Post mortems, also known as project retrospectives, are a critical part of the project management process for marketing agencies. They provide a structured opportunity to review the successes and failures of a project and identify opportunities for improvement. Despite their importance, many agencies overlook the value of post mortems. In this post, we’ll explore why marketing agencies should make post mortems a regular part of their workflow and how they can benefit from this practice.
Here are the top reasons why running post mortems can help an agency improve:
1. Gain insight into what went wrong: Listen, things are always going to go wrong. It happens, that’s just a byproduct of doing things. So let’s just admit stuff will go wrong. Post mortems provide us with an opportunity for the team to reflect on what went wrong in the project, identify the root causes, and determine how to prevent similar issues in future projects.
2. Improve team communication: By discussing the project as a team, the agency can improve communication and collaboration. Post mortem meetings allow team members to be vulnerable with each other by talking openly about mistakes they made. While this might be painful in the moment, long term it will be build better, more trusting teams who communicate better.
3. Hold team members accountable: Post mortems help identify areas of the project where team members may have failed to meet expectations. This allows team members to take responsibility for their actions, learn from their mistakes, and improve in future projects.
4. Identify successful strategies: By examining what worked well in the project, the agency can identify successful strategies that can be used in future projects to improve outcomes. This is also known as identifying “bright spots” — post mortems don’t have to just focus on the negative outcomes.
5. Strengthen client relationships: Running post mortems shows that the agency values the client’s business and is committed to improving the outcomes of future projects. This can strengthen the agency-client relationship and lead to more repeat business.
6. Promote continuous improvement: Running post mortems on a regular basis helps the agency to continuously improve its processes and practices, leading to better project outcomes and overall business success.
7. Encourage creativity and innovation: Post mortems provide an opportunity for team members to share ideas and brainstorm new solutions for future projects.
8. Develop best practices: By examining successful strategies and lessons learned, agencies can develop best practices that can be used across multiple projects to improve outcomes.
9. Foster a culture of accountability: By encouraging team members to take responsibility for their actions, post mortems can help foster a culture of accountability and continuous improvement.
10. Identify opportunities for growth: Post mortems can help identify areas where the agency can improve its services or expand its offerings, leading to new opportunities for growth and success.
FAQs About Post Mortems
What is a post mortem?
A post mortem is a retrospective meeting or process that a marketing agency team conducts after the completion of a project or campaign. Its purpose is to review the project’s successes and failures, document lessons learned, and identify areas for improvement.
Why is it important for marketing agencies to conduct post mortems?
Post mortems allow marketing agencies to identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes to their processes to prevent future mistakes. They also provide opportunities for team members to learn from their experiences and make better decisions in the future.
Who should be involved in a post mortem?
Ideally, a post mortem should include all team members who were involved in the project or campaign. This includes account managers, project managers, designers, copywriters, developers, and any other relevant team members. Clients or stakeholders may also be invited to participate.
What are the key elements of a successful post mortem?
A successful post mortem should include a clear agenda, open and honest communication, a focus on solutions rather than blame, and actionable insights that can be used to improve future projects. It should also have clear action items and assign ownership for follow-up.
How frequently should marketing agencies conduct post mortems?
The frequency of post mortems can vary depending on the agency’s size, the scope of projects, and other factors. However, in general, it’s recommended that post mortems are conducted after the completion of every major project or campaign. This helps ensure that the agency is constantly learning and improving its processes.
In conclusion, running post mortems is a crucial part of the project management process for marketing agencies. By conducting regular post mortems, agencies can identify and address issues, improve their processes, and ultimately deliver better results for their clients. While it may take some extra time and effort to conduct a post mortem, the benefits far outweigh the costs. By embracing this practice, agencies can build stronger relationships with clients, enhance their reputation, and position themselves for long-term success in the highly competitive marketing industry.
Interested in learning more about agency account management? Check out these other articles:
- Want to be an Account Manager at an Agency? A 17 Step Guide [check it out]
- How to Become a Badass Project Manager [check it out]
- How to Become a Badass Project Manager [check it out]
- The #1 Way To Maintain a Good Agency/Client Relationship [check it out]
- Account Manager or Project Manager – Which Is Right Agency Job for You? [check it out]