Failing Fast: A Lesson In Semantics

Published May 24, 2016 by TechTarget

Two digital officers weigh in on why the term “failing fast” doesn’t work for their organizations. The problem: failing fast may work for Silicon Valley startups, but for organizations such as SAP SE and the city government of Boston, the term doesn’t instill much confidence.

“Running around saying ‘fail fast‘ is a little like having an extra head on my body,” Jonathan Becher, chief digital officer at SAP, said during the recent CDO Summit in New York. “Instead of running 10 big bets a year, let’s figure out how we can run hundreds of little bets a week.” Experimentation is a term rooted in science, which is more palatable to Becher and Lockwood’s respective communities, and yet it gets at the same iteration loop as failing fast — namely test, gather results, measure, repeat.

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