The Post Project Review, a stepping stone to improve your performance!
Imagine that you have just delivered a big and complex project that involved many team members, hours of hard work and coordination, issue management and tight deadlines. Now that the project is delivered, it is time to congratulate your team and yourself and to enjoy this new victory in the Project Management battlefield. But do not be fooled by your glass of sparkling wine (or maybe Champagne for some of you), your job is not quite done yet.
“How come?” I hear you say. Well, a big piece of Project Management is about what happens after the project is completed, with what is called a Project Post Mortem or Post Project Review.
What is a Project Post Mortem?
This common practice in the world of a Project Manager is a useful method and also the final step of a project and can be the starting point for future projects. It allows the Project Manager and their team to assess things that worked, things that did not, and to analyze the root causes of issues met along the way to eventually set up new processes to improve the team’s performance.
How I did it!
Let’s take a closer look at what this method is all about.
In my case, I used the Post Mortem to review a six-month partnership with a new customer. This particular client has numerous needs and requires MultipleMedia’s expertise to develop its web performance and to implement new digital marketing tools.
Over the last six months we have developed three different types of projects:
- Strategic projects: managed as standard medium/long-term projects
- Production projects: tasks managed on a daily basis
- Event-based web management
I divided the Project Post Mortem into five (5) steps:
1. Seek your team’s feedback right after the project when brains are still buzzing.
You can start by asking for written feedback, asking each team member the following questions:
- What worked
- What did not work
- What should be improved
- Sources of frustration
- Draft ideas on how to improve weak areas
2. Organise small group meetings
- To be run as problem solving workshops
- Brainstorm and share new ideas for improvement
- Have a co-worker write down all ideas
- Set up additional meetings to further explore some ideas if necessary
3. Time to analyze!
Take the necessary time to analyze gathered information from the written feedback and group meetings. I personally use a mapping technique to help me put the project elements on paper to define how they are interrelated, and what the common sources of issues are.
4. Draft an action plan
If the analysis is carried out properly, a new action plan will devise itself. Group elements in a grid as follow.
5. Compile information in a document and present the report to Management.
No need here for a fancy presentation. Focus on the sources of success and issues; present the solutions and the draft action plan.
This Post Project Review has proven to be extremely useful because it has allowed me to identify the root causes of the issues encountered and to draw a new operations plan to further advance our performance and our services.
In the world of web development, we are bound to work with clients coming from a broad range of fields, some very far from the web reality. It is essential for a company like MultipleMedia to make sure our clients are well informed and understand the process of web development without compromising their needs.
So now that your project is over and that the pressure has dropped, step back, relax and start your Project Post Mortem!