Post Project Audits. Kathy S. Schwaig. Companies Rarely Perform Meaningful Post Project Audits. Most companies spend thousands of hours planning a project, millions of dollars implementing it—and nothing evaluating and learning from it!
Post Project Audits Kathy S. Schwaig
Companies Rarely PerformMeaningful Post Project Audits • Most companies spend thousands of hours planning a project, millions of dollars implementing it—and nothing evaluating and learning from it! • Few companies examine their completed projects in any depth • When they do conduct post project audits, they are often superficial • When project members conduct post project reviews, they are likely to have preconceived ideas or even a vested interest in the outcome of the review
The Value of a Post Project Appraisal Group • Ideally, a post project appraisal group would consist of members that have no affiliation with the project they appraise—allowing them to evaluate projects more objectively • A post project appraisal group can help a company to learn from its mistakes and repeat its successes • Ideally, the group would report directly to the board of directors or to the firm’s audit committee
Conducting Post Project Audits • An appraisal of a large investment project can take up to six months to complete • Because of the time and cost associated with a full-blown audit, it may make sense to only review those projects that will contribute to organizational learning • Projects that are likely to hold new lessons as opposed to simply duplicating lessons drawn from previous projects that have been audited
Conducting Post Project Audits • A complete audit would examine the project from its conception—before the project proposal is even written—until after it is implemented and has become operational • The post project audit should attempt to determine the important factors that contributed to a project’s problems or success
Conducting Post Project Audits • Initially, the post project appraisal team focuses on the files to become familiar with the project • Ideally, the team should then interview everyone involved in the project • It is best if two interviewers are present for each interview—one can ask questions while the other observes and keeps notes • Interviews are costly and time consuming but are far more effective than sending out questionnaires for answering certain types questions • After the investigation is completed, a report should be drafted and circulated