The end of a project often feels like the end of an era. The completion of a lengthy project comes with sighs of relief and a sense of accomplishment. Many teams mistake the last step of a project as the go-live date or when all of the subtasks have been completed. However, many teams forget that the true final step of a project is coming together as a team to reflect on the successes and failures of the project and document these findings to improve things for next time. So what exactly does this mysterious meeting entail? By the end of the meeting, your team should have identified best practices and opportunities for improvement going forward. According to Backlog , an effective post-mortem meeting can help your team:. As with everything with working teams, good organization is the key to success. So when it comes to hosting a productive post-mortem meeting, approach it the same way you would any other important meeting: prepare, stay focused, and follow-up with documentation. This poses the question—what tool should your team use to run a post-mortem meeting and document its findings afterward? Teams around the world have cracked this code, and the solution involves two tools who work so well together, you might call it a match made in heaven. Who said romance was dead? Trello has been long used by teams to organize meetings of all kinds, post-mortem included. While Confluence , another Atlassian product, is great for housing collaboration efforts and storing knowledge and resources. With these two tools, you can easily gather and organize information gained from a post-mortem meeting and then store it permanently for later reference. Within the talking points list, you should add cards to help get the brainstorming wheels turning for your team. These metrics will differ based on the type of project but should provide some concrete data about whether or not your team met the original project goals. These will be helpful to refer to during the meeting. These lists can be added to during the meeting as the conversation progresses. Use Card Covers to add visual cues to your board. The number of people who voted for a card will display on the card front. Having facial expressions visible will help to reduce any awkwardness and keep everyone engaged. There are two key roles to assign for the meeting: a moderator and someone to take notes. The moderator is usually the Project Manager or another related manager and keeps an eye on the time, talking points, and directs the conversation in a productive way. To kick-off the meeting, everyone should give a high-level overview of how the project went as a whole. This will establish a consensus or, maybe differing views! This is the portion of the meeting that should take up the most time, so encourage all team members to participate. Remind them that their opinions and feedback will never negatively impact their status at the company—establishing psychological safety will keep the conversation honest and flowing. No matter the outcome, be sure to celebrate the closure of another project and the opportunity to improve processes going forward, together. Just as in Trello, you can tag your team members, add labels, attach files, and organize the space however you please. New to Confluence? This feature helps provide the detail behind your work on a Trello card and the permanency to revisit what happened after the project is done. Confluence pages support real-time comments and you can easily check the back of your Trello card to see how active your Confluence page is. You can also create Confluence pages from your Trello cards so your projects always have all the information needed, easily available from your Trello board. The next time your team completes the impossible… er, project—be sure to conduct a project post-mortem meeting to get the most out of your efforts and improve them for the future.
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