What do you do once you and your team have finalised a big project?
Do you have them move straight onto something new? Or do you sit down and talk about how things went?
See, most businesses tend to plan, act and repeat without taking the time to assess their actions, decisions and outcomes afterwards. This debriefing process is often overlooked – causing teams like yours to miss a vital opportunity to learn, adjust and improve their approach for next time.
As a Business Coach, I strongly believe in the idea of debriefing to help you get the most out of your team. It’s an effective way to correct past mistakes, enhance current processes and ensure future success.
Let’s explore the best way for you to perform a debrief in your business.
What’s the purpose of debriefing?
Debriefing occurs after the completion of a project or initiative. A debrief process is a structured learning procedure that involves reviewing targets, reflecting on results, identifying mistakes and gaining valuable insights from your team’s performance.
It centres on understanding the key points of a project, event or activity, allowing leaders like yourself to have a complete understanding of why and how certain things occurred and what areas can be improved.
Debriefing also fosters transparency, effective collaboration and continuous development within your group. It’s driven not by blame games and excuses, but by the efforts of each team member to grow and learn from both successes and failures.
How to perform a proper business debrief
The process of debriefing can take several forms, depending on the nature of your business. It can take only a few minutes or last as long as several hours.
For business leaders, asking the right questions and digging deep into the situation to find out what worked (and what didn’t) should be the priority.
So, to ensure you receive useful insights, here’s a guide outlining the best way to perform a debrief:
- Remind your team about what they are/were trying to accomplish.
Are your business’ objectives still clear to everyone in your team? Reiterating your goals is a good starting point to reflect on what took place.
This will not only allow you to understand your results, but also help to make sure that you and your team members are on the same page and pursuing what’s best for your business.
- Thoroughly review your results.
Where did you hit or miss your objectives? Were you able to maximise your resources and meet deadlines? Did internal and external factors work in your favour? Were your assumptions correct?
Just remember to be honest in answering these questions, so your team can recognise what aspects went well and what needs to be improved.
- Perform a root-cause analysis to uncover any fundamental issues.
Now that you have the results of your project, activity or task, it’s important to understand how you got them.
One effective tool that you can use is the “five whys” technique. Every time you get an answer to a question, follow it up by asking why. Now do this at least five times. Once you’re done, you’ll have a thorough understanding of the issues that your team encountered, as well as the root cause of these problems.
- Become more future-orientated and implementation-oriented.
The process of debriefing provides your team with valuable insights to help them make smarter decisions and take more strategic action going forward. As such, you should document and communicate your learnings, so that you can incorporate them as you make adjustments and plan future projects.
As a business leader, you know how inefficient it can be when your business repeats the same mistakes over and over. You really want your team to learn, grow and adapt through continuous improvement.
So, if you want better results on a longer-term basis, it’s important that you encourage your team to take learning seriously – this all begins with debriefing.
I can help you to effectively implement debriefing into your operations
As a Business Coach and Mentor, I work with business professionals like you to help you implement better decision-making strategies to reach your goals.
Whether you want to learn more about debriefing, or you’re having a hard time getting started and would like guidance to facilitate the process, I’m here to help.
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