Run a Post-Mortem on your Failures

If you have ever done any project management, you may be familiar with a little exercise called a ‘Post-Mortem’. Literally it is Latin for ‘after death’ and the term stems from the medical field where an autopsy is done to determine the cause of death.

It may sound a little macabre to run an autopsy on your failures, but there’s a reason we do this in project management. It’s to learn from past mistakes to avoid them in the future.

Here’s how you do it:

Step 0 – If this is your first time, think of a recent event or project that currently feels like a failure to you.
Step 1 – What went well

Write down THREE things that you DID WELL in this project.

Step 2 – What didn’t go well

Write down THREE things that you did NOT do well.

Step 3 – Who or What else could be at fault?

Write down which EXTERNAL factors (things out of your control) contributed to the outcome.

Step 4 – Get Wise

Ask for FEEDBACK and take note of everything you can LEARN from the experience!

Step 5 – Prepare for the next time!

Make a PLAN for what you will do differently going forward based on what you learned.

Remember to Celebrate your Learning! 🎉

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