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Post Project Implementation Review: Purpose & Benefits

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  • 0:03 Post Project…
  • 1:15 How it's Conducted
  • 2:37 Report
  • 5:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen O'Brien

Karen has 14 years of experience in consultancy, including creation of training materials and running courses for IT professionals.

How do you continuously improve at delivering projects? This lesson provides the steps you need to go through to learn from every project and become more and more successful.

Post Project Implementation Review

Let's say you are taking a road trip from Boston to New York City. You plan the route, mapping out rest stops on the way and avoiding the worst traffic spots. On the way to New York City, you realize that:

  • Your planned route includes road works and will take 8 hours instead of 4.
  • The rest stops you've chosen do not have restroom facilities, causing you to travel farther to find facilities.
  • You packed the perfect amount of snacks and water.

After a wonderful stay in New York, you plan your return trip. You have to choose between retracing your original path to return to Boston or creating an entirely new route based on your experiences. Of course you are going to make changes to your route to make it more efficient and plan rest stops with additional facilities, but pack a similar amount of snacks and water.

This is essentially post project implementation review, the process of reviewing your project, making changes to avoid problems encountered previously, and copying things that went well. A post project implementation review is an exercise conducted at the end of a project to allow all project team members to provide feedback (positive or negative) and to analyze that information and identify actions that can be taken to improve future projects.

How it's Conducted

Post project reviews can be sensitive. You're trying to identify the root cause of problems, which can lead to possible relationship frictions and even an investigation into an individual team member's work. It is not uncommon for issues to arise during a project due to personality clashes, and these issues can cause friction and tension during the post project review if not handled correctly.

It is important that the individual leading the review, typically a facilitator, is objective and ensures that this is not an exercise in apportioning blame, but a way to ensure continuous improvement. The purpose of the review is to learn from the experience of the project. The review should come back to this purpose regularly. The most common and straightforward way to do the review is to:

  1. Have the entire project team fill out a questionnaire.
  2. Schedule a review meeting with all team members to share feedback and discuss questionnaire results.
  3. Create a written document that summarizes all information (the post project implementation review report).

The main questions that should appear in the questionnaire are:

  • What went right?
  • What went wrong?
  • What should we do differently next time?

These questions should be answered with respect to all areas and aspects of the project. They should be addressed by every member of the project team, from stakeholder to project manager to quality assurance analyst.

Report

Following the review meeting, a written report should be created so that valuable information can be recorded and used for all future projects. This is the post project implementation report. It summarizes the post project implementation review meeting and provides additional information regarding scope, budget, schedule, and quality. The following sections are common in these reports:

Project summary: Discusses what the project is, what it was designed to do, and how it works.

Resources: List of all project staff that worked on the project and their respective roles.

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