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We ran the Icebreaker - What is one thing you learned from a project that went wrong?

Recently we tried the "What is one thing you learned from a project that went wrong?" and what to say... it went really well. 

At the beginning all were still quite hesitating, but after the first two "What went really bad for me in a project / job and that's the thing I learned" speeches, a lot of input came in.
There was a lively exchange of experiences and it was noticeable that the atmosphere was very open, supporting and relaxed. A kind of community feeling arose in the sense of "oh, he / she had problems in a project too and that is a great tip" we are all in the same boat and nobody is perfect.

It works in a group of newly assembled project teams but also with longterm colleagues - everyone has failed in a project before, learned a lot, brings a bunch of experience with him / her and everyone is happy to take away lessons learned.


Hi @nina_schmidt 

Thanks for your ideas!  I like a variation of that method when starting off a project, with people discussing "a really bad day" (to describe what they perceive went wrong on a project), what they learned, and how they applied learnings in the future.  Often multiple topics raised are risks for the new project, and can help people think proactively about risk management and solving issues before they happen.

Best regards,

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Aug 02, 2021

Hi @Bill Sheboy 

yes, some years ago we used to do „what was the reason why we had to cancel and „burry“ our project sessions“ when starting them too. 
so everyone was prepared for the worst case and really was sensing possible risks days ahead. 



Kristen Roth Atlassian Team Aug 02, 2021

What a great icebreaker! Thanks so much for sharing, Nina. I'm keeping this idea in my back pocket 🙂

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