Post Mortem Part 3: Creative Team Reflection
Once you’ve mapped everything, you will want to have a team post mortem to review events from another perspective rather than just your own.
Your team needs to weigh in on the impact of their performance and how it contributed to the overall success of the projects. You may want to moderate the conversation or be an active participant.
Prior to the team meeting, if you’re unsure what topics to cover, it may make sense to send out a questionnaire to gauge the team’s thoughts and to get them in the mind frame of identifying problems and coming to the meeting with solutions.
To begin the meeting, give a high-level recap of all overall work that was done and the outcomes. Then let each person dive in and explain the work they owned and the outcomes they drove.
The bulk of the meeting should be an open discussion on what worked and what didn’t. Dig into how people are feeling and why the project or aspects of the project ended up the way they did.
It should be an open and honest discussion, but make sure no one is being attacked or that their opinion is being disregarded.
Sample Team Questions
The questions you ask the group should be similar to the ones you asked yourself, examining both qualitative and quantitative information.
Are you proud of our finished deliverables? If yes, what made them great? If no, what was wrong or missing?
Did we get the results we wanted and did it make an impact?
Did we hit our metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)? Why or why not?
Which of our methods or processes worked particularly well?
Which of our methods or processes were difficult or frustrating to use?
How would you do things differently next time to avoid this frustration?
What else could we do better next time?
What was the most gratifying or professionally satisfying part of the project?
Understanding how your team feels is as important as their performance. They’re supporting you and your work, so make sure they’re happy and engaged.
The overall outcome should be that everyone has a chance to reflect, voice their concerns, and share their successes and lessons learned.
You should come away with actionable insights for next time, lessons learned to further improve, and a list of materials and ideas that can be reused, need to be refined, or things you shouldn’t do again.
You’ll have a deeper understanding of your and your team’s capabilities and where you may have had unforeseen strengths or weaknesses.
Approach this seriously. Write down what is shared and make plans to implement it. If your post mortem isn’t impacting your future projects, it’s just a waste of time.
What you want to glean from these discussions is again, to “absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own” to ensure greater success on subsequent projects and continue growing in your career.
Read Part 1
Read Part 2
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