Project Review (Post Mortem)

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Recap of Initial Expectations

Give a brief synopsis of the event. Include aspects like plans, timelines, and deliverables if applicable.

Recap of Outcome

Summarize the incident. What happened compared to what should have happened? Provide context so other team members can understand.

Stakeholder Input

Do any key stakeholders have discussion points to contribute? Share this template before the post-mortem meeting to gather feedback.

Roadblocks & Risks

What barriers or unexpected obstacles arose that changed the outcome of this event?

Root Causes

Identify the main cause of each issue above. Be specific. Were objectives clear? Was the schedule realistic? Did any changes in scope occur?

Main Takeaways

Summarize the key insights from this post-mortem. How can we ensure this incident doesn't happen again? What should we do differently next time?


List any additional resources that can help the team address all risks and root causes identified.

Next Steps

What can be done now? Who is responsible? Clarify any next steps, who's completing them, and when they should be done by. Note this information here to share.

How to use this template

In today's fast-paced business environment, where innovation and adaptability are crucial, post-mortem meetings emerge as indispensable tools for fostering continuous improvement. These meetings offer an opportunity for teams to reflect on their performance, identify areas for growth, and extract valuable insights that inform future endeavours. Despite their undeniable value, conducting effective post-mortem meetings can be challenging for leaders. Ever more so without the proper town hall meeting template. 


From struggling to facilitate open and honest discussions to managing different perspectives and ensuring actionable outcomes, navigating the complexities of post-mortem meetings can be daunting. Post-mortem meeting templates offer a structured framework designed to streamline post-mortem meetings. By providing a clear roadmap for organizing the agenda, guiding discussions, and documenting insights, the post-mortem meeting template empowers team leaders to overcome challenges with confidence and efficiency. 


Why Post-Mortem Meetings Matter

Post-mortem meetings play a crucial role in a team's growth and success by providing a structured forum for reflection and analysis after project completion. These meetings offer a valuable opportunity to identify both strengths and weaknesses in the team's performance, allowing team members to celebrate achievements and pinpoint areas for improvement. By examining what went well and what could have been done differently, teams gain valuable insights that inform future decision-making and drive continuous improvement. Additionally, post-mortem meetings foster a culture of learning within the team, encouraging open communication, knowledge sharing, and collaboration. Through constructive feedback and candid discussions, team members can leverage lessons learned to enhance their skills, processes, and outcomes. 


By embracing the insights gleaned from post-mortem meetings, teams can adapt, innovate, and strive for greater success in their future endeavors. This continuous cycle of reflection, adaptation, and enhancement empowers teams to stay agile and responsive in an ever-changing environment, ensuring they remain competitive and resilient. Embracing a culture of continuous improvement through post-mortem meetings not only strengthens the team's capabilities but also enhances its ability to innovate and deliver value to stakeholders.


What is a post-mortem meeting template?

A post-mortem meeting template is a structured framework or outline used to guide the discussion and documentation of a project review or post-mortem meeting. This template typically includes key sections including a project overview, objectives, successes, challenges, lessons learned, and action items. Within each section, specific prompts or questions may be provided to facilitate reflection and analysis, ensuring that all relevant aspects of the project are thoroughly addressed. 


A post-mortem meeting template may incorporate space for capturing feedback, identifying challenges, and documenting recommendations for future improvements. By providing a standardized format for conducting post-mortem meetings, the post-mortem meeting templates help ensure consistency, completeness, and efficiency in the review process. 


