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Topics: Organizational Project Management, Requirements Management
What do you understand by the term 'project premortem'?
I would like to know whether the concept like project premortem is still relevant in project management?
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The only pre-mortem I've done is retrospectives in an iteration. I have done a lot of post-mortem. They are also called lessons learned or post-implementation review.
I have been involved several project premortems. We have done this especially when the work is new and unknown.
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1 reply by Rahul Patekar
Jan 27, 2020 5:13 AM
Rahul Patekar
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Can you share an example of the same?
Yes, it's still a relevant planning / risk identification technique.
Rahul -

When we are identifying risks we are essentially doing a pre-mortem so anytime risks need to be articulated as part of the chartering of a project that would be an informal example of this.

When dealing with highly complex or highly dangerous (from a human safety perspective) projects, it is more common for a structured premortem to happen. FMEA or similar methods could be used in conjunction with having a diverse group of SMEs with good imaginations!

Kiron
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2 replies by Rahul Patekar and Rami Kaibni
Jan 24, 2020 12:32 PM
Rami Kaibni
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Spot on, Kiron, totally agree with you.
Jan 27, 2020 6:47 AM
Rahul Patekar
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Thanks, this helps a lot.
Sounds like you guys are doing ante-vitae (before life) rather than pre-mortem (before death).
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1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Jan 24, 2020 10:03 AM
Kiron Bondale
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You are correct - that would be a better (and likely more positive) name for the activity...
Haven't heard of it, but it sounds like a risk management exercise.
Jan 24, 2020 9:26 AM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
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Sounds like you guys are doing ante-vitae (before life) rather than pre-mortem (before death).
You are correct - that would be a better (and likely more positive) name for the activity...
Although I’ve never called it a “Premortem,” the concept is realized for me in the context of a “strategy workshop,” which occurs after receiving a mandate and before the charter. This workshop questions all aspects of the proposed project and includes experts and representation from groups such as A) Proposed Sponsorship/Stakeholders, B) SME’s, C) PMO Representation, D) Architects, E) Proposed Leads, etc.

This workshop evaluates objectives, value propositions, opportunities, risks, and lessons learned from past projects in a challenge-based environment where productive arguing is encouraged. Its primary purpose is to validate assumptions and create recommendations at a high-level that will feed into the structuring of the project. The proposed project manager would normally facilitate the workshop; however, if that person is not seasoned enough to accomplish the task, then a PMO member would direct. In large or sensitive projects, an outside facilitator may be brought in to conduct or co-conduct the workshop.
Project pre-mortem is one of the method to identify risks. Team sit together and imagine that project has miserably failed and brainstorm the reasons that has caused the failure. This way, they will be able to take corrective action upfront before they actually fail & do post-mortem to record it as project learning's.This terminology comes from Agile practice.
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1 reply by Rahul Patekar
Jan 27, 2020 6:49 AM
Rahul Patekar
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Thanks. What about its relevance?
Dear Rahul
Interesting your question
Thanks for sharing

It is the first time that I read or hear about "project premortem"

From the responses I read from my peers I suppose it is the exploration of scenarios, identification of risks for different scenarios and, of course, preventive and corrective measures to be implemented

I appreciate that you correct me if you think I am wrong and that you provide me with additional information Thank you!
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1 reply by Rahul Patekar
Jan 27, 2020 6:51 AM
Rahul Patekar
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Thanks,

Biren's answer throws more light on it.


"Project pre-mortem is one of the method to identify risks. Team sit together and imagine that project has miserably failed and brainstorm the reasons that has caused the failure. This way, they will be able to take corrective action upfront before they actually fail & do post-mortem to record it as project learning's.This terminology comes from Agile practice."
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