Skip to content
Pre-mortems: How a Stripe Product Manager predicts & prevents problems before launch
Share
Explore

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:
checkmark reaction


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
Search
Issue
Type
No results from filter

I’ve added my issues:
checkmark reaction


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


Done reviewing:
checkmark reaction


4️⃣ Around-the-room sharing (20 min)
Everyone shares reflections and what resonated the most.

Search
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

Search
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



👉 Next:

Want to print your doc?
This is not the way.
Try clicking the ⋯ next to your doc name or using a keyboard shortcut (
CtrlP
) instead.