What should be included in a post-mortem meeting after a project is completed?

1. Use an Anonymous Survey

16 Key Trends in Digital Marketing CMOs Should EmbraceAt 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. – Brittany HodakZinePak

2. Dig Deeply Into the Failures

Tim McHughAnalyzing the things you and your team did well is important but you must dig deeply in to the failures — why they happened and how they can be avoided moving forward. This is not time for finger-pointing, but rather a time for improvement and team introspection. Managing the discussion of failures is tricky and must be handled/managed by executives so it doesn’t turn into a witch hunt. – Tim McHugh, Saddleback Educational

3. Ask What Went Right

Andrew ThomasFor 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. – Andrew ThomasSkyBell Technologies, Inc.

4. Don’t Forget a Post-Meeting Report

Emily HoldmanIn a post-mortem, you are bound to discuss a lot — what went right, what went wrong, things to consider in the future, etc. Oftentimes, these things are discussed in the meeting and then forgotten, making the lessons valueless. Assign someone to take notes throughout and then write summaries afterwards. Post to a “Post-Mortem Reference Library,” organized by subject (i.e. Contract Negotiations). –Emily HoldmanPeopleKit

5. Include a Detailed Time Analysis

Phil ChenA 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. – Phil ChenSystems Watch

6. Create a SWOT Report

Joe ApfelbaumMy 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. – Joe ApfelbaumAjax Union

7. Recognize Your Superstars

Seth TalbotTaking 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. – Seth TalbottCEO and Startup Advisor

8. Include Both Facts and Feelings

Matt AmesAll 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. – Matt AmesMN Pro Paintball

9. Measure Your Results

Maren HoganEvery project has a purpose; define that purpose and measure your results. It could be shares, clicks or leads. Whatever it is, my team needs to feel responsible for its successes and learn from the project’s shortcomings. – Maren HoganRed Branch Media

10. Follow Up With Your Team

Jason GrillWhether 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. –Jason GrillJGrill Media | Sock 101