What Is a Post-Mortem Meeting?

Post-Mortem Meeting

Post-Mortem Meeting is a discussion held after a project is completed to analyze what went well and what could be improved.

A post-mortem meeting is a critical review or discussion held after the completion of a project to evaluate what went well and what could be improved. Unlike what the name might suggest, this meeting isn't really about what 'died'; rather, it's a constructive conversation to understand the successes and challenges of a project. This type of meeting is vital for teams seeking to continually improve their processes and results.

During a post-mortem meeting, participants discuss the project's outcomes, processes, and management from start to finish. It's an opportunity to celebrate successes and, more importantly, to uncover inefficiencies and obstacles that affected the project. By involving the entire team, including stakeholders and sometimes even customers, the meeting helps ensure that every perspective is considered. This collective reflection enables a company or team to learn from their experiences and apply these lessons to future projects.

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Post-Mortem Meeting

When do you need a post-mortem meeting?


You need a post-mortem meeting after the completion of a project, particularly for projects that are complex, involve multiple teams or have significant impact. It's also beneficial to hold these meetings regularly after recurring events or major milestones.

How do you prepare for a post-mortem meeting?


Preparation for a post-mortem meeting involves gathering all relevant project documentation, such as reports, deliverables, and correspondence. You should also prepare an agenda that includes a timeline of the project, key milestones, and a list of topics for discussion. Inviting the right participants, including team members, stakeholders, and sometimes customers, is crucial.

How do you run a post-mortem meeting?


Running a post-mortem meeting effectively requires a structured approach. Begin with a clear agenda, setting expectations for a balanced discussion that welcomes both positive feedback and constructive criticism. It's important to facilitate an open and respectful dialogue, where every participant feels comfortable sharing their thoughts.

What are the steps to a successful post-mortem meeting?


Steps to a successful post-mortem meeting include:

  1. Setting a clear agenda.
  2. Ensuring all relevant data and documentation are reviewed.
  3. Engaging all participants in the discussion.
  4. Summarizing the outcomes.
  5. Creating an action plan to implement improvements.