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Conventional wisdom in the software industry decrees that it's good practice to conduct a postmortem study at the end of each project. Some would even suggest that this is not just a useful undertaking, but one of the fundamental principles of successful software development. The rationale authors most often cite for postmortem analysis is that only by analyzing our shortcomings can we learn to do better. We must begin by cataloguing such failures and learning from their patterns. The success of the postmortem-or of any learning process-demands a context that makes organizational learning possible. Participants are empowered when they know that each issue raised during the postmortem process must be added to the risk database and evaluated methodically on each subsequent project.

B. Collier, P. Fearey and T. DeMarco, "A Defined Process For Project Postmortem Review," in IEEE Software, vol. 13, no. , pp. 65-72, 1996.
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