I say it is not just about performing a root-cause analysis (RCA) while we fail but doing the same while we succeed that differentiates us from the rest! This approach instills confidence in our approach, people, cost, time, and leadership and inspires us to do more!
Successful entrepreneurs perform an RCA after every victory. This, in turn, enables them to be sure-footed, consistent, and certain to produce definite win time and again!
#5 key questions that every entrepreneur must ask to himself or herself at the end of every win:
1. What Steps Led to the Win?
Steps here would include the approach (process) that one undertook to develop an attractive solution or a product, to deliver a successful service, or simply to overcome a challenge. Not to forget the thought process, ie, the planning and ideating, that ensured the win. This question would help one reminisce about the approach, freeze on the steps that ensured the win (for using in future engagements), and refine the steps further, if need be, for lasting results.
2. Who Helped You Achieve it?
Besides appreciating the efforts that have gone into making the win possible, answering this question would also help one recognize the people behind the win. The result of this analysis has shown to infuse confidence, camaraderie, and teamwork, and inspire the team to walk the extra mile when the situation demands.
3. Who Led the Engagement?
Besides recognizing and appreciating the leader, this analysis also provides an opportunity to identify and recount the key success factors of a leader (as an example) for the benefit of other employees. This activity, in the long run, can help produce better leaders from among the rungs of the organization.
4. What Was the Cost Factor?
This question will give the leadership a chance to go through the initial cost projections, the cost incurred, the profit garnered and, thereby, calculate the cost efficiency of the overall engagement. This question would also help identify specific budget undershoots and overshoots and any other efficiencies or inefficiencies in operations.
5. How Long Did it Take?
The answer to this analysis helps one to go through the preliminary project plan and the actual time incurred, and identify areas where the team saved time and how such savings can be prolonged and enhanced in the upcoming engagements. This analysis would thereby help optimize the best timeline for future planning.
I believe that answering these questions will help one find the effective mix, i.e., the best combination of process, people, leadership, cost, and time, to execute any future engagements and eventually help one replicate his or her success repeatedly.