It's okay to fail!


Never before it's been more crucial for companies to get things right. Making mistakes are damaging the good image that has been carefully built for the past years.

With social media ruling the world and the minds of the majority of people, one mistake can cost a company a lot. It doesn't only cost money, to correct the mistake, to repair the imago. The underlying cost of customer losing faith in your company can be catastrophic.

This is why a lot of companies are investing hugely in good marketing & communications professionals. To continue building on a perception, a feeling that the potential customer should have of your company. Whether if it's a 'green', trustworthy or innovative, high tech feeling, that makes no difference. It is all about the imago.

Apart from a few fraudulent members of the board, most modern companies are struggling with completely different issues if it comes to prevent getting bashed in the social media. Much more common mistakes, actually. The most common mistakes are software glitches, security breaches in software, failing software... see a pattern here? Today in the age of everything's digital, software is a key player.

So what do we do? We hire highly skilled, very creative, highly educated and don't forget, highly priced professionals to create near perfect software. And on a completely different note: we place all kinds of restrictions to make their job harder and expect a perfect result anyway. I will probably go in to this phenomena in another blog.

But ...right now... mistakes are made. Companies are damaged. Time to act!

Or is it?

Yes it is, but not in a way you might think. Stricter and more thorough testing? Raising the bar on any deployment, so no changes or new software will 'disturb' the current nice and 'stable' environment? I know that only a few years ago: describing and following processes was the mantra many companies followed. Repeatability and predictability were the magic words uttered by many business consultants.

It can't be a surprise that I am all about Agile. I love Scrum and for me it's indifferent whatever Agile methodology you are following, if you're doing it Agile? I am a fan.

So Agile is the answer to damaged imago's? No software mistakes are being released to the customers? No security breaches are being found?

Yes. Agile is the answer. Not preventing mistakes, though automated testing, early involvement of testing does help, but about fixing mistakes fast!

Your Agile team is not proud of a mistake, they want to fix it asap. And they know how to! Once they identified the issue, they will come up with a good solution and will have that tested and ready to go pretty fast. Releasing another package to the customer with an error fixed is a good thing. But it's only a good thing if the customer still remembers what was wrong to begin with.

Most issues are not destroying the company's imago. Most issues are minor, but if the number increases also many minor issues become a major issue. So speed is of the essence.

Communicating about a fix before the most part of your customers aren't even aware there was an issue, is good marketing. Better marketing is helping your customers that were affected with this mistake and tell them that you fixed their problems.

I think your imago will only benefit from an Agile methodology.

But I'm curious, what do you think?