Originally Posted by Soup, 8/20/2019

When someone dies, medical examiners often do a “post- mortem” examination to determine the cause of death.  Experts will examine the body to try to determine what went wrong.

When something goes wrong in your grow, you should do a post mortem too!  Think about what led to the problem, and what you could have done to avoid it.

But what if we could anticipate those problems BEFORE they negatively impact your garden?  What if we could look ahead into the future and predict those problems before they even start?  Well to some extent, you can!

A “Pre-Mortem” is a mental exercise to help you anticipate problems before they start.  By thinking about what COULD go wrong, you can get ahead of your future problems and take action to prevent them.

Let’s try it together:

  • Relax! Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and open your mind.
  • Imagine it’s a few months in the future and everything in your grow has gone HORRIBLY WRONG! 
  • Imagine your grow was a TOTAL FAILURE!  Everything that could have possibly gone wrong has happened!  ALL the bad stuff that could have happened, did happen.  Your garden is a complete disaster!
  • Now think about what went wrong.  How did things get so bad in your imaginary garden?  Make a list!
  • Pest issues, environment issues, security problems, watering issues, neglect… write it all down!  Anything you can imagine going wrong, write it down! 

Now take another deep breath, and bring yourself back to the present.

Take a look at your list, and ask yourself, “What can I do to prevent these problems from actually happening?”

Doing a pre-mortem makes you more aware of your potential risks, and can help you make better decisions in your grow.

Identifying potential issues before they occur allows you to be more proactive.  Problems are much easier to deal with if you can see them coming.

Doing a Pre-Mortem can also help you recognize and accept your own limits and the limits faced by your grow.  Understanding these limits can help you make better decisions when planning and running your garden.

You can do a Pre-Mortem for any kind of project you might be working on, not just gardening stuff!  Looking ahead for potential issues can help you to better anticipate problems in your everyday life too!

I first heard about the Pre-Mortem from author Gary Klein on the Freakonomics Podcast.  It’s a great podcast and a great episode, I highly recommend giving it a listen!  You can find it here.  

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