Steps for preparing for a post-mortem meeting with a template include: 

  • Setting clear objectives 
  • Selecting meeting participants 
  • Defining the purpose of the meeting 
  • Distributing the agenda and template 
  • Facilitating the meeting according to the agenda
  • Documenting meeting outcomes and action items


Post-mortem meeting template sections include: 

  • A recap of initial expectations 
  • A recap of the outcome, summarizing the incident 
  • Stakeholder input and decision making 
  • Roadblocks, risks, and barriers 
  • Root causes of key issues 
  • A summarization of key takeaways 
  • A list of any additional resources 
  • Next steps


Conducting a Successful Post-Mortem Meeting

  • Capture key insights 
  • Practice active listening 
  • Encourage participation 
  • Follow up on action items 
  • Ask open-ended questions 
  • Set clear goals and objectives 
  • Promote constructive feedback 
  • Assign a meeting facilitator or host 
  • Prepare and follow a meeting agenda 
  • Establish a safe and open environment 


Why this Post-Mortem Template is better in Fellow

Facilitating post-mortem meetings can be challenging, especially without a comprehensive post-mortem meeting template. Fellow allows engineering teams to develop great meeting habits and foster alignment on project goals by acting as a centralized hub to keep track of tasks, action items, and decisions. Fellow also allows you to collect anonymous feedback from the team to get further insights as to what could have been improved or done differently for the next project to follow, making it an invaluable resource when prioritizing perpetual growth. 


When you choose to leverage a post-mortem meeting template in Fellow, it automatically connects with your calendar and shows up side-by-side in your meeting calls for the ultimate distraction free meeting experience. And if you don’t have the capacity to build out your own talking points, you can leverage Fellow’s AI agenda builder to add talking points to your sections in a matter of minutes. Unlock the potential of templates in Fellow, the all-in-one meeting management platform for fewer, smarter meetings. Use this template and Fellow’s 50+ integrations!


Project Review (Post-Mortem) FAQs

  1. Who should attend a post-mortem meeting? 

A post-mortem meeting typically involves key stakeholders and team members who were directly involved in the project's planning, execution, and delivery. This may include project managers, team leads, individual contributors, subject matter experts, and any other relevant personnel who played a significant role in the project's success or challenges. 


  1. How frequent should project review or post-mortem meetings be? 

The frequency of project review or post-mortem meetings can vary depending on the size, complexity, and duration of the project, as well as the organization's culture and priorities. In general, it is advisable to conduct post-mortem meetings after the completion of significant project milestones or at the conclusion of the entire project. For shorter projects, a post-mortem meeting may be held shortly after project completion, while for longer projects, it may be more practical to schedule regular review sessions at predefined intervals, such as quarterly or annually.


  1. What is the purpose of a project review or post-mortem meeting?

The purpose of a project review or post-mortem meeting is to assess the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from a completed project. By reflecting on the project's performance, team members can identify areas of improvement, celebrate achievements, and gather insights to inform future endeavors.


  1. What tools or templates can be used to facilitate a project review or post-mortem meeting? 

Various tools and templates can facilitate a project review or post-mortem meeting, such as SWOT analysis, retrospective techniques like "Start, Stop, Continue," or structured questionnaires tailored to gather feedback on specific aspects of the project. Project management software and collaborative platforms can also streamline documentation and facilitate discussion among team members.


  1. What are some common challenges or pitfalls when facilitating a project review or post-mortem meeting? 

Common challenges when facilitating a project review or post-mortem meeting include difficulty in eliciting honest feedback, ensuring active participation from all stakeholders, managing divergent perspectives, or conflicting opinions, and maintaining focus on actionable insights rather than dwelling on past mistakes or assigning blame. Addressing these challenges requires effective facilitation skills, establishing clear expectations, and fostering a culture of openness and trust.


  1. How can lessons learned during a project review or post-mortem meeting be applied to future projects? 

Lessons learned during a project review or post-mortem meeting can be applied to future projects by capturing actionable insights, documenting best practices, and updating processes or procedures based on identified areas for improvement. Encouraging knowledge sharing and incorporating feedback into project planning and execution processes helps teams avoid repeating past mistakes and enhances overall project outcomes.

What are key topics or agenda items that must be included during a facilitating a project review or post-mortem meeting? 

Key topics or agenda items that must be included during a project review or post-mortem meeting typically encompass project objectives and deliverables, timeline and budget adherence, stakeholder communication and engagement, risks and issues management, team dynamics and collaboration, as well as successes, challenges, and lessons learned. By covering these areas comprehensively, teams can gain a holistic understanding of the project's performance and identify opportunities for growth and improvement.

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