How to host a good project post-mortem meeting

Every project has a beginning and an end. Project management teams often get more excited about the end than the beginning. This is not surprising, as project ends are the time when the invoice is sent, the payment is made, and the project moves on to the next phase.
If you look closely, however, the way the project ends is crucial and valuable in order to gain insight into the performance of the team. It is a chance to see where things went wrong, the goals that were achieved, and how they can improve the next batch of projects.
This crucial activity is part of the post-mortem meeting in project management.
What is a post-mortem?
Debriefing or retrospective is another name for a post-mortem meeting. It can be used by project management teams to gain insights that will help them improve their internal processes, update workflows, and deliver better services to their clients. This is a great time to gather the team and discuss the important aspects of the project.
What are the benefits of a postmortem meeting?
Post-mortem meetings should not be a reason to stop. In fact, it is up to the company or organization to take the initiative and organize such meetings. These meetings have many benefits, including the following.
Increasing efficiency. The team will review every aspect of the project’s life cycle to uncover any problems and provide solutions.
Forward-looking. While mistakes should be acknowledged, this will encourage the team to look ahead, rather than dwell on them. They will learn to look past their mistakes and to learn from them to be better project managers and team members.
Facilitating internal information sharing. As important as working with the whole organization is working as a project manager team. Teams can communicate information internally with the whole company by holding a post-mortem meeting.
It’s time to celebrate success. Post-mortem does not only focus on the negatives. It can also highlight the positive aspects of the project, which can encourage the team and motivate them to work harder on the next projects.
How to prepare for the post-mortem discussion
There are very few things you need to do in order to prepare for a postmortem meeting. The first is to plan the agenda.
Organise the meeting agenda. As with any other evaluative meeting the agenda for a postmortem meeting must be prepared and organized in advance. This will set the direction and ensure that all topics are covered. This is the guide that ensures nothing is left out.
Conduct the meeting immediately after the project’s completion. Postponing the meeting will only lead to forgetting important points and not having one at all. It is best to schedule the post-mortem meeting as soon as the project is over. You should strike while the iron is hot, as the old saying goes.
Maintain a positive mindset. Most people believe that this type meeting is used to highlight mistakes and name the people responsible. This should not be the team’s mindset. Instead, they should be focusing on the work that was done to improve the team’s performance. This should not be a time to blame but learn.
Before the meeting, prepare a questionnaire. This is important to save time and help the team. The questionnaire should include standard questions that aim to uncover the strengths and weaknesses in the project.
Keep the atmosphere lighthearted. It is enough to be aware that this is a postmortem meeting. If the moderator fails to make everyone feel comfortable at the beginning of the meeting, then the desired results won’t be achieved. People who are not scavenger-eyed will be less productive.