Mike’s Dump

April 2, 2005

Monthly Post Mortem Meetings

Filed under: Work — mikesdump @ 3:53 pm

I’m the development lead of a team of 6 developers (expanding to 8 next week). Most of the projects the guys work on are pretty small (couple weeks) and they work on the code mainly by themselves. We have had a couple projects that have involved 3 developers and lasted a couple of months. In those cases we have done a post mortem meeting to reflect on what went well and what didn’t go so well in. To me it was all about process improvement and that is what I hoped to get from the meetings.

Three months ago I was talking with our project manager and because most the projects that we do are small post mortem meetings aren’t
done. We decided to have our first team post mortem meeting to review the previous month. At the meeting everyone would share what went well and not so well. The first meeting went not too bad everyone participated. The second meeting I noticed a bit of a change. A couple of developers talked about some of the mistakes that they had made. One of the developers was a little harsh when shooting down another
developer’s idea and he apologized for it. We had our third meeting yesterday and developers were commending each other for the work they
had done on their projects and when others had helped them.

Maybe it is just my perception but I feel that our team has really come closer together over the past couple of months. Originally I was
only hoping to improve the development process but what I’m seeing is that we have gained a whole lot more. I would like to think that the
once a month meeting that reflects not just on the bad things but also the good has made a positive impact on developers ownership of the products and the way that they treat each other.

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