Using WWW/TALA for Project Improvement

Know you need to evaluate an event/campaign/project/quarter, but don’t have time?

This quick, simple tool will be a major asset to you and your team for future project improvement.

Projects often overlap, leaving little time in between for evaluation.

But turning a blind eye to this critical process means losing invaluable information for improving future work.

To effectively evaluate the completed work, you must spend time getting to know what your team went through during the project.

What worked for them? What didn’t?

In 3-5 minutes time, you can effectively analyze what worked and what was problematic for the purpose of improving your next project/event/performance.

This idea comes from the folks over at Manager Tools. You can listen to them explain it in the Manager Tools Podcast – The Hot Wash.

They use the phrase “hot wash” because of its military background where the term is used to describe the beginning process of cleaning a weapon.

If you’ve worked with me in the past, you might be familiar with the terms I use for this process — WWW/TALA.

WWW: What Went Well & TALA: Take A Look At

In only 3-5 minutes, you’ll see 80% of the same results from doing a longer, more in-depth after-action session.

Executing a WWW/TALA:

  • Gather your team after the project/event is completed.
  • Obtain a large paper, big enough for everyone to see. On the paper, make a T-chart and add the headings WWW and TALA.
  • As the leader, you will be facilitating and writing down everything your team says. It’s important to write everything down.
  • Ask your team to answer “What went well”, and “What should we take a look at?” in a casual, rapid fire mode.
  • Write answers in the respective columns. Keep it moving, without discussion, and get as much down as you can in 3 minutes.
  • Then, use your best judgment to decide which items to address from the TALA column, and/or reward or acknowledge from the WWW column.
  • Lastly, keep your notes filed for the next corresponding event for reference.

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