Involve all contributors. If others were involved in your project, arrange a project review meeting. If you were the sole contributor, set aside time to reflect on your experience. Document the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of the project. Note all grievances, and solicit ideas for future improvement.
Begin with a quick project overview. Begin the postmortem document with a brief overview of your project, including a design overview, estimated budget, and project start and finish dates. Describe the product’s purpose, intended customer, and other general information.
Talk about what went right. Did the final product turn out better than expected? Did you experience an occasional stroke of luck? List a few things that turned out well for your project.
Talk about what went wrong. What difficulties did you encounter? What assumptions proved incorrect? Compile a detailed list of your project’s shortcomings. List a few things that turned out worse than expected. Document unpleasant mid-project surprises as well.
Draw meaningful conclusions. What conclusions can you draw from your project history that will help you improve in the future? What should you start doing, keep doing, or stop doing? Describe new practices you should try for your next project. This is perhaps the most important part of the postmortem, so be prepared to spend more time here than in any other section.