by Brendan Regan
Back in the early 00s, I was a project manager (PM). In a lot of ways, project management was the most challenging role I’ve ever worked in, and I’ve got huge respect for those who do it well.
One of the most challenging responsibilities as a PM back then was when something went wrong with a project or process, and I was asked to do a “post-mortem.” Some people call them “autopsies” or “360 reviews,” but they’re synonymous. The point was to determine why a project came in late, or low-quality, or over budget. Or, when an ongoing process was supposed to provide predictable outputs, but failed to do so.
This root cause analysis and reporting back to stakeholders usually involved tedious hours, or even days, spent combing through email threads to see where things got off track, where a critical piece of information was missed, or where a requirement was changed mid-project and the change wasn’t managed properly.
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