Finished a project? It’s time to review

The end of a project presents a new opportunity to review, reflect and learn. So many great projects take place but the project management team very rarely maximise the opportunity to reflect and review the successes and lessons learned for the project.

The facilitating of a project review is an art. There are project reviews that take place which simply become “this went wrong and its your fault” session. We have worked to help many project managers to do project kick-starts and risk management workshops however often project managers shy away from a project review. Its not usual for project managers to feel worried about having a project review because they want to berry any negative outcomes of the project.

If you are not unable to get a project review professionally facilitated by an organisation such as BusinessAdapts then follow these tips.

1 - Ensure you take the time to get the right people in the room

I know it sounds basic but so many project reviews take place where there is not time taken to get the right people in the room. Its worth taking a look at your project and thinking about who was involved in the project throughout its life.

2 - Review the objectives you set out to deliver

There are many project review meetings which only ask one question ‘what were our lessons learned’. There are many questions you need to ask yourself when delivering a project review one of the key ones is ‘What were our objectives and did we achieve them’.

3 - Provide the right environment for people to contribute

Its key to provide the right environment for people to contribute. Its not usual for project reviews to take place with lots of people ‘talking at each other’ which means that lets say Bob has brilliant suggestions but doesn’t feel confident giving his view infant of a group of 20 people Bob will not contribute. As a result ensure that you keep the workshop interactive, use flip charts to write upon individually giving people the perfect environment to be honest.

4 - Ask the right questions

The success of a project review all comes down to asking the right questions. As you do a project review you need to cast your mind back throughout the duration of the project, think of all of the interfaces of the project you want to review and all of the phases of the project you want to review. Ensure that the questions you want to ask are not just in your head but are writing down so that everyone in the workshop will work through them and answer the questions.

5 - Capture the outcomes

Although it sounds simple – ensure you capture the outcomes. It’s not usual for the outcomes of a project review not to be captured. The best project review is an output driven meeting to feed into a comprehensive report reviewing the project.