The Value of “Pre-Mortems”

Chris Williams of Williams Construction in Pryor, OK, deserves a special shout out for his introduction of a structured pre-mortem process to his Boot Camp class. Thanks, Chris!

We all try and troubleshoot projects and initiatives for potential problems, and yet we often get slapped in the face with unanticipated challenges and troubles. In this week’s blog, you’ll learn the two main reasons that this happens and a way to stand these barriers on their heads by doing troubleshooting in a very different way – a way that actually produces results.

We’d love to have your thoughts about this and our other blogs. Please share with us in the comments below.

And, don’t forget about our construction leadership program – Contractor Business Boot Camp. A new cohort starts Feb 18, 2021 in Raleigh, NC. Enroll them today so they are prepared for leadership challenges tomorrow. Please contact Charlotte at for more information about the program.

Please come back later for transcript

Please click here to download the transcript.

  1. In essence it sounds similar to creating a risk register. Identify the potential risks, assign relative costs and determine, if possible mitigation plans. The key is to maintain the register throughout the project as risks change during the course of construction, so new risks may surface at any point that were not obvious at the beginning.

    Truthfully the register should be developed during preconstruction and turned over with the estimate to Operations. Operations then continues the process.

    Unfortunately, as you pointed out finding problems well before they happen are not always well received. However it is certainly much better to be proactive, than reactive.

    • Thanks, Andrew. Agree the risks should be identified as early as possible and updated frequently.

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