Look Back, Move Forward

Are you getting maximum mileage out of every project? If you don’t regularly evaluate past projects, you’re missing out on some prime learning opportunities. Once you’ve conducted an in-depth post mortem on a project (project-management-post-mortem-analysis), step back a little further to see if you can spot meaningful patterns.

Staffing levels. If reviewing recent projects highlights less-than-optimal results due to insufficient staffing, work with your team on potential solutions. Leveraging temporary or consultant support and modifying project timeframes or scope are common fixes, but innovative teams will likely find additional ways to address staffing concerns.


Division of responsibilities. Is it time to shake up the status quo? If you see that you’ve been doling out the same tasks to the same people, consider giving a few of your best performing junior-level team members some new challenges. At the same time, try offering your more experienced pros a change of pace to keep them sharp.


Vendor relationships. Even if your vendors are meeting your needs, now is the time to see if there are still issues you’re struggling to overcome. Do your vendors have the best connections to address potential supply chain issues? Are time zone differences causing more effort than should be necessary? Have they experienced staffing issues of their own? Look for ways to streamline your operations through the support of your vendors.


Cyclical challenges. By reviewing projects in batches, you may discover repeating cycles that set your team up for difficulty. If you’re consistently tackling the most complex projects during times when your resources are lowest—over the holidays when more folks are out of the office, or perhaps it’s in the first quarter when the year’s funds are still being approved and released—you might consider talking with stakeholders to develop a different kind of schedule for future projects.

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