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Rushabh's Pre-Mortem Template

Copy and Run your own Pre-Mortems!


This pre-mortem template is largely based off Shreyas Doshi’s work on using pre-mortems.
What’s a pre-mortem? From HBR:
A typical premortem begins after the team has been briefed on the plan.
The leader starts the exercise by informing everyone that the project
has failed spectacularly.


We failed. What happened?
The goal of this exercise is to look back from the future, and understand why we failed. The exercise can appear to be negative (after all, we’re not going to fail, are we?) but it is a great way to understand your key risks and prepare the team to meet these challenges.

Tigers, Paper Tigers, and Elephants

The terminology used here is from Shreyas’s excellent article on the subject:
Tiger 🐯
A threat that will hurt us if we don’t do something about it
paper tiger.png
Paper Tiger 🗞️
Elephant 🐘
The thing that you’re concerned no one is talking about.



Head over to section.
Fill in the participants
Create individual sections for each participant using .

Homework or first 15 minutes

Context sharing.
Go to your individual section in the doc.
Think of at least 2 Tigers, and any Paper Tigers or Elephants.
Enter these in.

Quiet time

Moderator will open up the voting table.
Read all the entries.
People can +1 them, with up to 5 votes allowed.


Around the room sharing of reflections and what resonated the most.

Top themes and Next steps

Assign owners to emergent top themes.
[offline] Create action plan.

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