As unsettling as the name may sound, conducting a post-mortem can be a rewarding exercise for any organization. Just like its namesake, a post-mortem offers a way to dissect a certain project, venture, or activity to its core elements. Why is this important? Whether a project is successful or not, reviewing key phases or steps would enable the team to see what worked or what did not work during the process. This is where the post-mortem comes in.
Holding a Post Mortem
What is involved in a post-mortem exercise? Organizations may have different terms for the post-mortem process. Some corporations may use the term post-incident evaluation or assessment. Others may call it a post-action review. Aside from the variances in the name, different corporations and organizations may also have their own concept of how the post-mortem should be done. But one thing’s for sure. Today’s post-mortem has gone beyond the conference room. It has now moved toward the digital arena. In fact, there are now online platforms that integrate post-mortem evaluations and other operational essentials in one site.
The process often involves a review of different data sets, including qualitative and quantitative information. In many cases, project stakeholders are also invited to participate in a post-mortem, not just the project team. Evaluation indicators often include the set of goals identified by the team prior to the implementation of the project. It also includes a review of team performance ratings as well as end-user or customer satisfaction ratings, if applicable.
Why Do a Post Mortem?
At the heart of the postmortem review is the objective of diminishing potential risks and threats in the next team project. It also involves modelling future activities based on the achievements of a prior highly-successful initiative. Basically, this means that the team can leverage or capitalize on these strengths when moving forward with another project.
When looking at the procedural aspect, it also offers several benefits. First, it gives an opportunity for the team to share their opinion on the project implementation process. As individuals, they can share what challenges they faced while planning or executing certain steps. They can also share how they were able to overcome these barriers.
When members are given the opportunity to share their point of view, it can also boost team confidence and morale. Simply because it shows that the management values their participation in all aspects of the process. At the culmination of an effective review, the ideal result is for the team to take ownership of the project.
Before moving on to the next big venture or project, a post-mortem should be carried out by the team. This type of activity provides the team with an opportunity to scrutinize the aftermath of a successful or not so successful endeavor. By doing so, the team would be able to identify which components produced the desired goals and which ones failed to do so. When the team strategizes during the next project, they could use these lessons to help develop their next project plans.