Successful vs failed project

Brainstorming activity on the contrast between successful projects and troubled/failed ones, aimed at developing a common understanding among participants


Participants brainstorm and gather a collection of traits of both successful and failed projects. They build this way a shared understanding on the matter, since the definitions of success/failure can vary a lot from one person to another. This activity also energizes the group, since everyone has at least one thing to mention within the group.



  • Introduce the activity to the participants and split into teams; encourage the teams to nominate a team coordinator that will help the team put the ideas together and then to present the findings to the other teams.
  • Join each team and provide the activity link


  • Participants brainstorm, discuss and write down on sticky notes the traits they find relevant and explanatory to what a successful, then failed project, looks like in their organization.
  • They can perform a silent brainstorming session and then debate the traits written down on sticky notes, or the other way round.

Debrief (suggested)

  • The team coordinator from each team will present the outcome to the other teams using success/failure traits contrast.
  • The facilitator may ask the following questions:
    • Are there any common points between the lists? What does it mean to you?
    • When defining these traits, did you have specific examples of projects in mind?
    • Were there different opinions within the team? How did you accommodate them?



Additional info

This activity follows activity type guide from CARTA

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