Question: What should be included in a post-mortem meeting after a project is completed?
Use an Anonymous Survey
"At ZinePak, we've found both internal and external feedback on projects to be more candid when it's submitted anonymously. Now, before every project debrief, we collect anonymous survey responses in Google Forms. This feedback helps us shape our regroup meetings to make sure all problems are being addressed so future projects can run more smoothly."
Ask What Went Right
"For as much time as you can spend analyzing the challenges of a project, you should also consider what went right. Take time to understand the good actions and decisions that lead to completing a project and consider how you can implement those same elements in other projects."
Include a Detailed Time Analysis
"A post-mortem should include a detailed analysis of time -- specifically, how long did take to accomplish each project milestone? Whether the milestones were met early or late, a reason should be identified and documented so that the next project can have better time estimates for completion. "
Create a SWOT Report
"My team is big on creating SWOT Reports before and after every big project that we manage. That is a Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats outline. In doing so before a project, we're able to anticipate our hurdles. In doing so afterwards, we're able to evaluate our successes and failures based on our predictions. We also include a big overall takeaway for next time, to summarize the work. "
Recognize Your Superstars
"Taking the time to recognize the people who worked hard on a project is easy to do and has bigger payoffs than you might think. Don't make the mistake of forgetting how important recognition is to most people, even when they say otherwise. "
Include Both Facts and Feelings
"All our post-mortems start out with the cold hard statistics from the project and then we talk about feelings: how we felt things went and why they went that way. This information is very helpful when you review things a year later to see not only the statistical facts of what happened, but what everyone was feeling at the time about the outcomes."
Follow Up With Your Team
"Whether you're finishing up a big event, project or client matter, the best thing to do afterwards is proper follow-up. Whether it's with partners, attendees or staff involved, following up is key. This will allow you to get opinions from others and apply what you did right and wrong to future projects. Make proper follow-up a part of your post-mortem meeting every time. It will help you in the future. "