Responding to failure

What to do if you didn't get it right the first time.

Over the years we’ve seen many technology projects fail to deliver a return. In some cases, products don’t actually go on to solve the problems they were originally commissioned for, or are shelved before completion. Other times they reach production only to suffer from a lack of adoption. The best way to respond to this failure is moving forward while leveraging what you have as best as possible.

Responding to failure can be broken down into three different categories. Read more about them below.

Responding to failure

1. If your solution doesn’t fundamentally solve the problem it was intended to

Retrofit and modify

Simplify the problem scope and therefore system scope to create a new target around which to proceed with this thinking.


2. If you’re confident in your solution, but adoption is poor

Late-stage change management

Technology can change processes and roles in a way that will be met with resistance. If you’re too late to soften resistance prior to launch, then you need to get creative with how to roll your systems out.


3. You’ve over-invested in a solution that still isn’t finished

The frustrations of a sunk cost with no return in sight

Blindly pursuing old promises is likely to make things worse. It’s time to pause. Reign in spending and consolidate. Then take a moment to reflect, weigh up options and  make a call on what direction to take.

Moving forward

Finding a way forward is complex, and will be influenced by business pressures, budgets and the size of the ship to turn. If you’d like help, reach out to us to explore:

  • Deciding whether to improvise on a project, or scrap an investment and start over.
  • Drawing a line in the sand, revisit business needs and rapidly establish a way forward.
  • Technology audits to fully quantify the extent of a technology or adoption problem.

Discover more practices that impact technology project success

Sharing Entelect’s experience in industry, these are our own lessons for the major factors which influence project success through the lenses of user adoption, time and budget.