Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Post Mortem Meeting" - Why do projects die.

This is my favourite phase of any project.

Delivering a project is a job half done. A delivery and project management is heavily numbers driven during the course of the project.

Can you miss numbers and manage
1. Efforts ?,
2. Variance ?,
3. Functional Points ?,
4. Cost ?,
5. Schedule ?,
6. Defects ?,
7. Enhancements ?,
8. People working time ?
9. Margins ?
10. Cost Outflows ?

Thus projects can be quantitatively managed and still be successful. However, as my second post on "E_learning maturity of Indian Companies" described, the qualitative aspects describe the deliveries that matter to the customer.

The outcome of any status update or meetings to resolve technical/business/people issues have a predicitive outcome - Find a solution or middle ground. Work designations , personal rapport, unilateral decisions can be utilized to reach the almost-suitable solution.

This gets to the question. Why do we have to dissect projects.

A "post mortem meeting" after completion of every project brings the team closer to their feelings, opinions and behaviour towards the project. The mood of the project deliveries to customer reflect the team's collective summation of their qualitative aspects.

Why I love this part:
It requires channelization of feelings, which cannot be managed. It is one meeting that cannot be controlled by numbers and time. The post mortem meeting outcome cannot be predicted or challenged. The project manager interference has to be minimum for the outcome to have credibility. The rephrasing of statements suiting the comfort of management by numbers has to be left out in the door. The statements have to recorded as expressed and documented. Any hard feelings needs to be listened to. The projectStand needs to have a "free for all" flavour which is drastically different from manager led meetings and yet be the "benevolent bouncer".

What a great situation to be in for a manager where there is no manager required or management control applicable ?

Top Agile Blogs