…What could possibly go wrong?
Here’s an idea: conduct a “pre-mortem” to prepare.
The gist of the activity is to consider all that could possibly “go wrong.” Then the conversation switches to a mitigation and action plan. (Maybe the team even does a pre-mortem activity at Lift-Off or at Sprint 0?)
How it works:
- Draw a pre-mortem canvas on a white board – with two topics for discussion:
- What could possibly go wrong?
- How could this possibly end in disaster?
- Participants individually or as a team write down risks and concerns on post-its.
- Group like post-its, identify themes, clarify, add more notes that emerge during this discussion
- Team members then write down on post-it notes (best to use a different color) their ideas on how to mitigate those risks and concerns, focusing on the following topics:
- Prevention – What is in place (or could be put in place) that would attempt to stop the risk from happening?
- Detection – What is in place (or could be put in place) that would let us know if and when the risk happened?
- Response – If the risk happens anyway, what measures do we have in place (or could be put in place) to lessen the impact?
- Discuss the mitigators as a group and make a plan of action (I like to call these “vaccines”)
Some things to make sure you’ve got covered
- Internal Communication
- External Communication
- Roll Up
- Roll Back
- Follow Up / Feedback Loop