Think about it - we are constantly ‘briefing’. Meetings, projects, seminars, workshops - they all start with a briefing. What often gets dropped from the agenda is the equally important, de-briefing.
We brief so that we have an agenda, to provide a timeline, something to follow. This way, you can clearly mark where and when you are moving off track.
Too often the small business owner is all about creating a marketing strategy that appeals to them. The main problem here is that the business owner is unlikely to ever be a prospective customer of their own business.
Debriefings hold the same weight. They allow you to utilise the 20/20 vision that only comes in hindsight.
Failing to debrief is losing out on a valuable learning experience, and one that could have an effect on the future of your business.
Debriefings should intend to answer the following questions:
- The positives - what worked? This will allow you to implement the same, or similar, techniques in future projects, as well as identify your strengths as a team or company.
- What did not work or proved troublesome? List these out and dig deeper to identify exactly what could be tweaked in the future.
- Assess the risks you took, were they worth it? What benefits/negatives did those risks provide? Were there surprises along the way?
- Play the “what if” game. If money and time were not a factor, what would you have done differently? This may seem futile, as money and time will always be a factor.
But this technique may bring to light some ideal scenarios and with discussion, you may find ways to make those ideals realities.
No matter how well your project went, improvement for the future should always be a topic of the debriefing. Even the best outcome most likely did not come from perfection.