The premise of the premortem is this: Right before you begin a project, have a meeting with your team and pretend it’s near the end of that project. It’s is a complete disaster. An epic failure. Embarrassing. The Worst Project Ever. Ask everyone to write down some potential reasons why.
Read them aloud, one by one. Make plans to burn down those risks.
But this is more than Risk Analysis. It’s a chance for everyone to be heard, and for discovery that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. It moves up the things no one wants to say from the end, where it’s too late, and there’s a lot of friction.
Check out Daniel Kahneman’s talk.