In Make Yourself Clear, we provide the following description of pre-assessment, borrowed from research on teaching and learning and applied to the context of business :
Asking the right questions up front to understand where customers are in their individual or company journey; using that information to prepare for interactions and transactions with those customers.
Here is a nice section from John Dewey's Experience and Education that is foundational to the practices of pre-assessment:
It is possible of course to abuse the office, and to force the activity of the young into channels which express the teacher's purpose rather than that of the pupils. But the way to avoid this danger is not for the adult to withdraw entirely. The way is, first, for the teacher to be intelligently aware of the capacities, needs, and past experiences of those under instruction, and, secondly, to allow the suggestion made to develop into a plan and project by means of the further suggestions contributed and organized into a whole by the members of the group. The plan, in other words, is a co-operative enterprise, not a dictation. The teacher's suggestion is not a mold for a cast-iron result but is a starting point to be developed into a plan through contributions from the experience of all engaged in the learning process. The development occurs through reciprocal give-and-take, the teacher taking but not being afraid also to give. The essential point is that the purpose grow and take shape through the process of social intelligence.