A post-mortem is a procedure that is usually performed at the end of a business event to analyze and determine event elements with regard to whether they were successful or not. Whether you call it a close-out, a post review report, or a post-mortem, what you do at the end of a business event or process is vital for all your future business endeavors. You could be managing a small, medium sized or large organization – whatever the business size – undertaking a post mortem helps you evaluate your business processes and projects.
Unfortunately, most teams don’t do postmortems as they are taken as a channel to point fingers. If this becomes their objective, then they lose their value. However, well-coordinated post-mortems support a project team in creating a culture of continuous improvement. Driving in a culture of continuing positive impact in project delivery in an organization is one of the best ways to warrant long-term success. You can find out more here.
A successful postmortem doesn’t just happen. It has to be well executed. Some steps you can follow to ensure a successful post mortem include:
- Post-mortems planning – succeeding in almost anything means getting serious with it. To get the value out of a post mortem requires serious planning and implementation with the output of a report.
- Include project details – noting down the important details of a project including capacity, duration, objectives and so on helps with highlighting what worked and what did not.
- Involve the entire project team – to get the right feedback, ensure everyone is involved or all the information is on board. Different people will have different insights about the process and people will learn on methods that work and those that don’t.
- Generate a postmortem report – as a project manager, own the process of lessening project mistakes by recording successes, failures, and coming up with a report or delegating if necessary for future reference.
- Allow any type of feedback – ensure that you listen to all inputs to ensure that the postmortem report is valuable and honest.
- Develop an action plan – ensure that the post mortem report includes recommendations of processes that can work better to fix processes that didn’t work well. Of course, the aim of a postmortem is to learn from both successes and failures and not just to document them.
- Ensure availability – a post-mortem report should not somewhere locked in a cabinet or existing as a software that cannot be accessed. To ensure the lessons are learnt, provide it for everyone so that they can make improvements.
With businesses increasingly becoming digital, it follows that a digital postmortem can help monitor digital operations. You can thus perform a postmortem with a simple click of your mouse. Digital postmortems allow you to mobilize all the digital operations in a business and then assess them. The outcome tells you what to maintain, do away with and what to work on. Constant operations monitoring enables you to ultimately achieve efficiency and productivity.