Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Beyond Blame: Learning From Failure and Success” as Want to Read:
Beyond Blame: Learning From Failure and Success
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Beyond Blame: Learning From Failure and Success

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Failure is inevitable. Our increasingly complex world demands that we continuously learn from failures (and successes) in order to survive and thrive. And yet, our learning is too often undermined. We construct biased but comfortable stories, which often feature a simple, single "root cause"--a villain, someone to take the blame. Having done that, we short-circuit the ...more
Paperback, 75 pages
Published October 25th 2015 by O'Reilly Media
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Beyond Blame, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Beyond Blame

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  116 ratings  ·  16 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Beyond Blame: Learning From Failure and Success
Leena S N
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Small but lovely book talking about why root causes fail by stopping at blames and how organisations stop learning from such failures.

It was interesting to see the reference to Cynefin model, for complexity and learning models.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: work
It is really a very good read, with some very useful insights. The way it is written is enabled me very fast to identify myself with the story, this will happen for everyone who worked in NW engineering and was hit by bug - yes Cisco I am looking at you.
It also encourages you to dive a little bit deeper into the topic of cognitive biases and how they affect us. Really recommended small book.
Sandro Manke
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finally came around to read this one and I think its a great intro to that topic even with further reading attached. Very much worth reading if that topic is of interest :)
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love the book , As a computer engineer , I can definitely relate to the network outage.
We need to look beyond blame and shame and see what we can learn ,
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Short and illustrated through a storyline that takes you through a situation not unlike any in software development today.
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hikayesel anlatımı güzel ve kısa bir kitap. İş yerlerinde oluşan teknik problemlerde birilerini suçlamak yerine yapıcı yöntemler önermiş.
Jan-Willem Van
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kort verhaal waarom je verder moet kijken dan een persoon bij het inventariseren van problemen.
Yiorgos Adamopoulos
Interesting, fast read, especially if you're in one of the most thankless professions in the world.
Jan-Joost Bouwman
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Never mind the format, this booklet introduces some important concepts and ideas. The blameless postmortem in itself is already important, but it also touches on a couple of interesting other ideas that lay at the basis of the blameless postmortem. Definitely will dollow up on some further reading. And will use the checklist in the end to have a look at our own postmortem process.
Yes, the story is not brilliant. I didn't get at all why the chapter about Linda's son was in there (or even what the
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must-read for root cause analysis ... Which all too often stops at "found a scapegoat"

So you've been in a blame and shame culture, and you know it can be better. Here's a framework that expands on some very useful work published in HBR.

I can't wait to take it for a spin. It is consistent with the best root cause analyses I've been invoked in, and the worst.
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Nearly the entire book is in faux-case-study narrative. This book would have been a lot more useful if it had broken narrative to discuss the concepts at play rather than leave it up to a mix of reader deduction and insert-words-into-characters' mouths. There are certainly some great principles here, but needs a LOT more depth.
Jens Rantil
Mar 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: tink-office
Not so many surprises. I got what I expected. A great book for 1) managers that work in a toxic organization environment or 2) general people working in toxic american organizations. I believe we have less of these toxic company cultures in Sweden.
Ivan Dimitrov
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Pretty short, does not go into character building at all. Looks like a conference talk written as a book. At the end there is a short Appendix with a checklist on what/how to do post-mortems, that I've copy/pasted to my internal policy.
Alev Haddadieh
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author has introduced a very useful framework than can be applied to any IT project. I have actually enjoyed the philosophical approach to the story telling.
Mike Fiedler
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Short and sweet narrative that explores a scenario from multiple angles. Introduces some new terminology to handle communication about technical situations that have previously been confusing.
Travis Volker
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Meh
A fair concept regarding blame free debriefs and no consequence as long as you give a full honest account of everything that occurred. I didn't care for the story telling. It's clunky.
Miguel Pereira
rated it it was amazing
Oct 01, 2016
Israel J.
rated it it was amazing
Jan 31, 2020
rated it liked it
Jul 12, 2017
Sahika Korkmaz
rated it it was amazing
Aug 20, 2019
rated it liked it
Aug 29, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Apr 22, 2019
rated it liked it
Apr 13, 2016
Eduardo Piairo
rated it liked it
Mar 02, 2017
Chip Thomas
rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2016
Amit Singh
rated it it was amazing
Jan 04, 2017
Jerry Raynor
rated it really liked it
Oct 24, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Oct 03, 2019
Zsolt Balogh
rated it really liked it
Apr 29, 2017
Dan George
rated it liked it
Jan 19, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Thinking in Systems: A Primer
  • It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work
  • Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems
  • Accelerate: Building and Scaling High-Performing Technology Organizations
  • Project to Product: How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework
  • Consider the Lobster and Other Essays
  • The Iron Heel
  • Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon
  • Measure What Matters
  • Making Work Visible: Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & flow
  • The Unicorn Project
  • The Effigy Engine: A Tale of the Red Hats
  • Humble Leadership: The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust
  • Workplace Fatalities: Failure to Predict: A New Safety Discussion on Fatality and Serious Event Reduction
  • The Headspace Guide to Meditation & Mindfulness
  • Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West
  • In the Stacks
  • First Time Coders: A Definitive Guide to Coding for Children
See similar books…

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »
Dave Zwieback has been working with complex, mission-critical I.T. services and teams for two decades. His career spans small high-tech startups, non-profits, and behemoth engineering, financial services, and pharmaceutical firms. To learn more about Dave, the Awesome Postmortems workshop, and other services offered by his firm, Mindweather LLC, please visit or follow @mindweather.