The Debrief

Have you ever experienced a post-project meeting that seemed more like a game of point-the-finger and less about lessons learned? We have! That’s why we brought Russ Thomas on the show for Episode 61, “The Debrief”. Russ gives the who, what, where, why, and how of a good debrief. He also shares his first experience with the debrief as a deputy sheriff, as well as how a debrief could be implemented in a corporate setting.

Listen to Learn

  • The origin of the debrief and why it’s so important
  • The difference between a good debrief and a bad one
  • Why finger pointing is the last thing you want in a debrief
  • Recommended scripts that effectively end the “blame game”
  • How to make debrief attendees feel at ease
  • The only two questions you ask in a debriefing session

Our Guest

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Russ Thomas

Russ is a SQL Server DBA, blogger, speaker, and trainer in Denver, Colorado area. He’s was formally a Sheriff’s Deputy in Washington State, which is how he learned about the Debrief. Follow him on his blog or on Twitter @SQLJudo.

It’s really good if you already have a culture that is good at getting together and celebrating your wins, because hopefully you can kind of meter those back and forth and hopefully you have more of the good ones than the bad ones. But in either case, if they only ever get together to talk about what went wrong or whose fault it was then yeah, those kind of get togethers really have a bad connotation.

Russ Thomas

Meet the Hosts

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Carlos Chacon

With more than 10 years of working with SQL Server, Carlos helps businesses ensure their SQL Server environments meet their users’ expectations. He can provide insights on performance, migrations, and disaster recovery. He is also active in the SQL Server community and regularly speaks at user group meetings and conferences. He helps support the free database monitoring tool found at and provides training through SQL Trail events.

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Eugene Meidinger

Eugene works as an independent BI consultant and Pluralsight author, specializing in Power BI and the Azure Data Platform. He has been working with data for over 8 years and speaks regularly at user groups and conferences. He also helps run the GroupBy online conference.

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Kevin Feasel

Kevin is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and proprietor of Catallaxy Services, LLC, where he specializes in T-SQL development, machine learning, and pulling rabbits out of hats on demand. He is the lead contributor to Curated SQL, president of the Triangle Area SQL Server Users Group, and author of the books PolyBase Revealed (Apress, 2020) and Finding Ghosts in Your Data: Anomaly Detection Techniques with Examples in Python (Apress, 2022). A resident of Durham, North Carolina, he can be found cycling the trails along the triangle whenever the weather's nice enough.

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