There is a myth around Fail-Fast agile concept that it is license to fail as long as you are learning. Yes, it does seem like a fair trade-off that when your agile teams are failing they are also learning and getting better. However, it should not be taken as an excuse to fail or take the failure itself lightly. We need to consider HOW we are failing. Fail fast cannot be attributed to fact that the team just cannot code or test properly, that’s bad team formation and we need to hit the planning board.
There is always COST attached to a failure if not blame or stigma, stigmatizing failure is a mistake and wouldn’t lead to any innovation. But whenever a sprint goes bad while you were trying something unique or experimental and it failed, it will help you in learning and evolution of a possible solution but make no mistake the sprint has costed the client and no real product increment actual happened. You need to also take the cost perspective in account so, let’s make it Fail-Fast Fail-Cheap.
It would also matter WHEN you are failing, failure as part of initial sprints could be manageable especially when you were anticipating it considering the extent of experimentation you were going for. We need to experiment in controlled environment keeping cost in mind. Having said that there are end-game sprints, for example in the sprint which is going live, there we cannot afford to fail. So, this makes it Fail-Fast Fail-First Fail-Cheap.
In the current market scenario, customer experience is the key. Businesses need to ensure the quality is in synch with what the customer is expecting or even superior to that. Hence, it is crucial to achieve First-Time-Right as the customer forms an opinion on a particular application as soon as he or she opens it. Customer loyalty resulting out of his or her first impression, once lost, is difficult if not impossible to regain. Hence, businesses cannot afford to ship something that is incomplete; they have to get it first-time right.
So that’s a pretty good reason why assuring first-time right is so important for businesses and Fail-Fast Fail-First Fail-Cheap can be utilised to ensure quality and innovation. It would be a big problem if we are not able to capture the failures and leak this to releases. This is also why shift-left is helping to put better quality at the forefront as a part of the everyday activities, as a part of how everybody should look at quality as everybody’s job. That’s the reason why this and other aspects of shift-left are helping the businesses deliver first-time right, every time.
Fail-Fast Fail-First Fail-Cheap using Shift-Left to get First-Time-Right