Gene Kranz is quoted as saying “Failure is not an option” during the Apollo 13 disaster. But let’s face reality, there was a huge failure: Apollo 13’s Service module was seriously damaged and if things stayed the same people were going to die. In his book “Failure: Why Science is So Successful” Stuart Firestein dispels the idealized myth of science and makes the case that Failure is a key element in the advancement of Science. I will present a 2 by 2 chart with Learning (low to high) and Blast Radius (low to high) as a way to think about how to design/think about experiments and projects.
Will then provide some practical heuristics for helping people limit blast radius and increase learning, such as running Pre-Mortems, Failure Weeks, Building Software Black Boxes (ala plane Black Boxes) and Mentioning some of the design patterns from “Release It!” by Michael T. Nygard.
Will touch on how to better react to failure personally and help others learn from failure.