Are you puzzled about the project evaluation process? Would you like to know how to do it efficiently? Excellent, because today we explore the ins and outs of the project evaluation process that we developed in Osom. Therefore, without further ado, let's dive into this!
Project evaluation is a process that aims to determine whether a project fulfilled its objectives. Once the project dust settles down, it is worth reviewing your activities from above perspective, and holistically assess the results you delivered.
Why are project evaluations worthwhile? Here are benefits from leading this process:
Evaluation allows us to trace all potential shortcomings in the project development process. It gives us vital insights and lessons to learn, ready to use them to arrive at better solutions in the future. Thus, there is a good chance of avoiding previous mistakes and obstacles to implementation and communication within the team on the next project.
Evaluation enables you not only to diagnose areas for improvement but also to summarise all positive attributes during the project work. It allows us to identify activities that have contributed to success. So, it is a form of know-how acquisition for future projects. All this acquired knowledge subsequently feeds into new procedures implemented throughout the organisation.
The evaluation also provides a space for mutual appreciation within the team for the work done. Sometimes, in the daily hectic project environment, it is tough to stop and prepare such feedback, so evaluation is the perfect time for it. It reinforces people's motivation, affiliation, and creates a sense of common responsibility.
Our evaluation process is structured and consists of the following four stages:
1. Selection of the team involved in the process
The evaluation process includes all the people who had some input into the project. It brings together the sales team, which was the first line when it came to defining the work scope and the client's needs and the executive team, meaning the project manager and the specialists (dev, designer, marketing professional) working on a particular project phase.
Every process also requires a moderator, who’s responsible for facilitating the meeting, smooth communication, and ensuring the timeframes. The moderator can be either a project participant or external – the choice in this regard lies with the project manager who led the project.
2.Description of the evaluated project scope
Before starting the actual process of review, the project manager prepares a summary for the whole team. This summary includes the following:
Such an overview structures the participants' understanding of the project assumptions. It is particularly relevant for those team members who only partially participated in the whole process.
3.Asynchronous collection of findings
In the penultimate phase of the evaluation process a PM invites the team to draw their conclusions from project work - all fully asynchronously and at their convenience. This allows everyone to freely put forward their individual perspective on what went well and what we could have done better. The team writes up the conclusions according to a start-stop-continue methodology. We adopt a mindset in the collecting conclusions process focused on those that may be useful for subsequent projects.
What to start:
What to stop:
What to continue:
Anyone involved in the process shares the conclusions written as such in a comment under the task at a specific date before the meeting when the topic is further discussed.
4. Synchronous team meeting
The project manager prepares an online dashboard (e.g. in Miro) and transfers all the collected findings there. Next, a team meets together on the call to discuss them collectively. The moderator ensures that everyone has space to express their opinions.
We formulate the conclusions to focus on what actions we can implement with the future projects undertaken. Then we create a summary of the evaluation in the form of a lesson learned list. We strive to transform the evaluation process findings into tangible activities for implementation across the company.
Since all our projects are different, they enable our teams to enhance their knowledge. Once the evaluation process yields ideas for improvements to our work organisation, we instantly create a task and actionable steps for developing this topic. If it concerns the web development process - our developers elaborate further on the solution. When the subject relates to customer communication, it goes to the Project Management team, and in the case of thoughts on the sales process or kick-off, the sales team takes over.
Moreover, every evaluation meeting summary gets posted in a place accessible to all Osom members – we think that the lessons learned can be used not only by the project team but also by any employee potentially facing a similar challenge in the future. We believe that a structured process, combined with extensive communication, enables us to accumulate the valuable know-how acquired in day-to-day work.