As individuals, it is quite easy for us to learn from our experiences. However, it may not be the case when we talk about learning from the experience as a part of a team.

This is where a project wash-up comes into play. A project wash-up is a routine meeting that takes place after a project gets over. The sole purpose of a wash-up meeting is to review the project and allow all the members to learn from one another’s experiences.

Project Wash-ups – Why are they important

The wash-up process involves everyone in the team to analyze the project’s success and shortcomings and helps everyone list out the improvements they need to make for better results in the future. It is beneficial for the team members individually, and it also benefits the organization as a whole.

But where do you start? Why is a project wash-up important, and what’s the best way to go about it? We’ve put together this guide to help you find answers to all your questions.

What is a Project Wash-up?

To put it in simple words, a project wash-up meeting is held to discuss all that went well in the project and everything that went wrong. The team members discuss all the aspects where improvements can be made and jot down the lessons they need to learn.

This is done to ensure that the organization achieves better results moving forward and that the members adapt to a culture wherein they’re open to constructive feedback.

Just like a meeting is held before starting a new project to determine the goals and ensure everyone is on the right track, it is essential to end the project with a wash-up meeting to make necessary changes and find better ways for growth.

Importance of a Project Wash-up Meeting

Here’s a list of reasons why it’s crucial to go through with a project wash-up soon after you’re done with a project:

Speak Your Mind

A project wash-up is a great team exercise as it allows all the members to speak their minds and keep their opinions on the table. When the project is going on, the members don’t get the time to reflect upon the vital aspects as they get busy meeting their respective deadlines. Thus, a project wash-up allows everyone involved to talk about their experience and take important notes before moving ahead.

To Make Improvements

Going through the project after it’s done will give the team members an insight into the improvements they need to make. Be it an improvement or update that needs to be made in a process, or a particular area of the project, a wash-up meeting will put a light on all such important aspects.
Learning and improving is a positive part of this process, and it allows the team members to prevent themselves from repeating their mistakes.

Discuss the Achievements

Apart from reflecting upon the shortcomings, a wash-up meeting also gives the team members a space to discuss their achievements and look at a brighter future. It also gives the team a chance to talk about the processes that fell into place as planned and take pride in the wins.

The Process of Running a Project Wash-up

When you’re working as a part of a team, it becomes crucial to follow a procedure for a successful project wash-up. Your main goal should be to analyze the overall workings of the project and review it thoroughly.
Here’s an ideal project wash-up process that you can follow:

Moderator & the Participants

To begin with, you should find the right moderator for your wash-up meeting. The moderator will run the meeting and ensure all the team members are actively participating.
The moderator’s job is to also ensure that the meeting doesn’t go off track and everyone sticks to the agenda.
Anyone who’s a part of the project or the organization can become the moderator. Moreover, you should make it a point that all the team members are attending the project wash-up.

Quick Analysis

The moderator should start the meeting by asking various relevant questions and jotting down the observations. These general questions help pave the meeting’s direction.
The moderator may ask questions like:
● Do you think the project went well? Did anything go wrong? What are the changes that can be made to ensure the mistakes aren’t repeated in the next project?
● Did the project meet its deadline or was it delivered later?
● Did the team members successfully fulfill the project goals?
● Is there any feedback?

Group Discussion

The group discussion is the most crucial part of the project wash-up meeting. In this step of the meeting, all the team members are given a chance to express their views and describe their experiences.
Each team member points out the areas where everything went well and expresses how they feel about the processes that went wrong or could’ve been executed with a better plan.
The team members also list their learnings from the project to learn from each other’s viewpoints.
Firstly, the participants explain everything that went well from the beginning of the project till the end. Everything is documented so that the team and the organization can go back to the documented analysis anytime in the future.
Then, the things that didn’t go as planned are documented. This includes anything that the client didn’t approve of or thought could be improved.
This may also include improving the team’s time management in case the project exceeded the deadline. Each member also talks about the important learnings from the project that they’ll take with them.

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Final Thoughts

Different organizations can adopt various ways of running a wash-up meeting, but the bottom line is that a wash-up meeting is an integral part of the process. Your project team can run the meeting in a way that works best for your organization.

But the ultimate goal of a project wash-up should be to devise a list of successes and failures alongside actions you need to take to improve constantly. Now that you’re done reading our thorough guide, we hope you know exactly what a project wash-up meeting is and why it is so important.

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