How to Run a Successful Project Post-Mortem Meeting for Continuous Improvement?

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Want to run a successful project post mortem? How important are project post-mortem meetings? Noproject is an absolute success or failure. Even when it looks like a project couldn’t have perhaps gone this better or worse; there are always lessons to be learned. Thus, the project post-mortem comes into play.

The project post mortem should not be visualized as an investigation or something. It is more like an inquiry to unravel all the important lessons for the future without giving any chance to inculpate someone. A productive post-mortem is more like an opportunity to completely analyze a project’s locus and dig deeper into why things happened the way they did.

It is an opportunity to ask-

  • What exactly did we achieve?
  • And what could be done to do better next time?

So to help your organization’s team make the most out of your project post-mortem meetings, this webcast has come up with some basic guidelines. Check them out below and make your next post-mortem the most productive one yet.

How to Run a Productive Project Post-Mortem?

  • Ensure Project Post-Mortems are a Standard part of your Team’s Process

Project post-mortem meetings must be a significant part of your company’s process- for both the big and smaller projects. Usually teams run post-mortem meetings for larger projects with fixed start and end dates, but they can be evenly useful for smaller scale or even the current projects.

When you are completing a project’s schedule during the beginning phase, make sure you insert mini post-mortems at crucial milestones. These checks will provide your team a chance to better understand how exactly a project is progressing, and hopefully spot potential issues before they lead to a permanent damage.

  • Put forth a Post Mortem Questionnaire before the Actual Meeting

Make sure the meeting scheduled doesn’t take more than an hour. Since the possibility of everyone speaking up is very low, some smaller but important issues may not get the required highlight as was required. Using a pre-meeting questionnaire means everyone on your team will have an equal chance to share their thoughts, and not a single detail remains far from the radar.

Moreover, the questionnaire also provides an opportunity for people to get themselves organized before the meeting. So are you ready?

  • Choose a moderator to ensure a Seamless Meeting

The primary goal of project post-mortem is to productively evaluate what the project’s team achieved successfully, and what could have been done better. For this discussion to be more useful, someone needs to keep the conversation to the point, civil, and moving forward. And this is where a moderator comes into play. The moderator doesn’t have to be the project manager or a member of your leadership team, rather someone who feels comfortable leading the discussion.

  • Stand for a clear agenda

With so many minute details to unveil within a short span of time, it is easy for project post-mortemmeetings to go astray. So it is important to help keep the discussion in check by making a clear agenda-

  • Begin with a recap of the project’s primary objectives. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes, and should act as a quick refresher on what your team is required to do.
  • One you have discussed over the objectives and goals, spare few minutes to review the final results of the project. This should be a straightforward evaluation of whether or not the project met your team’s performance metrics.
  • Now, it is time to find out why the project came to an end, and how the team members are feeling about it.

Asking the right questions is also very important, like whether the deadlines were met or missed or did the team provide all the deliverables that were mentioned in the project scope? Remember, aproject post mortemthat doesn’t impact future action is a sheer waste of time. Hence it is imperative to ensure that your project post-mortem leads to greater results on subsequent projects.