Question 18: Have you conducted a post implementation review?
21 Ways to Excel at Project Management
Good Practice: It is best practice to go back and review the progress made in delivering the project deliverables and overall business benefits. The post implementation review should be timed to allow final improvements to be made to get the best benefits from the project.
Organisations are beginning to recognise the growing importance of knowledge management as a key to competitive advantage. We must therefore become better at capturing our learning and making this information available to the rest of the organisation. This will increasingly become the duty of every manager.
As the project manager, you are in a unique position to help your customer gain the benefits, detailed in the business case. It can be an extra phase once you have closed the project, or run as part of the project itself. It may not follow on directly from the project end, and start after a short period-of-time, but before the post implementation review, which typically takes place three to six months after the project has been completed.
Opinion seems divided as-to-whether active benefits realisation is the domain of the project manager, but one thing is sure, many projects declared a success never deliver the planned benefit or result.
At the end of your projects hold a formal debrief session, including a post implementation 'Lessons Learned' review with the team.
- Forgetting what has been done and discarding any useful experience that has been gained on a challenging project.
- Being so relieved to finish that we simply move on without reviewing the project's result.
- Disbanding the team too fast before the learning has been captured.