Jay Miller

Mortems: You Should Do Those

Mar 25, 2021 08:40 AM

Tags: productivity


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.

Problems:

Mortems are hard to template

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

Pre-Mortem

  • 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?

Post-Mortem

  • 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.