Selena Deckelmann's blog

Getting real about post-mortems

posted on Jan 23, 2012
tags: devops howto ops post-mortems
categories: devops

I talk a lot about post-mortems, started thinking about this a long time ago, and I've run quite a few.

I tend to think about meetings in general as post-mortems, as typical meetings tend to be for talking about what's been done, and what we might do, rather than actually doing work. But we can change our meetings to be better. In the slides from my keynote on Sunday, I posted some specific information about how to operate post-mortems.

The key points for conducting the meeting were:

There's great research into each one of these items. Some of it comes from "Effective meetings" curriculum, taught by Intel University. Fast Company had a great "meeting myths" article back in 1996 that still holds true (and references Intel's meeting culture). The bit about anonymous voting comes from research into group dynamics and how people say different things depending on who is listening and what the social pressure is to lie or tell the truth.

How do you run your post-mortems? Anything you'd add?

Have some feedback? Corrections? Ideas for other posts? Contact me @selenamarie.