What is the purpose of a post-project review?
One of the characteristics of Project management is that it has a defined beginning and end. Although the beginning and finish of a project are not always perfectly defined one can typically get a broad picture of when it began and ended. A project isn't actually a project if it doesn't have a defined lifespan. Any activity, such as ongoing software maintenance and support, can be broken up into a number of defined projects, with each project normally ending when a software version is put into production and a new project beginning for the following release or upgrade.
Post project reviews are a part of IT project management that is a great method to incorporate a continuous improvement mechanism. As previously stated, most activities may be broken down into a series of separate projects. This system of constant improvement aids in the success of each subsequent endeavour (and frequently less stressful to all participants). During Post project reviews, the project team and key stakeholders usually gather to discuss what went well and what went wrong during the project. This information can assist participants in making the best judgments and strategies for future project. It can also assist in the resolution of misunderstandings and other challenges.
The Quality Assurance (QA) team, for example, was dissatisfied during a post-project review I once performed because they believed requirements changes had been accepted and implemented without their participation throughout the project. Based on the input received, this was remedied in the following projects by ensuring that a representative from the QA team was always present when requirements discussions were needed. This kept them informed and allowed them the opportunity to raise any issues that would have an influence on the QA timelines. It's critical that everyone involved in the post-project review understands that this is not the time to assign blame or make personal attacks. The goal is to congratulate each other on a job well done while also brainstorming ways to improve things. It's important to keep a post-project review from devolving into finger-pointing or yelling fights.
The Components of a Successful Post-Project Evaluation
As previously stated, the fundamental goal of an IT project management review is to identify areas for improvement and strategies to improve them, not to assign blame. Determine your major goals and what you want to take away before planning a post-project review.
Identify the things that went well: for example, maybe the time estimations were spot on, the development and quality assurance teams collaborated successfully, and so on.
Identify areas where you can improve: Perhaps the system documentation was not completed on time; perhaps developers and analysts had a disagreement, and so on.
Breakable items should be identified as follows: These are major issues that may necessitate a full rethinking of how they are handled. It may be necessary to reassign two persons who irritate each other so that they do not have to work together.
Determine action plans: Gather feedback and agreement on action plans to improve items that require improvement and to repair items that are broken. This will make long-term changes much easier to accomplish, as well as assist the team to develop a strong feeling of dedication and team spirit.
These reports give them a tool to evaluate the team, and they'll feel more confident that the team is attempting to solve problems on its own. Finding solutions to problems on your own is far preferable to having senior management participate in the process. Executive orders are usually disliked, but people are eager to work on reforms that they personally advocated.
Teams can improve their performance and abilities by conducting post-project reviews. They serve as a platform for encouraging ongoing growth while also increasing team spirit. As many stakeholders as possible should be included in the review since it assists in the examination of all parts of the project and offers a framework for addressing misconceptions and other problems. To make these reviews a success, careful planning, and post-meeting follow-up are required.