TimeLine Postmortems. You've got to accentuate the positive Eliminate the negative Latch on to the affirmative Don't mess with Mister In-Between -- lyrics by Johnny Mercer Inevitably, something goes wrong on projects. Ideally, something else goes right. On the next project, you want to prevent the failures from reoccurring and reproduce the successes.
This is why you need postmortems. Most teams don't use postmortems. The teams that do don't always get value from them. A good postmortem builds team rapport, rewards project successes, and improves the next project after it. The complete timeline postmortem process takes three to four hours of team time plus a little preparation for the moderator. In keeping with this philosophy, the process elements can be separated and introduced one at a time. Process Outline The basic steps of a timeline postmortem are: Create the project timeline. Key Elements of the Process Here are some valuable things to keep in mind: The Project Postmortem: An Essential Tool for the Savvy Developer. It's pretty rare for a software development project to go perfectly. In fact, although developers tend to have eternal faith that the next project will succeed completely according to plan, I can't think of a single project that I've been involved with over the past 25 years that went off without a hitch.
Dealing with bugs, sudden requirements changes, hardware and software that break down mid-project, unexpected personnel turnover, baffling interactions between components, malevolent servers, and incompetent subcontractors seem to be the order of the day. The question is not so much whether you'll get hit with something unexpected, as how you'll deal with it - and what you can learn from it for the next project. The difference between average programmers and excellent developers is not a matter of knowing the latest language or buzzword-laden technique. Building an Institutional Memory Though the name is well-established by now, "postmortem" has somewhat unfortunate connotations. 1. 2. TimeLine Postmortems. Nine steps to IT post-mortem excellence. Conventional IT wisdom holds that post-mortems are essential to ensuring future project success. Sadly, many corporate post-mortems are a waste of time, accomplishing little besides finger-pointing and assigning blame.
Here's what StickyMinds.com says about the post-mortem issue: Most teams don't use postmortems. The teams that do don't always get value from them. Frequently, postmortems have a habit of either turning into "the blame game" or whitewashing mistakes. A bad postmortem can create dissension and institutionalize mistakes.
On the other hand, well-run post-mortems help a project team create a culture of continuous improvement. Post-mortems are an important link in this chain of positive improvement. Running a successful post-mortem isn't magic, although it does require thoughtful planning. Plan for post-mortems. Follow these steps and your next post-mortem will be one of the few that actually are useful. [Image via Coding Horror.] The Travis CI Blog: The Three Ingredients of a Great Postmortem. Writing a postmortem is the biggest courtesy you can do to your users. If something has impacted their ability to use your product, they should know why and what you're doing to reduce the impact of similar circumstances in the future.
A good postmortem includes three parts, and they're best structured based on the three R's: regret, reason, and remedy. I was introduced to the three R's by reading "Drop The Pink Elephant", a book that encourages clarity in communication with others, in this case, your customers. Let's look at every R in more detail. Regret It should go without saying that your empathy levels with your customers went through the roof as things went down. Saying that you're sorry is the number one courtesy, no matter what the problem is. As humans, we still find it surprisingly hard to tell someone we're sorry. Start out with apologizing and acknowledging that the outage has caused your customers trouble, as it very likely has. Reason This is your moment of glory. Remedy. How to Conduct a Post-Project Review. How to Conduct a Project Post-Mortem. How to Write a Postmortem Report. CODE Magazine - PostMortem Writer's Guide.
PostMortem Objectives The objectives for CODE Magazine's PostMortem articles are similar to those of other post-mortems. Your project is complete. You used interesting technologies and techniques. You analyze what went right and what could have gone better. Some things turned out to be very good decissions, others almost sunk the ship. You probably learned some lessons, and we would like to communicate those to our readers in addition to just showing off your cool project and give people something to be excited about. Article Format PostMortem articles start with a brief description of what the goals of the project were and what the overall scenario and boundary conditions were. If you can, also tell us about your development team.
Also tell us about the tools you used in the project. After you set the initial stage, the main part of the article begins. List 5 points about your project that went flawlessly or better than expected. Include Images and Screen Shots Project Facts. Postmortem: Appy Entertainment's Animal Legends. Animal Legends is the newest game from Appy Entertainment -- an independent developer out of Carlsbad, California.
We're the developers behind Trucks & Skulls NITRO , FaceFighter Ultimate , and SpellCraft: School of Magic . Our motto is, "Deadly Serious About Stupid Fun. " Appy's games have been downloaded more than 22 million times and Apple has featured all our titles. With Animal Legends , we wanted to build on 2011's SpellCraft to create a game where players can command archetypal fantasy heroes on dangerous quests for loot and glory -- while still fitting Appy's well-known goal of making fast-playing, humorous games with broad appeal. With SpellCraft , we added an asymmetric multiplayer mode that taught us a lot about developing multiplayer games on iOS.
Animal Legends , with its asymmetric "borrowing of heroes" was a natural next step. The development of Animal Legends lasted roughly seven months. 1. We will be using AppCooker in all of our designs for iOS moving forward. 2. Ron Gilbert - Maniac Mansion postmortem. Classic Games Postmortem - XCOM: UFO Defense.