Project post-mortem reviews are a valuable way to unlock knowledge, reflect on lessons learned, and analyze project successes and failures whenever a project comes to a close.
Such reviews are particularly useful for product and project managers, developers, and other teams that follow Agile project management methods. After all, team management is more effective when there are actionable insights and takeaways to avoid mistakes and streamline processes going forward.
With a project post-mortem template and the right project management tools, you can make this process easier, quicker, and smoother. 🤩
But with so many options, including Sprint Retrospective templates, it can be tough to know which template, document, or framework is best for your needs. To help you clear through the clutter, we’re sharing 10 must-try post-mortem templates that you can use as part of your project closure and review process.
Best of all, they’re free! 🙌
- What is a Post-Mortem Template?
- What Makes a Good Project Post-Mortem Template?
- 10 Post-Mortem Templates to Use in 2023
- 1. ClickUp Project Post-Mortem Template
- 2. ClickUp Lessons Learned Template
- 3. ClickUp Project Retrospective Template
- 4. ClickUp Project Review Template
- 5. ClickUp Project Management Review Template
- 6. ClickUp Sprint Retrospective Template
- 7. ClickUp 4Ls Retrospective Template
- 8. ClickUp Vendor Retrospective Template
- 9. ClickUp Activity Report Template
- 10.ClickUp Final Project Report Template
What is a Post-Mortem Template?
A post-mortem template is a tool or framework for conducting a post-mortem meeting after a project is complete.
Post-mortem templates provide a valuable way to collect insights about a completed project and answer FAQs from team members and stakeholders. You can then use that feedback to inform your next project.
For instance, you could set up a post-mortem survey to answer questions about whether deliverables were met, identifying key wins and obstacles, and how certain processes or methods could be improved for future projects.
Templates are generally deployed before a project post-mortem meeting. That way, project managers and team members know what’s going to be covered beforehand. It’s often useful to make notes before, during, and after the project post-mortem. 📝
In some cases, post-mortems are also known as debriefs or retrospectives. However, a post-mortem is project-specific and typically involves management along with the core project team. It’s a popular approach among software and web development teams, especially those who use Agile methodologies.
Not every company conducts post-mortem meetings. But when you templatize the process, you’ll save time prepping your primary talking points for the meeting agenda.
You’ll also reap the valuable benefits of knowing what went well⏤and what didn’t⏤so you can brainstorm solutions and implement any relevant findings after a project’s closure.
What Makes a Good Project Post-Mortem Template?
An effective post-mortem template should answer the following questions, although you may need to make some adjustments according to your project team’s needs and structure:
- What went well in this project?
- What didn’t go well?
- Why did [X] not go well?
- What can we learn from this?
- Are there any roadblocks in our processes?
- What can we improve for future projects?
- How can we improve the overall process for clients?
- What are our project management action items?
- What are the priority ratings for the action items?
- Who’s responsible for implementing the action items?
- Who will make sure those action items have been completed?
When post-mortem templates are integrated with project management software, you can embed those learnings and actions into workstreams. As a result, you can apply that valuable data as part of your workflow.
10 Post-Mortem Templates to Use in 2023
A project post-mortem template is useful for many companies, but not all templates are created equal.
Fortunately, we’re here to improve your work life with 10 of our favorite free project post-mortem templates—equipped with the features and resources to support your needs and ensure seamless project execution.
It’s time to take a look! 👀
1. ClickUp Project Post-Mortem Template
A useful starting point for implementing a post-mortem meeting is the ClickUp Project Post-Mortem Template. It’s an ideal template for a variety of projects with six view formats, four custom fields, and four status indicators.
With this post-mortem template, you can categorize project insights into the following:
- Success: Achievements that must be celebrated
- Challenge: Roadblocks that happened during the project
- Post-Project Task: Project tasks that are still pending
- Team Performance: Matters related to the team’s performance
- Learnings: Lessons learned during the project
You can also tag these elements into different sectors like Customer Experience, Product, or Finance to keep things organized. Use this template inside ClickUp’s project management platform to ensure nothing is overlooked.
2. ClickUp Lessons Learned Template
Not every project goes well. But there are always lessons to be learned. When it comes to recording these lessons, the ClickUp Lessons Learned Template is a time-saver for busy product teams. In some cases, it could help produce better Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The Lessons Learned Template can be used in a number of ways, such as:
- Board view: Record project objectives, budget, milestones, successes, and failures, then view that information in a convenient format. Project managers can quickly see what needs reviewing, what’s currently in review, which items need action, and what has been reviewed and acted upon
- Need action: A custom view format ensures that post-mortem actions aren’t overlooked or forgotten when a new project starts
- Feedback form: Using the template in this way, project managers can provide feedback to team members or ask for feedback from clients to inform process improvements
Use this template to easily group, sort, and filter items—and ultimately determine the impact and overall success of the project.
Learn how SOP software can help your team!
3. ClickUp Project Retrospective Template
The ClickUp Project Retrospective Template is the perfect way to assess whether a project was a success or failure.
Capture where mistakes, failures, or roadblocks were encountered to avoid such situations in the future. Then, turn this information into a retrospective report after a big project has been wrapped up.
