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A pre-mortem — also known as a premortem — is a managerial strategy in which a manager imagines that a project or organization has failed, and then works backward to determine what potentially could lead to the failure of the project or organization.[1][2] The technique breaks possible groupthinking by facilitating a positive discussion on threats, increasing the likelihood the main threats are identified. Management can then analyze the magnitude and likelihood of each threat, and take preventative actions to protect the project or organization from suffering an untimely "death".


  • The pre-mortem analysis seeks to identify threats/weaknesses via the hypothetical presumption of near-future failure. But if that presumption is incorrect, then the analysis may be identifying threats/weaknesses that are not in fact real.


  1. ^ Klein, G. (2007). "Performing a Project Premortem". Harvard Business Review. 85 (9): 18–19. 
  2. ^ Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, Fast and Slow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0374275631.