How often have you performed a "postmortem" on a project or strategy that has failed?  Ever tried a "premortem?"  Me either.  Sounds like a good idea though!  Here’s how it could work:

  1. Leader briefs the team on the project then announces that the project "has failed spectacularly."
  2. The team spends a few minutes writing down reasons for the project’s failure.
  3. Team members take turn reading one reason each until all the reasons are recorded.
  4. Project manager looks for ways to strengthen the plan.

Think that might help?  The idea come from Performing a Project Postmortem, an article by Gary Klein mentioned in When Growth Stalls (the article source for some work on assumptions by North Point and Andy Stanley).

Take Advantage of a Project Premortem