- Different stakeholders will have different views of success. For the project team members, it may be gaining valuable experience and feeling that their work will have a positive impact on the organization. For the project manager, it may be leading a project that will be profitable to the firm or a promotion to a larger and more visible project. On the other hand, the client or sponsor may view project success in terms of organizational value received after the project is implemented.
Four types of project evaluations should be conducted. There should be (1) an individual review of each team member's performance, (2) a postmortem review by the project manager and project team, (3) an audit of the project by an objective and respected outside party, and (4) an evaluation sometime after the project is implemented to determine whether the project achieved its envisioned MOV.
1) Individual Performance Review
The project manager should conduct an individual performance review with each project team member.
Begin with the individual evaluating his/her performance. This opening provides an opportunity for the person doing the evaluation either to agree or to disagree with the individual's self-evaluation and to point out several positive aspects of the person's performance.
Avoid "why can't you be more like....?" Keep in mind that people are different and should be evaluated as individuals.
Focus on specific behaviours, not the individual It is important not to focus on the individual (i.e., why are you so lazy and disrespectful?), but on how showing up late to team meetings is disruptive. Often people do not realize how their behaviours affect others.
Be consistent and fair The person conducting the evaluation should be aware of how decisions concerning one person may affect the entire group. Also, be aware that people talk to one another and often compare notes.
Reviews should provide a consensus on improving performance The purpose of conducting a review or evaluation with each project team member is to provide constructive feedback for individuals
2) Postmortem Review
Review project’s MOV. Did it change over the course of the project? What is the probability that it will be achieved?
Review the project scope, schedule, budget, and quality objectives.
Review each of the project deliverables.
Review the various project plans and Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) areas. The team should review its effectiveness in the following areas:
a. project integration management
b. project scope management
c. project time management
d. project cost management
e. project quality management
f. project human resources management
g. project communications management
h.project risk management
i. project procurement management
j. organizational change management
k. project implementation
3) Project Audit
In addition, the third party auditor or audit team should:
- Have no direct involvement or interest in project.
- Be respected and viewed as impartial and fair.
- Be willing to listen.
- Present no fear of recrimination from special interests.
- Act in the organization's best interest.
- Have broad base of project and/or industry experience.
4) Evaluating Project’s Success
The MOV, or measurable organization value, was defined at the beginning of the project. It provided the basis for taking on the project and supported many of the decision points throughout the project life cycle. In particular, this review should focus on answering and documenting the following questions:
- Did the project achieve its MOV?
- Was the sponsor/customer satisfied?
- Was the project managed well?
- Did the project manager and team act in a professional and ethical manner?
- What was done right?
- What can be done better next time?