So that project is finally over.
All the late hours and cups of coffee have led to the end of this project you and your team have poured energy into. All that's left is a dreary post-mortem meeting.
Whether your project has been a success or a failure, no one likes going over and raking up what you did - or worse, what you did badly. Post mortem meetings are essential to a company, the growth of your team and even your own personal growth.
But just becasue it's essential, does not mean it has to be painful. Here's how you can make sure the post-mortem meetings are effective, productive and actually take place.
1. Schedule it way in advance
Don't wait for the project to come to an end before scheduling the meting. Instead, schedule it when the proejct begins and invite everyone to it.
2. Send a pre-meeting survey
Instead of getting everyone's perspective during the post-mortem, try sending a pre-meeting survey first. The survey could ask questions like: How would you rate the team's communication during this project? How would you rate your own performance during this project? Are you satisfied with the end product of this project?
3. Have a meeting agenda
A potentially tense meeting like a post-mortem could use some structure to help ease the conversation along. Having an agenda sent out beforehand could promt everyone involved to plan their talking points ahead of time and give everyone an idea of what to expect.
4. Assign a moderator
A moderator's job in a panel discussion or in a negotiation is to stay neutral and keep the conversation on track. Having a person tasked with guiding the overall conversation can help to keep the post-mortem meeting productive.
5. Set rules of engagement
Before starting any discussion that has the potential of becoming tense, always lay down the rules of engagement. This will guide the meeting away from conflicts and instead encourage conversations.
6. Use quiz to run through real metrics
How many customers did we get out of this latest marketing campaign? Was it 500, 800 or 2000? Gamifying a dry portion of the meeting will make everyone pay attention and remember what the answers are after the campaign ends.
7. Using and interactive tool
If you're looking to change things up, try using a live engagement tool.
8. Don't forget to highlight the wins at the end
After a long and tense post-mortem, all you might want to do is to get on with the rest of your work. But it is important to end off a post-mortem with good news, as it sets the tone for the whole project.