Lets face it we all have to deal with things that go wrong from time to time, but how do we react when this happens.
Anger and frustration is the easy and wrong response, as is the hunt for the guilty and punishment for all transgressors.
In my experience people never deliberately work to make things go wrong. It is normally as the result of a host of factors and if we are focused on revenge instead of clarity, the organisation pays the price.
During many years of fixing derailed projects I have never yet had a need to remove a project manager, as they are rarely the problem. The last thing you want is to break up a team or break down a team, from the leader downwards.
Many years ago I learned a technique that works every time, but requires for one to understand, in my case, the essential ingredients for project success.
When a review is done to identify the success factors that are present in a project, it quickly becomes clear which ones are missing.
We use this same technique when we do project audits and it enables us to get any size review done in one week.
Once the missing parts of the puzzle are identified one can take action to fix the problem, while working with the team towards a positive resolution.
Post mortems to find the reasons why this happened should follow the fix, not precede it.
When we are serious about preventing future failures, then the post mortem becomes a positive learning experience with only winners.
Now please remember to smile.