Did You Perform a Postmortem?

Trigger Question #40

“So, where exactly did our plan go wrong?” (created by Roare)

. . .

Some plans go as planned. (Lucky you.)
Some plans go as wrong as Murphy predicted. (Hapless you.)
Some plans go neither quite right nor quite wrong, but spawn unintended consequences. (Normal you.)
Some plans are best forgotten. (Silly you.)

Wait, what? Silly you?

Yes. Few plans are ever best forgotten. At work, the only plan that you can safely forget is the half-formed, wishful-thinking, not executed one. You should remember all other plans, successful or not.

What exactly does ‘remember’ mean? Let’s break it down into ‘re’ and ‘member’. When you re-member, you are putting the bits and pieces of the past, the members that make up your memory, back together again.

Why should you re-member your plans? To see what worked, what didn’t, what went wrong and where, what went right and why, how unintended consequences were triggered, and so on.

This is a lot of extra work, so why do it? For the same reason that a pathologist performs an autopsy. To uncover cause and effect, to enrich our understanding, to nudge us to improve, maybe even to make us wiser. All after the fact.

But why, really? Because a little postmortem can make many a future plan more robust.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.

. . .