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Post mortem analysis


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Structured process to identify project learnings to plan upcoming projects better

Published in: Business, Technology
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Post mortem analysis

  1. 1. Learning from ProjectsConducting a Post–Mortem Analysis
  2. 2. Presenter -IntroductionA practitioner of Analytics, Information Modelling,Enterprise ProjectProgram Portfolio Management,Operational Productivity & Execution Management.He has also setup PMO groups, PM Forums and ledenterprise project management productsimplementation initiatives at global scale for MNCs.He also writes articles/ blogs on project Jaiveer Singh, PMPmanagement, business intelligence,social analytics and conducts workshopson productivity & planning related @ singhjaiveersoftware products like MS Excel, MSProject, Axure RP, Mind Map etc for themanagement community.
  3. 3. Session ContextThe creation of temporary enterprises for project-based work hasbecome an increasingly salient feature of the new economy.•These organisations specialise in execution of certain type ofprojects while leveraging their unique competencies, industry bestpractices and learnings from their past projects.•Often learnings from firms past projects execution acts as mostimportant key differentiating factor while positioning theirorganisation as preferred partner/ vendor.Leveraging Experience as Key Differentiator
  4. 4. Post Project AnalysisWhat is a Project?When Project is considered finished ?What is involved in Analysis?
  5. 5. Apollo 11- Project Neil ArmstrongJuly 20, 1969 We can learn from those who have gone before us.
  6. 6. Projects comes in all sizes & complexities
  7. 7. Projects comes in all sizes & complexities Project 1 Project 2 Project 3Project Standard Operating e-government system , July Commercial Building, Apr,Title/ Environment (SOEasy), Feb 2006 2011Award 2008 It will provide information Construction of adate about services being commercial facility atScope Standardize desktop, network provided by the Orchard Road having 12 and messaging components government to the public in levels above ground, one for 60,000 public officers an easily accessible manner. level below ground, and a across 74 government gross floor area of 20,072 agencies. Information, m2. Communication &Industry / Information, Communication Construction, Commercial TechnologyType & Technology BuildingTimelines Completed Dec 15, 2013 Mar 31, 2011- DelayedBudget S$ 1.3 billion USD $ 3.4 m 8.3 billion YenClient IDA, Singapore Government Maldivian government RE Properties Pte. Ltd, Real Estate CompanyVendor HP – EDS, Singapore NCS, Singapore SHIMIZU CORPORATION
  8. 8. Project Journey – What’s your experienceWere objectives clearly defined?Was journey planned well?Did you had your plans approved?Did you met your milestones on time?What was your resources burn rate? Budgets OverWhat unexpected events happened?How many issues impacted project?
  9. 9. What worked What didnt
  10. 10. Retaining knowledge from ExperienceAnalyze Identify Document Archive
  11. 11. Accessing past learnings- Project Library SearchCategory What Worked and What Didnt Work Learning DescriptionScope Mgmt WBS based techniques helped to ensure all work scope is accounted for SoW must be detailed enough covering main & supporting planning work required to execute project deliverablesResource Mgmt Required skills & compentency for team was not estimated properly which Key resources comptencies and availability should be affected work quality and delayed deliverables completion checked with resource manager for entire project durationProcurement Mgmt Decision to sub-contract one part of develolpment was taken too late Review of internal competencies and available capacity which caused delays as vendors asked for min. lead time to setup team suiting project timelines must be done in early stages of projects to get job executed from outside in timeIssues Mgmt Many assumptions were not validated with stakeholders which caused All positive & negative assumptions must be checked with rework later. stakeholders and data for similar projects using organisation project archives
  12. 12. Project Metrics – Run Rate/ Burn Rate
  13. 13. Experiential LearningExperiential learning is the process ofmaking meaning from direct experience.Experiential learning is learning throughreflection on doing.While it is very effective way of learning, it comes withits associated high level of costs, therefore it is veryimportant that we learn from others experiences anddocument our own experience for benefit of others.So there is a need of a structure process to gatherlearnings from any experiences
  14. 14. Identify and Capture Project Learnings
  15. 15. Post Mortem AnalysisA postmortem is both a process and a document(set of documents). Discuss & Collect Consolidate Recommen Setup Build Data Outcome dations Consensus Analysis Summary/ Recommendations
  16. 16. Preparing for MeetingBefore Meeting1. Send out copies of mini, functional post-mortem results for review.2. Ask for people to send list of top issues to discuss—should becross-functional issues that require the whole group in order to beresolved.3. Send out agenda with a list of potential topics. (a) Prioritize topics to discuss. (b) Discuss each topic; emphasize what to do in future. (c) Summarize and prioritize recommendations.4. Reserve large room, tape flipchart paper to walls.5. Compose list of discussion topics.
  17. 17. Meeting- PreparationThe post-mortem meeting provides a chance for the team to gettogether and work through the important issues to create an actionplan that will improve the development process for the team.Meeting Length : 4 hours or less, Schedule 2-3 meeting if required with focus groupRoom : Choose a room with a round or oval shaped table so people can easily see eachother and no one appears as the boss at the table’s head.Who Should Attend: Anyone who was involved in the project should be invited. Ifinviting everyone makes the group too large, consider having mini-postmortems withpeople who worked on specific parts of the project.Facilitator: Ideally it should be someone who was not involved in the project and hasno reason to be involved in the discussion.Recorder: Taping large sheets of flipchart paper on walls or using white boards are veryeffective for recording information. This way everyone involved in the discussionautomatically focuses on the recorded information (instead of on each other).
