LSA Global Insights Newsletter: Using Post-Mortems Before, During and After Projects to Drive Excellence

10.31.2013

Using Post-Mortems Before, During and After Projects to Drive Excellence


Important projects fail to meet internal and external stakeholder expectations at an alarming rate - up to 75% by some accounts.

There are many well-known culprits. Project failure typically starts with poor project definition and a kick-off process that overlooks the importance of setting the right business case, stakeholder clarity or team environment for success. The lack of planning upfront runs into inadequate stakeholder expectation management and then dovetails into planning and forecasting problems due to insufficient consideration of the complexity and nuances of the task at hand.

In a domino effect, this weak foundation sets the stage for negative project team dynamics as you try to balance the typical project pressures of trade-offs between cost, schedule, scope and quality when you lack the necessary information or support.

Team discontent then typically arises in the areas of problem solving, decision making, conflict resolution, continuous improvement, reward systems, meetings, accountability, trust, communication, change management, and performance measurement.

Successful project managers know that conducting reviews before, during and after a project pays big dividends. For example, one recent high-tech client was able to identify a missing stakeholder and add two critical resources after a project "pre-mortem" identified previously undetected customer risks. Another life-sciences client used "live-mortems" at key project gates to improve team engagement by 26% and progress on two previously dependent areas to deliver ahead of schedule. Finally in a classic post-mortem, a recent professional services client identified 7 key improvement areas for future projects critical to retaining their top technical talent despite stiff competition for those employees.

The bottom line with complex and integrated projects - "go slow to go fast" when it comes to setting the foundation and "go fast to go faster" when it comes to learning, prototyping and innovating.

Read more about using proven project post-mortems before, during and after projects...


About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned