Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

The Project Pre-Mortem: Harnessing prospective hindsight for healthier projects.

tomprior
March 20, 2016

The Project Pre-Mortem: Harnessing prospective hindsight for healthier projects.

tomprior

March 20, 2016
Tweet

More Decks by tomprior

Other Decks in Design

Transcript

  1. The project pre-mortem
    Harnessing prospective hindsight for healthier projects.
    @tomprior
    UX Camp Brighton 2016

    View full-size slide

  2. The post-mortem
    Dissecting successes and failures after the event.

    View full-size slide

  3. A project autopsy
    Everyone benefits except the patient.

    View full-size slide

  4. Bias and blame
    Post-mortems that turn sour.

    View full-size slide

  5. An alternative
    The pre-mortem; a failure-focused thought experiment.

    View full-size slide

  6. “..prospective hindsight - imagining that an
    event has already occurred - increases the
    ability to correctly identify reasons for future
    outcomes by 30 %”
    Gary, Klein - Harvard Business Review, September 2007
    https://hbr.org/2007/09/performing-a-project-premortem/

    View full-size slide

  7. In the future, you failed
    Fire up your time machine.

    View full-size slide

  8. How it works
    Exploring failure at the beginning of a project, not the end.

    View full-size slide

  9. Gather your team
    Set aside time (min 1 hour), space, post-its and pens.
    Everyone involved in the project should attend (even the client).

    View full-size slide

  10. Frame the scenario
    What are you about to embark on that’s going to fail spectacularly?
    A plan or design challenge you’re about to execute.

    View full-size slide

  11. Imagine complete disaster
    Visualise the worst possible outcome.
    Your app bombed. Your design didn’t convert. Your workshop flopped.

    View full-size slide

  12. Generate reasons for failure
    Why did you fail so spectacularly?
    A post-it per reason. The more imaginative the better.

    View full-size slide

  13. Find the themes
    Invite each person to present their reasons for failure.
    Find familiar failures and group them.

    View full-size slide

  14. Prioritise showstoppers
    Debate or dot-vote the must-avoid disasters.
    Discard problems you have no control over.

    View full-size slide

  15. Brainstorm solutions
    Develop plausible ways to mitigate the priority failures.

    View full-size slide

  16. Agree next steps
    Create executable next steps to put your solutions in place.
    Delegate tasks and schedule a follow-up.

    View full-size slide

  17. 1. Imagine complete disaster
    2. Generate reasons for failure
    3. Find the themes
    4. Prioritise the showstoppers
    5. Brainstorm solutions
    6. Agree next steps

    View full-size slide

  18. Ongoing course correction
    Use retrospectives to facilitate continuous improvement.

    View full-size slide

  19. • Improves the odds of success.
    • Encourages teamwork.
    • Practices divergent and convergent thinking.
    • A win for the team, before the project has started.
    • Creates a positive forum for expressing concerns.
    Bonus benefits

    View full-size slide

  20. Thanks
    @tomprior
    UX Camp Brighton 2016

    View full-size slide