Benefits of Reviews - Feedback Required
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Explain the importance of Project Reviews (10 Marks)
Project reviews act as decision points as to whether to continue with the project. For example is the business case still justified during gate reviews. This prevents the organisation from continuing to waste resource on projects which are no longer viable. Stage reviews enable the project manager and sponsor to assess progress during the development stage which helps build trust with the sponsor as progress is monitored. Following implementation and during the benefits realisation phase reviews act to ensure that all benefits have materialised and for those not realised plans are put in place.
List and describe 4 different types of review that may be carried out during a project and list their purpose (40 Marks)
- Gate Review
- Stage Review
- Lessons Learned Review
- Benefits Realisation Review
Gate reviews are formal go / no go decision points which require decision from the project sponsor at the end of each phase. It ensures that the original business case defined during the concept phase is still justified. It also acts as a point of reference for audit and ensures that the commitment to do or continue to do work has the prerequisite level of authorisation (e.g. Project Sponsor). Failure to undertake gate reviews means that the project continues unchecked and may no longer be viable.
Stage reviews occur during the project development phase. They allow the project manager to assess progress during this stage through measures such as KPI’s for instance measuring the number of seats installed in a new stadium using an objective measure. Other classic KPI’s for projects include SPI and CPI as part of earned value. Stage reviews allow the project manager to report progress and build trust with the sponsor and sponsoring group.
Lessons learned reviews allow the project to formally record what issues had previously been encountered and how effective and efficient the solutions were at addressing these issues. This is part of continuous improvement and improves the quality of both the products produced and the processes used to support their development. This aids both existing projects and also projects which may be in the future. Lessons learned significantly help improve organisational learning and reduce inefficiencies within the organisation.
Benefits realisation reviews occur during the benefits realisation stage. They are the responsibility of the sponsor as part of the extended project lifecycle. They assess whether benefits defined in the business case have been observed and perceived as positive by the stakeholders. If the benefits have not fully been realised then it gives the opportunity to the sponsor to put plans in place to achieve these benefits. Without benefit realisation review, the organisation cannot be certain business benefits are realised.
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