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.
- Introduction: 2 items
- Who you are
- Summary of your experience
- 5 fingers
- Little finger – what parts of the effort did not get enough attention
- Ring finger – What relationships were formed, what you learned about relationship building
- Middle finger – what you disliked, what/who made you frustrated
- 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
- Thumb (up) – what went well. What was good.
- 1 – the most important takeaway from the effort