Awesome Postmortems NYC 2015

A full-day, practical, experiential workshop on making postmortems awesome.

Tickets Prices in USD

Additional Information

Failure is inevitable. Success is unpredictable.

Both failure and success are also a tremendous learning opportunities. A postmortem, conducted in an skillful way, is one of the best ways to learn from both failures and successes. Postmortems can help us identify and address areas of fragility within systems and organizations, and make both more resilient.

In this highly-rated, practical, hands-on workshop, you'll learn the theory and, most important, get to practice conducting awesome postmortems, including:

  • how to set the context, and go beyond blame
  • what data to collect before the postmortem and how to present it in the most useful way
  • how to facilitate charged conversations during high-stakes postmortems
  • finding the real root cause of any failure or success (yes, there is such a thing!)
  • learning in complex, adaptive systems
  • the new view of "human error"
  • how to recognize and mitigate the effects of cognitive biases
  • best practices for writing up postmortem results (for internal and external audiences)
  • harnessing prospective hindsight to identify risks and reduce the possibility of future failures

Feedback from attendees:

John Allspaw, ‎SVP of Technical Operations, Etsy: "Organizations continually face a choice: they can attempt to learn from mistakes and accidents in order to improve, or they can punish those responsible. The challenge is: they cannot do both - they have to pick one. This workshop explores how modern software companies can take a new view on what is commonly known as 'human error' and gives managers and engineers the language they need to understand how to balance accountability and safety. The workshop will likely challenge your views on causality and bring a different perspective, which is supported by psychology and cognitive science."

Will Maier, Vice President of Engineering, Simple (formerly BankSimple): "[The] workshop helped Simple discover our own way to make postmortems awesome and learn every day."

Tom Leach, Principal Software Engineer, GameChanger Media: "Learning from failure is huge opportunity. No one I've met better understands how to dissect what happens when systems fail than Dave Zwieback and Yulia Sheynkman. If you're able, attend their Awesome Post-Mortems workshop in NYC. It will challenge your views on 'root causes', 'bad apples' and blame, and instead allow you to continuously learn, adapt and improve. I highly recommend it."

Workshop Hours:


Lunch on your own.

Coffee will be provided.

Workshop Facilitators:

Yulia Sheynkman has held leadership positions in large financial services and professional services organizations for 15 years. Yulia brings a unique blend of corporate strategy expertise, cognitive science research and coaching skills. Prior to her corporate career, Yulia was a researcher at Princeton University, working in the laboratory of Anne Treisman and Daniel Kahneman (winner of the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences) on issues of human memory and perception. Yulia's cognitive science research on early conceptual development received an Honorable Mention from the National Science Foundation.

Dave Zwieback has been managing large-scale mission-critical infrastructure and teams for 18 years. He is VP, Engineering at Next Big Sound, and CTO of Lotus Outreach. He has previously worked with the adaptive learning startup Knewton, the quantitative investment management firm D.E. Shaw & Co., and Morgan Stanley. He also ran an infrastructure architecture consultancy for 7 years. Dave is the author of The Human Side of Postmortems and [Beyond Blame: How To Learn From Failure and Success], coming soon from O'Reilly Media. Follow Dave @mindweather.


No refunds after February 5, 2015.