Project Assessment / After Action Models

After you have hit a project milestone or added a new customer it can be useful to do a “after action” (also called post mortem or post project assessment). Here are a couple of quick formats for a short meeting with the team, some are more appropriate for larger group settings.

Start / Stop / Continue also known as “Good, Bad, Ugly”

  • Good/Continue: What went well, what was successful that we should build on.
  • Bad/Stop: What do we need to phase out, what is no longer useful as a practice or an approach.
  • Start/Ugly: what do we need to fix or change.

Military “After Action” Model

  • What was the plan? What was supposed to happen?
  • What actually happened?
  • Why were there differences? What was the root cause?
  • What positive differences can we exploit.
  • What shortcomings do we need to address. What is the corrective action that will be put in place.

Singapore Military 2-5-1 model (hat tip to Robert Swanwick for “2-5-1 Storytelling” who credits Lt Col Karuna Ramanathan)

  • Introduction: 2 items
    1. Who you are
    2. Summary of your experience
  • 5 fingers
    1. Little finger – what parts of the effort did not get enough attention
    2. Ring finger – What relationships were formed, what you learned about relationship building
    3. Middle finger – what you disliked, what/who made you frustrated
    4. Pointer finger – what you would do better next time around, what you want to tell those who were “in charge” about what they could do better
    5. Thumb (up) – what went well.  What was good.
  • 1 – the most important takeaway from the effort

1 thought on “Project Assessment / After Action Models”

  1. Thx for the link to 2-5-1 Storytelling. Your readers might also like Buzz Collaboration for way to combine lecture and discussion:

    It\’s a small world. I saw that you have a post on Hacker Dojo. I was out west a month or so ago. In fact, San Jose was where I experienced 2-5-1 storytelling. I was staying with a friend of mine and he is one of the staff at Hacker Dojo so he toured me around it. Very interesting idea/place.

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