Tip Sheet and Guidelines on Conducting a Premortem to Avoid Project Failure

Tip Sheet and Guidelines on Conducting a Premortem to Avoid Project Failure


This tip sheet and guidelines document helps you avoid project failure by identifying and solving problems in any project before they occur, by guiding you through a project premortem exercise, relying on behavioral science research on hindsight and prospective hindsight. Unlike a postmortem, where you analyze after the fact why a project failed, a project premortem helps you analyze in advance all the reasons for why a project might fail and address these reasons. It should be used at the start of any significant project. The premortem exercise is best done in teams, and should involve all relevant stakeholders, or representatives of all relevant stakeholders. You can also do the premortem by yourself for an individual decision, but consider showing it to others to get their external perspective on whether you actually addressed all the salient issues.
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