A managerial strategy in which a project team imagines that a project or organization has failed, and then works backward to determine what potentially could lead to the failure of the project or organization. – Wikipedia
Doing a pre-mortem for your tests helps you further de-risk your testing program. The goal is to identify important problems and resolve them before they even exist. A method of preventative troubleshooting that should be part of your test QA process. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
To perform a pre-mortem, imagine all of the possible outcomes of your test and any consequences from running it. Then, working from those assumed results, perform a thought exercise to reason out what the possible causes would have been. Are any of those results or causes problematic? Is there something that can be done to mitigate or avoid them? What’s the impact of (not) performing those mitigations? It may help to have a templated set of hypothetical results as a starting point, such as the four possible test outcomes: Win (variation is best), Save (baseline is best), Neutral (null/inconclusive change), and Failure (the test is broken). Then, work both forwards and backward from there. What happens if…? What caused this to…?« Back to Glossary Index