements. Begin with the underlying problem your project is designed to solve.
Marshal Your Resources
Knowing what resources are needed and what is available to carry out your project is critical to success. Here are checklist items to help you identify your constraints, inventory your inputs, and address gaps.
Build Your Team
Your project team needs to begin with a shared vision, clearly delineated processes, and the right skills to reach your project’s goals. Use our checklist to work through team start-up activities.
Build and refine your work through iterative action
Uncover how small steps can yield big results when you design your work carefully, building in room for experimentation while meeting project goals. We show you how to plan your actions, capture useful data, and determine what works.
Plan the Action
Your team is kicking into high gear to get the critical work of the project done. This at-a-glance checklist can help you prioritize and test the team’s activities.
Now that you’ve prioritized activities, designed tests, and documented your predictions, it’s time to implement. Use the following checklist to guide your action.
Make a Decision
You’ve done the hard work. Having carefully prioritized activities, designed tests, and implemented while managing your overall workflow, it’s time for your payoff. Based on the information you’ve gathered, what will you do next? Make a decision.
Identify and embed the learning
Instead of losing hard-earned wisdom as you rush on to the next project, capture and share your findings. Make the most of your work by examining project outcomes, enhancing your methods, and sharing your discoveries.
Evaluate Your Results
Your project offers second-order benefits beyond the deliverables you’ve produced. To identify what you learned along the way, begin with what you delivered: the product, report, presentation, analysis, and/ or service your project provided, along with notes, materials, project plans, and drafts.
Enhance Your Practices
Taking into account the quality of your project’s four performance dimensions, this checklist will help you identify the practices that contributed to your outcomes. Your goal is to figure out what to change, what to add, and what to retain.
Share Your Discoveries
Identify project discoveries to share that will benefit your career, your team, your organization, and a wider audience.
“Failures, whether at the office or in our personal lives, evoke fear of rejection. No wonder we often conceal or ignore them, even though we shouldn’t. That’s why Fail Better is so useful. It’s a practical guide that will help you and your company manage failures while turning them into opportunities that could eventually lead to much greater successes.”Anuj Pasrija
Head of Group Social Business, Novartis
Frequently Asked Questions
The idea that failure is a necessary part of innovation prompts people to ask us lots of questions.
- Why fail better?
- But shouldn't we be trying to avoid any and all failure?
- How to find value in failing?
- Don't we already know about learning from experience?
- Is Fail Better just a collection of tools and techniques?
- Where to people go wrong when trying to implement the Fail Better approach?
- Learning and reflection are time-consuming. Why invest in them?
- Do successful people actually invest in learning from their experience?
- How to make the case for running projects this way in an environment where it's important to show predictable progress towards goals?
- What's the benefit of using Fail Better's systematic method?
- Are successful people really talking about their own failures? Why?
- Do these ideas apply beyond work projects?
- What are the limits to failing better?
- Where did the title come from?
Failure will happen. It’s what you do with it that counts. Design Smart Mistakes and Succeed Sooner with Fail Better.
If you aim to innovate, failure is a given. Fail Better shows you how to design mistakes at a scale, scope, and visibility that drives better outcomes and deliverables, improves individual and team capacity, and builds organization-wide learning.Get The Book