Insyte Consulting regularly helps local organizations implement improvements that impact how quickly and effectively products and projects are delivered including changes in processes, layout, systems and technology. We are often asked for recommendations on how to sustain these changes and continuously improve upon these processes. One of the most common improvement opportunities lies with the introduction of (or enhancements to) some form of a regular review meeting whether it be a singular project post mortem meeting or collective review of completed orders. The meeting’s primary objective is to identify and prioritize a list of improvement opportunities, NOT to evaluate individual performance or solve all of the problems and issues that may have occurred.
The following information focuses on 5 important aspects associated with project post mortem meetings. The same principles could also apply to a meeting dedicated to order review. Additional recommendations for each of these 5 areas can be found here: Article – Effective Project Review Meetings.
- SCHEDULING – Have the post mortem as close as possible to the closing of each project:
- People’s ability to recall specific details about a completed project will quickly fade, ensure there is just enough time to complete any pre-meeting tasks along with appropriate time for financials and reporting data to be compiled.
- PRE-MEETING SURVEY: Distribute a survey or questionnaire beforehand to help guide the meeting conversation and potentially uncover improvement opportunities:
- Don’t inundate participants with a long survey, include roughly 10 mandatory questions with a mix of yes/no and short answer questions. At the moderator’s discretion, let the participants know in advance if it is your intention to share the results of the survey before or after the meeting has been completed.
- MEETING LOGISTICS: Determine potentially important meeting details including:
- Meeting length
- Required attendees
- Required data (clearly identify data that should be distributed before the meeting)
- Meeting moderator
- MEETING AGENDA: Start the meeting focused on known facts including stated deliverables, timelines, and the published results. It is recommended that you make this agenda visible to the entire meeting room and that live notes are added directly to this agenda. This meeting agenda could include the following:
- Meeting Objectives
- Project Deliverables
- Published Results
- Additional Results Details
- General Discussion & Meeting Summary
- MEETING RECAP: Could include the following:
- Include the agreed upon list of prioritized improvement opportunities, all results shared in the meeting, a recap of lessons learned, and a summary of what went well with the project. If appropriate, identify internal resources that may have significantly contributed to the success of this project. Clearly state who is responsible for the identified next steps.
- Identify the continuous improvement coordinator tasked with managing the improvement opportunities identified in this meeting.
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