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Pre-mortems: How a Stripe Product Manager predicts & prevents problems before launch
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Pre-mortem meeting

Use this template to run your next pre-mortem meeting with your team.

1️⃣ Context & Prompt (10 min)

Think of at least 2 Tigers and any Paper Tigers/Elephants.

Click when done thinking:


2️⃣ Quiet time #1 (10 min)

Add your Tigers, Paper Tigers, and Elephants below. You will only be able to see your ideas at this stage.


Add issue
Issue
Type
No results from filter

I’ve added my issues:


3️⃣ Quiet time #2 (10 min)

Review others’ issues and +1 the ones you think are most important. You get
five
+1s
to allocate across issues.

Show everyone’s issues
Sort everyone’s issues
Issue
Type
+1
1
Worried we haven’t tested all the edge cases on mobile app
Paper Tiger 📃
AC
2
Might be some PR backlash on new face recognition software.
Elephant 🐘
AD
BD
LT
3
Photo tagging might involve more manual work for quality team.
Tiger 🐯
MM
4
Operations team will have to completely change their processes with tagging launch.
Tiger 🐯
LT
FM
AD
+2
5
Consumers might not be used to new form factor of computer.
Elephant 🐘
MM
BD
6
Floppy disks are too easy to bend and people might complain about them.
Paper Tiger 📃
AD
FM
There are no rows in this table


Done reviewing:


4️⃣ Around-the-room sharing (20 min)

Everyone shares reflections and what resonated the most.

Type
Author
Issue
Notes/Reflections
Paper Tiger 📃
AC
Worried we haven’t tested all the edge cases on mobile app
AC
Floppy disks are too easy to bend and people might complain about them.
Elephant 🐘
AD
Might be some PR backlash on new face recognition software.
MM
Consumers might not be used to new form factor of computer.
Tiger 🐯
MM
Photo tagging might involve more manual work for quality team.
AD
Operations team will have to completely change their processes with tagging launch.



5️⃣ Tentative top themes & next steps (10 min)

For meeting leaders: Preview the next step of the pre-mortem process (i.e.
table below). Set the expectation that you will send out a table with the top themes that emerged, the associated Tigers & Elephants, Proposed Mitigating Actions, and proposed Directly Responsible Individual (DRI) for each theme.

Add theme

Theme
Related Tiger/Elephant Issues
Theme DRI
Proposed Mitigating Actions
1
Unexpected privacy issues
2
Requires operations overhaul
3
No product/market fit
There are no rows in this table



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