Backcasting & premortem analysis:
What made it a success?
What made it a failure?

Got a project coming up?

Imagine you’ve completed the project and it turned out to be a huge success.

Then ask:

1. What were the things that made this a success?

Standing at the end and looking back is much more effective than looking forward from the beginning.

To increase your chances of success even further, invert the question.

Let’s say your project turned into a huge failure. Then ask:

2. What were the things that made this a failure?

Sometimes knowing what to avoid is more important than knowing exactly what to do.

In her book, Thinking in Bets, Annie Duke calls these 2 questions a backcast and a premortem.

If you want to go deeper into why these questions work, make sure to pick up her book.