Whether you are just completing a pilot of your telework program or you have a mature program that’s been around for a while, it’s good to pause and reflect on what’s working and what could be done better. The name “post mortem review” may imply that you wait for the program to be complete but it’s recommended that you pulse your employees throughout a telework implementation. Below are 2 simple lists of questions that will help leaders conduct a review.
The first is a simplified approach borrowed from the US Army. The military typically conducts a quick review with soldiers after a mission known as an After Action Review (AAR). It consists of 3 simple questions:
- What did we do right (at least 3 things)?
- What can we do better (at least 3 things)?
- What are your overall comments or observations?
The second post mortem checklist is more thorough and is typically carried out by project managers when a project is complete. I have modified the questions to apply to telework.
- Program plan
- Did we have a well-defined plan?
- What was good about it?
- What could we have done better?
- Did we have the right stakeholders defined?
- Were roles and responsibilities clear?
- Were expectations clear?
- How could we have managed it better?
- Did we have the right people on the team?
- Should we have a bigger or smaller core team?
- Who should we have involved early/later?
- How could we have functioned better?
- Were we clear about the goals?
- What communication methods worked best? Least?
- Did we communicate to the right audiences?
- Was the program socialized effectively?
- Was the frequency of communications appropriate?
- Were information sharing methods effective (non-meeting communications)?
- Could we have done escalations differently?
- Did we have any cost/budget “surprises”? Were they handled effectively?
- Did we meet financial objectives and cost targets?
- How well did we meet critical schedule milestones? If not, what did we miss?
- What activities took the longest? Why?
- How could we condense the schedule?
- Overall impressions
- What were your overall observations or impressions (that we didn’t cover above)?
Although there are a lot of free survey tools you can use to capture this feedback, I still recommend that leaders do this in a live session. When participants hear what others have to say they may be reminded of other details that they may simply skim over on a typical questionnaire. This may mean that you have to conduct multiple sessions just to cover a sample of the population. That’s okay too – the feedback you get will be well worth the time. Also, remember that this is not a one-time activity. Continue to hold periodic reviews so you can continually improve your program.