We’ve spent a lot of time exploring different management models, but one that should be included at the end of any new project is the debrief cycle. Just as a project begins, it must also end, but it shouldn’t simply drop off the face of the earth without a word.
The debrief cycle gives managers and project leaders the opportunity to review the work that was done and note not only the outcome of the project but the efforts each team member made in bringing the project to completion. During the debriefing process a few different things will take place.
First we’ll ask ourselves questions about the choices we made during the planning and execution phases of the project. You’ll explore to determine whether or not there were things that could have been done differently or more effectively from the start.
Afterwards you’ll review the overall outcome of the project. Did you achieve the desired outcome? Could you have made changes throughout the life of the project to enhance the final outcome?
The debrief cycle gives everyone on the team an opportunity to participate. Each member should be able to ask questions and respond from his or her own perspective. This will enable you to get a better idea of how well your team works not only as a group but as individual members also.
Do you take the time to sit down with your team members and discuss projects as they end, or do you simply move on to the next task? If you’re skipping the debrief cycle you’re missing out on a great opportunity to learn about the things you could do differently in future projects!
Originally published: 1 January, 2009