Saturday 2 October 2021

What is a project evaluation and why is it carried out

Project evaluation is a way to find out how likely it is to complete a task on time, quality, and within budget.

Evaluation allows you to understand the real status of the project.

It is not intended to punish the laggards, otherwise participants will embellish the results or hide inconvenient data and the assessment will become biased and useless.

It is possible to obtain real data for decision-making only if the assessment is reliable and relevant. To avoid distortions during the evaluation process, it is important for the manager to allow project team members to express concerns and assumptions as the project progresses.

For example, some companies use anonymous boxes that are installed in public places so that any team member can put doubts and fears written on a piece of paper there. With a certain periodicity, the project manager checks the box and learns about a problem that for some reason the subordinates do not talk about personally.

The evaluation of the project can be divided into the evaluation of the project idea and the evaluation of the project itself. These blocks, in turn, consist of processes related to the assessment of the budget, timing, quality and other components, depending on the level of complexity of the project.

Evaluation of the project idea occurs at the stage when a business plan is formed and a product concept is created. It allows the manager to justify the decision to launch the project and its need for the business. The evaluation of the idea usually involves an analyst, a marketing team, a manager of the future project. Based on its results, they make a decision on the initiation of the project, sign the project charter and recruit a team.

Evaluation of the project itself can occur at all stages, from planning to completion. Its task is to adjust the course of the project. After the evaluation of the project, changes are usually made to the documentation, the composition of the team or the list of product features may change, or they decide to close the project altogether. If the team decides to continue, then the need for additional resources is then estimated.

The manager determines what is important to consider during the evaluation of the project. He also decides which processes need to be evaluated and forms a list of criteria for evaluating each of them. In large companies – especially those operating in the foreign market – the assessment is usually initiated by a separate specialist or a team of specialists of the controlling department who monitor the progress of the project. The list may include, for example, such processes as:

  • budgeting - whether the potential income from the project corresponds to the resources expended, whether there are discrepancies in the planned budget and real market demands;
  • the quality of the resulting product - whether there are any changes in the quality of the product due to changes that occurred during the project (for example, it was not possible to purchase expensive materials), whether the product meets the requirements of industry certificates (GOST, ISO, etc.);
  • the need for material and intangible resources - whether there are discrepancies with the originally planned quality and quantity of resources with the real situation, whether there is a need to redistribute resources or whether it is necessary to look for opportunities to acquire new resources;
  • compliance with the planned deadlines - whether there are problems with their compliance, whether additional time resources are needed;
  • additional processes taking into account industry specifics.
  • The composition of the evaluated processes is determined by the manager at the stage of project initiation. Most often this is called the process of adapting the project management system to a new project - it is important to configure it for the environment and processes within the company. During on boarding, the project manager works closely with the project team, the product owner, and key stakeholders. Adaptation helps to identify controlled points in the project, correctly allocate resources and develop a basic project plan.

The adaptation process is an important stage in the work on any project, since due to the uniqueness of the product being developed, each new project requires its own set of tools, components and control points.

The project manager develops a project benefit management plan. And in the process of adaptation, he needs to synchronize the main business documents of the project with each other - to understand whether there is a discrepancy between them and the business case, which was originally presented to the management.

The main business documents include:

Business case of the project - analysis of the feasibility of the project, description and evaluation of the idea, which are used to determine and justify the main benefits of the project. The sponsor or product manager is responsible for approving the business case. The project manager acts as an administrator who prepares documents and data for the business case.

A project benefit management plan is a plan to determine the results of a project that allows you to deliver the planned benefits. The project manager is already fully responsible for it.

Before formulating a business case, you need to assess the needs of the market. It will include an initial assessment of the business idea, an assessment of business tasks, potential problems and opportunities of the project.

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