the best time to solve a problem is before you have one.

it’s actually pretty rare to have a catastrophic failure pop up without any kind of forewarning. in actuality, most problems that do us in ramp up over a period of time, usually slowly enough we hardly recognize it’s happening. like boiling a frog.

this is why it’s so important to know why and how things will fail in order to be better prepared when the situation arises. pre-mortems provide a method of obtaining the information that could end up preventing the problem from ever occurring. start with the failure condition and work your way back to the start, uncovering points of concern or warning along the way. set ‘trip wires’ (e.g. “if sales drop below…“) on those warnings and create plans and processes to mitigate the risk and take corrective action at each of the key points.

it sounds like a lot of work for a situation you may never encounter, but the best crisis management plan is always one you never have to use.