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Conducting a Project Postmortem

Given all the responsibilities that game developers face, it isn't surprising that they seldom take the time to conduct project postmortems. A postmortem is a procedure whereby you summarize a project's history and analyzes its positive and negative aspects. The goal of a postmortem is to draw meaningful conclusions to help you learn from your past successes and failures. Despite its grim-sounding name, a postmortem can be an extremely productive method of improving your development practices.

The best time to conduct a postmortem is about two weeks after a product is released (or for certain products, after the project is cancelled). This allows you to regain your objectivity without forgetting the details. Your memories will still be fresh, and you'll have a good perspective to see the project as a whole rather than focusing too strongly on the most recent work.

Here are ten suggestions for conducting a good project postmortem:


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