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The Benefits of Project Debriefs

You and your team have worked hard and are about to see the fruits of your growing efforts, so you may want to enjoy some rest in the wrap-up. But before having those celebratory moments, you should take time to debrief your project, evaluating what you’ve done so far and looking ahead to see what needs to be changed in the future. In an article for CIO.com, Moira Alexander talks about the perks of having project debriefs with your team:

  • Provides a chance for team members to share past experiences and new ways of doing things that could be beneficial in the future
  • Provides a mechanism to identify risks previously not identified
  • Offers actionable lessons learned
  • Provides a chance to document findings that can be referred to in the future

Look Back on Your Progress

Wait until you’re cleared to move on with other projects to have a party. A project may be completed, but it doesn’t mean you have no more responsibilities with it. It’s always good to reflect on what went wrong and what worked, celebrate individual as well as team work, identify innovative ideas for improvements, and show appreciation to all participants. You don’t want to move on with other projects without learning anything from the past mistakes, or resolving some “chronic” problems with the way you and your team work.

While a debrief meeting is beneficial for you and other team members, it can backfire if you are not selective with what to cover. Always remember that debrief sessions are all about constructive comments and celebrating achievements. Try to exclude personal or sensitive topics, including who didn’t get along with whom, or who did something bad that could have been avoided—don’t blame people. These issues should be handled behind closed doors. No one likes being humiliated in front of a crowd; it can easily lead to resentment and lack of cooperation in future work.

Alexander discusses some more advantages of a project debrief:

A properly conducted post-project debriefing allows teams to talk with one another in a relaxed setting and learn from one another without time pressures. It also provides a way to set opportunities or continuous improvement in motion. As lessons are learned and knowledge applied you will create a more powerful, cohesive, high-functioning team that has better interaction and communication.

You can view original article here: http://www.cio.com/article/3119749/project-management/project-management-to-debrief-or-not-to-debrief.html

About My Nguyen

My is a staff writer for AITS. She has a varied background in writing and marketing, having previously worked for the World & Vietnam Report among others.

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