What's The Opposite of "Not Sucking"?
Just when I thought I'd heard Barbara Walters ask every interview question imaginable, she proved me wrong. A few months after husband Kurt Cobain's 1994 suicide, Courtney Love was interviewed by Walters. While the interview was very telling (drugs, sex, etc. ... all of the charming traits you'd expect from Ms. Love), Barbara FINALLY got around to asking her about her musical abilities. "We don't suck," was Courtney's eloquent response, which prompted the follow-up question... "What's the opposite of 'not sucking'?"
Courtney Love and Barbara Walters aside, what about you and your accomplishments? In project management and business analysis alike, we talk about success criteria; in other words, what does a successful solution look like, act like, feel like, function like? But the opposite of "not sucking" is... well... sucking. It's failure. Do we take the time to define what failure looks like so we can avoid it?
Think about your current accomplishments. What are you trying to avoid? What are you attempting to miss? What would make you slap your head in disbelief? How could you drop the ball? What will derail you? Who wants to see you fail? The polite term for this thinking is "risk management" or "test planning." We try to achieve success, but do we know what failure looks like so we can avoid it? To do so, to ask these tough questions can really keep you out of the a deep ... um... Hole.