Time To Look Back

jumpYour team just barely made the deadline. It was a struggle and despite the best planning a lot of things went wrong.

You think so much could have been handled differently, but now is not the right time to ruin the party you might think?

I respectfully disagree. Now is the best an probably the only time to look back at all the mishaps and reasons for why this was such a struggle.

One of the best chances for improvement lay in the few days after a completed project.

The memory is still fresh and everyone is most forgiving.

You can schedule a post-project meeting early enough at the beginning of the project, then no one is caught off guard by the meeting. Knowing their opinion will be heard your team may even keep lists about those crucial moments when they felt the project was at risk.

Talking through these issues may be painful, yes. But when done with respect and in a constructive manner it will avoid future problems. It will also help to avoid finger pointing when things get dicey in the future.

Such a meeting is a chance to turn a group of strangers into a well-running machine.

Maybe you have to schedule more time for the final report. Maybe Pete is better at troubleshooting and Helen perfect for customer acquisition. Maybe you should communicate better in the early stages. You can review bottlenecks in your process and take care of these in your next project.
Finding all these problems and dealing with them is the real success. Be proud of your team and celebrate!

This was Quick Tip No 64.