  18. 18. Analysis GuidelinesBe Inclusive Scope Management Issues ManagementCover all key disciplines Risks ManagementProject Participants Communications ManagementStakeholders
  19. 19. Analysis GuidelinesBe Self CriticalParticipants should check their egos atthe door.The post-mortem will necessarily find“flaws” with processes and teammembers who executed (or failed toexecute) aspects of the project.
  20. 20. Analysis GuidelinesBe ProfessionalDiscussions should cover a broadrange of team issues anddynamics, from process to productissues.However it should not under anycircumstances become personal.Most projects have enoughelements that needto improve that any mention ofnames or specific instances canbest be skipped Focus on issues and not on people
  21. 21. Analysis GuidelinesBe FactualDocumentation and data should be included in boththe discussions and in the final report. Future projectswill find it valuable to learn from project metrics andother project management data.The post-mortem provides a good process forgathering that information and including it in thereport.Be BriefSuggestions and commentary in the final report should be brief and agreed toby broad consensus. Although dozens or more issues will surface during thepost-mortem process, the next project will benefit more from a small numberof very specific suggestions.
  22. 22. Managing MeetingDuring Meeting1. Start with reviewing and ranking topics to be discussed.2. Begin with the top issue and record what went wrong as well ashow to do it differently in future.3. Stop “wrong” discussion after 5-7min. and start asking what to dodifferently.4. Check that all functional groups have contributed.5. Save time at the end to prioritize recommendations.
  23. 23. Discussion NotesTimeline and Resources:This includes who was involved and amount of time each person was involved in theproject.What Went Poorly/Should Be Done Differently?If the list of what went wrong was collected ahead of time, go over it now and ask for anyadditions. Once you have the list generated, the facilitator will need to prioritize the list sothat the most important issues are discussed first (in case you run out of time or energy).What Went WellThe team simply needs to list what participants thought went well and record why it wassuccessful.Recommendations:Looking back at the information recorded for both the “good” and “bad” discussionssummarize what the group would recommend for future Projects.
  24. 24. Microsoft- Case StudyMicrosoft is the one of highly successful global software product company.Project Name: MS Word Version 6 - DevelopmentKey Findings from Post Project AnalysisTeams participating in post mortem analysis meeting1. Word 6 development2. Word 6 program management3. Word 6 testing
  25. 25. Microsoft- Word 6 Case StudyWord 6 development* “Scheduling on [Word 6] was not done well and was seen later in the project as totallyunrealistic. Milestones were left before they were really complete. This meant carryingbugs and work from the pervious milestone over to the next. By the time we realizedwhat shape we were in it was too late to make adjustments. [Word 6] milestones werelonger milestones than on any other project, this should have been an indicator thatthere was a bigger problem.”* “Many of the problems with proposed features do not become obvious untildevelopment has starting working on it. By this time it is usually later in the project andprogram management has very little flexibility redesigning a feature.”
  26. 26. Microsoft- Word 6 Case StudyWord 6 program management* “The project was too large with too many primary goals. We ended up touching toomany areas of the product without consciously realizing it at the outset of the project.There were times individuals got so caught up in their feature, that it was hard toremember the priorities for the project as a whole (“what did I spend four days on thatfeature for?”). This highlighted the fact that the decision making process was not welldefined. There was no one key person that would make the final decision when the teamcould not reach consensus on a problem.”* “There were two principal reasons we were six months late in shipping: the inabilityto cut features and not know what to cut. We should have been more ruthless aboutcutting features in order to meet the schedule. People knew we were slipping (it wasobvious after we missed the first Major Milestone), yet no one wanted to cut features.Development was concerned that it would hurt morale. When in fact, morale was hurtmore by not being honest about the slipped date.”
  27. 27. Microsoft- Word 6 Case StudyWord 6 testing* “The size and complexity of *Word 6+ had changed dramatically from WinWord 2. 0. Yetit was never acknowledged that different processes and tools were needed to managesuch a large project. It was planned and managed as a small project. Once again, careshould be taken on the front end instead of full steam ahead and hoping that it will allwork out.” * “The schedule became everything. Individuals across all groups knew that the schedule was a myth but all were discouraged from communicating any slips in their work. Test knew where we were at with bugs, but this was not broadly communicated. Development Leads did not share this information with their team members because it was seen as de-motivating. As a result of this schedule deception, poor decisions were made (i.e., quick fixes instead of well thought out changes, other tradeoffs were managed very poorly) based on inaccurate schedule information
  28. 28. Group Activity Identify top 10 list of things which often didn’t went well in your projects and top 10 things which worked for your projectsPlanning Scope Mgmt Time Mgmt Quality MgmtResourcesProject Mgmt/ Scheduling Human CommunicatiDesign & Specifications Cost Mgmt Resources on MgmtCommunication MgmtTeam/ Organization Procurement IntegrationProduct Risks Mgmt Mgmt MgmtManagementTools & PracticesGeneral
  29. 29. Seat No Group Topic2-9 1 Scope Mgmt10-17 2 Time18-25 3 Quality26-33 4 Cost34-41 5 Resources42-49 6 Communication50-58 7 Risks59-66 8 Procurement
  30. 30. Presenting Group FindingsEach group representative present their list of top issues & tips
  31. 31.