Reframing Risk - Using the "Premortem" with your strategic planning committee

Consider A Strategic Planning Premortem — Patrick McKenna

Patrick McKenna with his take on the strategic planning premortem:

As everyone knows it is common practice to conduct a “postmortem” or lessons learned session upon completion of any major undertaking. If your endeavor achieved its goal, the questions typically focus on what went right, what we did well, and how we might sustain our success. If your initiative fell short or failed to meet expectations, your postmortem efforts tend to focus on what went wrong and how we got off track.

That said, this may be a time to think about conducting a ‘premortem.’ A Premortem is a process to aid in identifying the potential roadblocks, before they have a chance of derailing your implementation efforts.

The piece is interesting -- the concept is essentially a repacked version of risk mitigation, but McKenna walks through the process of engaging a strategic planning committee (even the more experienced senior teams!) to think more deeply about the issues that crop up in risk sessions. It's a refreshing take on a concept too often poorly scoped in major change initiatives.