What is a wash-up meeting?
A wash-up meeting takes place at the end of a project and it’s purpose is to review the project as a whole. Everyone who was involved in the project attends the meeting and it gives everyone a chance to review how successful the project was and if there are any improvements or updates to processes that need to be made. The wash-up is the final part of the process before the team move onto the next project.
All the notes from the meeting are captured and shared with the wider team.
Working as a team, we have adopted a process internally to access the project as a whole and document what we’re going to take away from it. Below is the process we follow:
The meeting chair and attendees
First, we assign a meeting chair and document the attendees. The job of the meeting chair is to ensure the meeting stays on track and all the questions in the wash-up meeting template are captured. The meeting chair does not always need to be the same person for each wash-up meeting and can be anyone that was involved within the project.
The meeting chair will then run through a list of questions that are general to each project and capture all of the notes and discussion project. For example:
- Was the project a success? If not, why?
- Was the project delivered on time? If not, why?
- What were the project goals and did we deliver on each one?
- Do we have any feedback from the client?
The group task is the most important part of the wash-up. This section gives everyone the chance to take it in turns to express what they believe went well, what didn’t go well and one learning each person is going to take away from the project.
- What went well – document one thing that went well as part of the project. This could be anything from the kick-off meeting with the client where we captured the full project brief to specific functionality that was developed and was exactly what the client needed.
- What didn’t go well – document one thing that didn’t go to plan within the project. This could be that the client didn’t like the first creative ideas or that we didn’t receive server information on time so the launch was delayed.
- One learning you’re going to take away from the project – this could be something that went really well that you’re going to ensure happens in the next project or something that you’re going to work to improve.
Why is having a wash-up meeting important?
There are a few key reasons why it’s important to have a project wash-up meeting when a project is complete:
- Highlight areas to improve
Talking about and going back through the project will highlight if there are any processes or areas that need to be improved. This should be seen as a positive process – if something didn’t go so well, we can learn from it and prevent it from happening again. It’s also good that the whole team agrees on it as it will be easier to implement any changes to the process if everyone is behind it.
- Talk as a team
The wash-up meeting gives each member of the team a chance to talk about the project from their point of view. During projects, everyone is usually so busy trying to hit deadlines that there’s no opportunity to reflect, hence the wash-up meeting. Every person that was involved in the project gets to have their say, all notes are captured and then we can move onto the next project.
- Celebrate the wins
This process gives the whole team a chance to look to the future and be positive about everything that has been achieved. It’s also a chance to celebrate the wins and enjoy the fact that the processes that you are already working with are in fact working and you have a great case study for future projects.