Mortems: You Should Do Those

25 Mar 2021 08:40 UTC-07:00

Inspired by an app idea I had a couple years ago.

Here is some advice you can use for a Pre/Post Mortems.

Defined Terms:

  • Pre-Mortem: A meeting prior to the start of the project to gather ideas around a project that can identify key goals and potential pitfalls.
  • Post-Mortem: Feedback once the project has been completed from those involved that identify the rights and wrongs of the project to help make better decisions in the future.


Mortems are hard to template

Every project is different and will require some thought. That said you can start with the basics:


  • What OKRs will define the success of this project?
  • What barriers will prevent us from reaching success in this project?
    • Is there anything we can do to reduce the potential of these barriers?
  • Who are the stakeholders and what defines success to them?
  • Will this project impact folks outside of our team? How involved should they be in this process?


  • Based on the OKRs that we set, was the project successful? Did stakeholders find it successful as well?
  • Did we prevent the expected barriers from arising?
  • What unexpected barriers came up?

It's good to remember:

  • There should be no judgement and all voices should be heard. If you feel this would be challenging then work to anonymize the input.

  • Invite Hard/Soft connections to project to participate in the conversation

    • Hard Connect - someone that will/has worked on the project
    • Soft Connect - someone impacted by the project (stakeholders, etc.)
  • Make sure to keep a record of the Pre/Post Mortems as they can be helpful in the future.