A comprehensive post evaluation report should ideally be based on three distinct measures:
• The completion of the project in due time
• The completion of the project within the estimated budget
• The meeting of all requirements during project execution
In short, these three measures are an indication of ‘time’, ‘cost’ and ‘product’, as distinct factors that together help in assessing project success.
A post-evaluation analysis should also consider three other measures which are primarily based on outcome:
• Was the product/service actually used?
• Did the project impart any learning to the organization for future projects?
• Did the project help in improving effectiveness and efficiency for the client’s organization? In other words, did it add any value to the client?
Below are the 6 secrets of good project post-evaluation:
1. Good evaluation depends on how you begin
The first step to good project post evaluation is to identify the benefits that your clients are seeking to achieve by the end of the project. If the project is aimed at changing a current situation, then you need to define that situation. This will help you make a logical comparison with the modified situation after the completion of the project.
2. Keep your workers informed about the impending evaluation
It may be a good idea to inform your team members about the post-project evaluation right at the beginning. This will encourage them to keep a record of all issues, discrepancies and victories throughout the execution of the project. You can review these recorded statements and propose appropriate topics for comprehensive discussion during post project assessment meetings.
Similarly, make sure that you maintain files for expenses, labor-hour costs etc. Keep scheduling performance reports on a consistent basis.
3. Pick out the right time to review
A very critical aspect of good project post evaluation is picking the right time for reviewing the project. Ideally, you should select a time when all team members are likely to have maximum recall, i.e. right after the project is delivered. You can begin listing down observations and ideas while they’re fresh in everyone’s minds.
4. Consider third-party reviewers
It might sound unusual but getting outside people involved in your post evaluation might be useful. It could help you earn an unbiased and objective perspective on the project. But don’t just depend on independent reviewers alone; the key is to maintain a balance in your evaluation report.
5. Survey primary stakeholders
While collecting data from internal teams is important for evaluating the success of a project, it might be helpful to survey your primary stakeholders as well. You can ask them about whether the project managed to address their needs and get assessments for the project team, project manager’s performance etc.
6. Give recommendations
A big part of project post evaluation is collecting all the ideas and learning and presenting them in the form of ‘detailed recommendations’ to project leaders, team members, customers, the organization and other stakeholders. These detailed recommendations can serve as best-practice information for the future projects.