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31/05/2022

Post-Implementation Review Best Practices

Now that your project is over, what next? 

After completing your project cycle, you should carry out a post-implementation review (PIR). The essence of a PIR is to discover if you met project objectives and to identify any existing flaws in the project. Project management continues until you complete the PIR process.

This article will shed light on everything you need to know about PIRs. 

What is a Post-Implementation Review?

A post-implementation review is an assessment conducted at the end of a project cycle to determine if the project was indeed successful. A PIR allows all team members to provide positive or negative feedback about the project. 

Afterwards, you can use the information obtained from the PIR to improve future projects. 

Why are PIRs Important?

The PIR is a crucial part of the project life cycle. It’s the best way to close the project feedback loop. 

PIRs help you to:

  • Evaluate the outcome and functional value of a project.
  • Improve project planning and concept criteria.
  • Ascertain if the project met its proposed objectives.
  • Compare the expenditure against the budget.

What’s the Objective of a PIR?

Some of the main objectives of a PIR include:

  • To assist project managers in knowing if a particular project proved effective. And whether to cancel, continue, or modify future projects.
  • To guide the funding and planning of future programs during the annual budget cycle.
  • To equip managers with crucial information to improve the performance of the company. This information helps to serve customers better in the long run.

How Do I Conduct a PIR?

Specify the scope of the review before diving into it. Define the method you wish to use in conducting the review and have a list of parameters to check. 

A straight-to-the-point way of conducting a PIR is: 

  • Provide the project team with a questionnaire to extract answers about the project.
  • Analyse the feedback and all the project data.
  • Fix a meeting with the project team and stakeholders to review the feedback gathered from the questionnaire.
  • Document your findings in a PIR report—so all the essential information about the project is organised. 
  • Share the PIR report with key stakeholders and business units to gauge the project outcomes. 

The perfect time to conduct a PIR is between 2 to 6 weeks after project completion. This gives the project enough time to be in use, yet, still fresh in the users' minds.

What Are Some Recommended Questions to Ask in a PIR?

There are a myriad of questions to ask during the PIR process. However, here are some parameters to draw further questions from:

  • Project Goals: Did the project manager achieve the project goals? Are these goals benefiting the end-users of the project? 
  • Cost: What was the total cost of the project? What costs didn’t align with the project and how can they be avoided in future projects?
  • Objectives: Did the project achieve the set goals? What changes would have helped maximise the project’s objectives? Are any aspects of the project not aligned with the proposed objectives?
  • Stakeholders: Are the stakeholders satisfied? How do they view the project? Was the project a good decision, or could the company have carried on well without it?
  • Lessons: Did the project meet expectations? If yes, what were the factors responsible? What issues arose while the project was ongoing? How can these issues be avoided in future projects?

Who Should Be Involved in a PIR?

PIR’s can be conducted either internally or by external resources, depending on the organisation's objectives and governance.  Typically, if conducted internally, the PMO or Project Manager will facilitate. If the organisation is seeking a more objective view, then MetaPM would recommend engaging with an external firm to validate the project’s success (or failure). Although, the original project manager can still assist the facilitator—by supplying any necessary information about the project.

Wrapping Up

The PIR is not an exercise to point fingers. Instead, it’s meant to identify what worked and what did not work in a project. Also, the lessons garnered from the review can be applied to future projects.

Thanks to the MetaPM Project Review Pack, the PIR process is easy and seamless to conduct. The Project Review Pack contains a PIR template, giving you everything you need to perform a successful PIR. The PIR template also helps you document your findings for future references. 

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