Business Postmortem: What it is and why it’s Important

At first glance, it might seem like something gruesome or out of a murder mystery but that is not what I am going to talk about here.

A business postmortem is simply taking time after specific events to do an analysis or what I like to call a “business autopsy.”

When I work with my clients, and in my own business, I do postmortems at these 5 junctures:

  1. End of every month/beginning of new month
  2. When we have to let a member of our team go
  3. Each quarter
  4. End of the year
  5. After every client engagement

The reason I do postmortems at the above times is because each of  them represent a moment in time that can positively (or negatively) impact the trajectory of my business.

Let’s dive into what exactly a business postmortem is and why it is important, shall we?

First, Webster defines a post mortem this way:

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Personally, I love the way they define it and take it one step further by asking these specific questions after each event:

  1. What went well?
  2. What didn’t go so well?
  3. Did we hit our intentions (goals)?
  4. Yes/no and why…?
  5. Is there a recurring pattern that is emerging that we need to pay attention to?
  6. What do we need to adjust and/or can we do better & improve next go round?

What I appreciate about these questions is that it really is a holistic approach to the event.  We look at the good, the bad, the sometimes ugly, and we course correct as necessary.

What I have found with so many of my clients before our work together is that they, like so many other business owners, were going through their businesses on autopilot, but instead of true autopilot where they were making intentional and 2mm adjustments as they went, they fell into the oh-so-common trap of “set it and forget it.”

You know what I am talking about… the day to day where you are going through the motions but not 100% certain about the GPS destination you are aiming for… not exactly the best recipe for continued success.  As Marshall Goldsmith says, “What got you here, won’t get you there.”

When you are able to look back objectively the benefits are hard to quantify because they are so vast.  In my experience, revenues go up, client and employee satisfaction increase, fulfillment increases… I could go on and on but I instead I will leave you with this question:

When was the last time you did a postmortem check up  on your business? 

Don’t delay it any longer if the answer was “never or I can’t recall.”

Remember, an airplane only has to be off by a few degrees to wind up hundreds of miles from its destination.  The same is true with your business, the sum of your decisions today will determine if you hit and surpass your objectives or are woefully off track!


My hope in sharing this strategy of ours is that your business will be on the trajectory to much more scaling success without the surprises. It is so much more fun when your business and team are running like a well oiled machine and you have more time, fun, and freedom!

If you would like to know more about the work we do with companies to help you scale your team and operations more simply, efficiently, and profitably, you can schedule a call with me here.

Disclaimer: Our posts may contain partner [affiliate] links which means we may receive commissions when you click our links and decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. This is of no cost to you and this does not impact our reviews or comparisons. We do our best to keep things fair and balanced and only recommend products we use ourselves.

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I'm Lauren.

Fondly known by our clients as the business doctor, I am the Founder and CEO of Golden Key Partnership.

My superpower is simply and effectively diagnosing what is keeping your business stuck at status quo and then helping you strategically prioritize to bust through those bottlenecks.

Our magic happens in the 2mm space of strategic and effective microscopic adjustments that create traction to move your business from stagnation to successful scaling.

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