How to Hold a Successful Project Debrief

How to Hold a Successful Project Debrief

Jen Lawrence
Jen Lawrence

Operational Efficiency Expert. Creating ease through systems.

When wrapping up a project, it’s easy just to let the work be marked “completed” and move on to the next big thing. However, a project debrief is essential to learning from the experience and growing as a team. Conduct a successful Project Debrief by setting aside the time to review and discuss.

Prior to the Debrief Meeting

In preparation for the debrief meeting, have team members submit feedback in a way that allows all team members to feel safe being candid. Depending on the team dynamic, this may look like a survey form, contributing to a shared document, or simply sending an email to a point of contact. Then consolidate all feedback to be reviewed during the session. This prework not only saves time but also helps prevent groupthink during the session.

The 3 Critical Questions

Ask team members to answer these three questions to ensure the Project Debrief is a productive use of time.

  1. What went well and contributed to the success of the project?
  2. What hindered the project workflows?
  3. What improvements are suggested for next time?

Set the Agenda

A key component of a successful Project Debrief meeting is keeping the agenda tight and streamlined. The purpose of gathering together should be a constructive discussion of the feedback and to celebrate a job well done. Below is a sample agenda for a Project Debrief:

  • Review Objectives and Goals
  • Review Responses “What went well and contributed to the success of the project?”
  • Review Responses “What hindered the project workflows?”
  • Review Responses “What improvements are suggested for next time?”
  • General Discussion
  • Celebrate Wins and Contributions

Tips

  • Keep the Project Debrief positive by moderating the conversation toward constructive feedback.
  • Truly celebrate by providing food and thank yous.
  • Share the feedback and wins via email, highlighting key contributions from the team members.

A project management tool like ClickUp can help keep all the feedback and notes in one place. It’s the perfect system for your full project lifecycle, providing support with sharing documents, chatting, building task lists, and more. Learn more about ClickUp here.

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