There, I said it. Sh*t happens. Let’s face it – bad things occur in life, especially with technology. We should not just be concerned about preventing it from happening, but also how to respond when it does happen. Does the organization learn from the experience, or do individuals hide behind excuses or point fingers of blame?
Amazon’s cloud services were down recently because of the crazy weather. If they can have this kind of failure then anyone can. You need to be OK with the fact that bad things are going to happen to you and your organization. The issue really is what you are going to learn from it when it does happen.
When technology problems hit the proverbial fan, what does your IT team do once the immediate crisis is over? Do they proactively communicate with you about the situation, including what they have learned, how they can prevent it from happening in the future, and how this issue could impact other areas? If not, then it’s just one more reason to fire your IT people. A good IT team will use the situation as a prime learning opportunity:
- Was someone on the team being lax and not following protocol?
- Could this have been avoided by regular testing?
- Does this issue potentially impact other systems or another group of users?
- What should be done now to get everything in a better place?
These are the kinds of questions that your IT people should be asking themselves when issues occur – proactively, transparently and without being defensive. If they disappear post a disaster, this cowardice may signal a deeper issue in your organization, and I predict that more problems are just around the corner.
Henry Ford famously said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Yes, sh*t happens, but it’s up to you to use it as a fertilizer to cultivate growth and improvement.