Post Implementation Review (PIR) Part One
This is the first in a series of blog posts on the tricky subject of Project Post Implementation Reviews. The purpose of a Post Implementation Review is to analyse, evaluate and rate how successfully the project objectives were met and how effective project management practices were. It is a key project process in the “lessons learned” process for any organisation that wants to learn from its successful projects and those projects that have been less successful. Normally, the Post Implementation Review (PIR) on a project is conducted after completion of the project, but before making any final improvements. Ideally, the project post implementation review should happen after the system has been live long enough to allow for judgments to be made about how it will perform long-term in the live environment. The results of the Post Implementation Review should be documented in a close-out report called the Post Implementation Review Report.
Post Implementation Review and Lessons Learned
Once a project has gone live and you have experience of running the project in an operational environment, conducting a timely and thorough Post Implementation Review will help identify lessons learned and previously unidentified shortfalls in the project. These findings will assist in making final improvements to the system being implemented and are useful pointers for improvements to project management practices for future projects. A thorough Post Implementation Review will identify lessons learned that will also assist in planning, managing and meeting the objectives of future projects. We will include some suggestions on how best to conduct a post implementation review in subsequent blog posts. Every project is different and whilst these post implementation review pointers are meant to be fairly comprehensive they can be adapted or altered to suit your needs, the risk profile of your project or the scale of the project.
Post Implementation Review – Focus on the project results
So in terms of project results, you want to be sure that you use the project implementation review process and results to improve the future performance of projects and individuals in the organisation:
- Understand the technical success the project
- Has it satisfied all requirements and the project’s main goals
- Judge the business benefits delivered
- Has the intent of sponsors and stakeholders been delivered
- Collect a list of lessons learned
Post Implementation Review – Who should be involved?
Depending on the size, risk profile and cost etc, you can take different approaches to conducting a post implementation review. On very large and risky projects, we have seen an approach that involves two teams undertaking the review independently. In this approach you can allocate an internal team to drive one version of the post implementation review and an independent team to drive another version of it. The internal team normally has a deep understanding of the project and will uncover insider issues that are technically complex because they have been very close to the project. An independent/audit team can be more objective and will pick up on issues that the project team may have dismissed as a group because they have been very close to the running and delivery of the project. We have also run post implementation reviews in a combined workshop format. The main important aspect is to make sure that you get input from the:
- entire project team,
- customers (system owners)
- and other major stakeholders
JMR Consulting UK Ltd has core project management expertise based on its Financial Services heritage and 15 years of operating in the Finance and IT sectors. Over this period, JMR staff have developed key project management programs and a constant focus on our service philosophy which is at the core of JMR’s business operation. If we can help you with your business or project problem then give us a call on +44 (0) 845 052 0900.