• Question: What project has been your greatest failure?

    Asked by morebrainlesssurgery to Huw, Gosha, Ray, Stacey, Steve on 17 Mar 2015. This question was also asked by Abbie.
    • Photo: Steve Cox

      Steve Cox answered on 17 Mar 2015:

      I don’t think I’ve ever done a project that would be called a total failure. There were a few new car projects that we started which were cancelled but very often it was for reasons other than engineering, i.e. we didn’t think we could sell enough, or the cost to do the project was greater than the reward for doing it.

      Generally as an engineer you have a mindset that nothing’s going to beat you. You always tend to be frustrated if there’s something happening that you don’t understand so you keep trying until you solve the problem.

    • Photo: Huw Williams

      Huw Williams answered on 17 Mar 2015:

      I don’t think any project I’ve ever been involved in has been a true failure, yes we’ve had some tough times and as Steve says some products never make it to the market. However we always make sure that we capture the lessons of any failure to ensure that we never repeat them in the future, this helps us to continually improve the things we do.


    • Photo: Stacey Cutten

      Stacey Cutten answered on 18 Mar 2015:

      It’s so awkward answering some of these questions because I’m only on my first site! At the moment, because I’m training, the projects are not directly in my responsibility and therefore I will not see them as a failure. I will see them as a learning tool to be wary of making the same mistakes myself in the future! 😀

    • Photo: Gosha Barzowska

      Gosha Barzowska answered on 18 Mar 2015:

      I didn’t have nay major failures in my career, and I hope it will never happen. It is important to realise if the project is not following its initial specification and to action this by changing the approach. If you plan and monitor your project progress – it will never fail! 🙂

    • Photo: Ray Butchart

      Ray Butchart answered on 22 Mar 2015:

      I believe the first training courses for Ansaldo on the Manchester South Capacity Improvement Program. The time scale was ill conceived and my recommendations for the timings of development were ignored. As I had been brought in 6 months before the end of the 5 yr project, I had very little to work with. I had to go to Italy three times and try and develop training material in English from their Italian manuals. It took three months of very hard work to get our reputation back. But I succeeded and gained much support and approval from Ansaldo and several UK companies. They have even adopted my technical manuals that I wrote for the courses.