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9 fundamental questions to ask before any great project review meeting

Ross Hunter 21 July 2022
investment thought leadership

A lesson learned is a lesson earned

Last time we talked about the importance of a smooth planning process to ensure a successful quarter-end.

Sharing that fundamental to a great plan is reviewing what happened before and learning the lessons.

So, let’s dig into what a great project review meeting looks like.

First, when should you have it?

As soon as possible. Try and set up a review meeting 2–3 days after the end of the last reporting period – when everything is still fresh in the mind: all the successes, the problems and the ideas.

Here are some of the questions you can ask yourself and your team:

  1. Start positively. What went well? What was your percentage of deadlines hit? Hopefully, it’s over 99%. Did you get any unsolicited positive feedback?
  2. Next, what didn’t work so well? Did you miss any deadlines? If so, why?
  3. Have you asked clients or stakeholders in the commentary process for feedback? Also, ask for their ideas for improvement.
  4. Were there any bottlenecks in the process? Delays in the data? Managers not responding to requests for information? Slow approvals? Or, maybe, you just needed more people on the process, especially on certain days when there’s a spike in deadlines (business days 8 and 10 always seem to be busy for us).
  5. Were there any errors? If so, were they technical or factual errors that might necessitate a review of the fact checking process? Or were there typos – so, do you need a better proof check?
  6. Once you’ve gathered all the data and shared it with your commentary team, consider what you could improve. Gather ideas from everyone in the group, especially those writers and editors who are on the front line.
  7. Next, filter the ideas and curate the best ones into an actions list. What are you going to implement for next quarter? And what might be longer-term initiatives?
  8. Agree on the owners for the actions and hold them accountable for making the change happen.
  9. Finally, a review meeting shouldn’t be a one off. Regular feedback loops improve quality AND efficiency. A great review meeting puts you on a virtuous circle of improvement.

Copylab exists because fund commentary exists. Over the past 15 years, our tremendous team has produced hundreds of thousands of commentaries for dozens of fund managers, large and small. Along the way, we’ve accumulated wisdom through our growing list of successes and diminishing list of failures.

You can find more tips like the above in our white paper here.