Businesses and teams that use Agile methodologies value these lessons, an integral part of continuous improvement. Even small tweaks to workflows can positively impact the quality of client deliverables and make projects run more smoothly in the future.
When post-mortem analyses and reports are applied to how a company operates, every iteration can improve how work is delivered and how team members perform.
4. ClickUp Project Review Template
With the ClickUp Project Review Template, managers or team members can document what they think went well and what didn’t.
Project managers can use it to answer questions like:
- What went well?
- Has the project produced the expected results?
- What needs improving for future projects?
- Did the team get the support it needed to execute this project successfully?
It’s always a valuable learning experience to get to the root cause of any problems or roadblocks. This way, you’ll have a better chance of reducing the number of mistakes, bugs, and errors going forward.
This template simplifies the process of documenting lessons learned, best practices and tools used for the project, and whether management supported the team well.
5. ClickUp Project Management Review Template
ClickUp’s Project Management Review Template is for organizations working on projects internally or with vendors. It’s a way to assess whether a project is worth continuing; this project post mortem report makes it easier to do.
Managers and client-side project coordinators can use this template to take a snapshot of progress. At the same time, a service provider can give this post-mortem template to a client for feedback about the overall value of the project deliverables and work completed.
Based on client feedback, project managers can follow up to make changes on everything from automation tools to team collaboration workflows.
6. ClickUp Sprint Retrospective Template
Our next free post mortem template is the ClickUp Sprint Retrospective Template is great for recording successes and failures and making an action plan for future improvements.
It’s a simple whiteboard template, making it ideal for busy teams who’ve either completed a project or have finished a sprint within a larger project and need to stop for a moment and review progress.
A Sprint Retrospective meeting is another way of collecting feedback. However, in many ways, it’s meant to be more proactive than post-mortem meetings as it’s conducted every 3-4 weeks. As such, iterative learnings are implemented immediately—and across multiple projects in real-time—rather than at the end of a project.
This template is simple, easy to fill in, and can be used collaboratively during one-on-one meetings with project team members or in a post project reflection process. Whiteboard project management is ideal for Agile teams.
7. ClickUp 4Ls Retrospective Template
Get all the feels with ClickUp’s 4Ls Retrospective Template! The “4Ls” stands for loved, longed for, loathed, and learned. Send a copy of this post mortem survey template to every stakeholder, manager, team member, and freelancer involved in a project.
With this template, team members can communicate more openly about what they enjoyed, struggled with, needed but didn’t get (e.g., more time, resources, proactive client feedback, etc.), and learned from the experience.
Encourage everyone to fill it in. That way, as a project manager, you have a complete 360-view of what went well, what your team needs going forward, how to replicate successes, and how to avoid potential mistakes.
8. ClickUp Vendor Retrospective Template
Outsourcing is a normal part of project delivery. Whether you’re the client or a vendor/service provider, there are usually aspects of a project that involve outsourcing work.
With the ClickUp Vendor Retrospective Template, you can review a vendor’s work, connect it to the statement of work (SOW), renew terms, and give them a case study. You’ll find sections to outline the original problem, progress on deliverables, outcomes, and feedback (whether it’s positive or negative).
This template is particularly useful if you’re going to keep working with the same vendor as you can ask them to apply any learnings to how you’ll work together going forward.
9. ClickUp Activity Report Template
The ClickUp Activity Report Template is a time-effective way of quickly recording project outcomes, noting how well the action plan worked for various aspects of the project.
It’s handy for project managers to recap project successes, team collaboration outcomes, and the impact of automation. And it puts all of this into a simple post-mortem report for senior stakeholders.
With this template, you can record all project post mortems in one place:
- Project outcomes delivered so far
- Pending tasks/deliverables
- Tasks that will be delivered next week
- Today’s small wins
- Suggested improvements to processes
10.ClickUp Final Project Report Template
At the end of a project, especially if a lot of resources and time have been poured into it, project managers can benefit from reflecting on the end-to-end process. Document your thoughts in the ClickUp Final Project Report Template.
This post-mortem template serves as a useful final record of everything a client wanted to achieve compared to actual outcomes. For example, you can document whether project deliverables were completed on time and on budget—and if not, what went wrong and why.
This overall project assessment tool gives managers and senior leaders a quick overview and recap of whether objectives have been met and how to ensure any learnings are applied to move ahead.
Bonus: AI project management tools!
Streamline Your Project Closure With an Easy-to-Use Template
A post-mortem meeting is a chance for project managers and teams to reflect on what went well and what could have been better. Creating a post-mortem report can be a time-consuming task, but having a template means you don’t need to make one from scratch.
Streamline the process and get those valuable insights in place with a project post-mortem template. You’ll save time collecting feedback and better understand how to deliver more successes and avoid future failures.
Post-mortem templates are great, but applying those learnings is more effective and easier to do within the right project management and productivity platform.
ClickUp is a powerful all-in-one productivity suite built for teams of any size across every industry. Thanks to an incredibly customizable platform, you can automate workflows, streamline processes, and simplify project management for everyone.
Sign up for a free ClickUp account to create more effective post-mortem meetings and manage the entire project life cycle.