No matter if you are a solopreneur who has just ventured into the business world, or the owner of a multi-million-dollar company, you need to diligently track how your business manages projects.
Evaluating how well your projects have met their objectives is an integral part of successful project planning.
With the help of project evaluation, you can collect and examine information about a project, its various sub-tasks, as well as your team members. Moreover, with all the data at hand, you can look forward to nailing future projects.
What can be the consequences of poor project evaluation?
According to Saaslist, Project management challenges like poor project evaluation process cost businesses $109 million for every $1 billion invested in a project.
- Poor and undesired project outcomes.
- Strained relationships with clients and stakeholders.
- Increased budgetary constraints.
- Long term negative effect on company growth.
Therefore, project evaluation is a crucial step that no business can afford to skip. Read this blog to understand the different types of evaluation, their benefits, and how project management software can make your job much easier.
What Is Project Evaluation?
Project Evaluation is the process of assessing an ongoing or completed project by gathering data at each stage of the project. The project assessment is carried out to understand the level of progress in a project: Is it progressing according to the planned aims and objectives? How many goals have been achieved? What are the challenges being faced by the team? How is the performance of each team member? And so on.
There are several project evaluation criteria and techniques that help us in the smooth evaluation of the project. Let's learn about them in the next section.
Project Evaluation Methods
Project Evaluation is carried out at different stages of a project life cycle, starting from the commencement of the project to completion. You can use tools like surveys, to have a complete understanding of your project progress.
1. Project Evaluation during Project Commencement
Pre-Project Evaluation happens before you start working on the project; i.e., this constitutes the planning part of your project. In this stage, you brainstorm and put forth your project's main requirements in collaboration with your clients and customers. After this step, you have a clear understanding of the project roadmap.
2. Preliminary Stage Evaluation
Herein, you evaluate your project after your team members have worked on the project's first draft. The early stage of any project is a stage with a basic framework and information. With project evaluation in this stage, you provide valuable feedback and inputs to further finetune the project— in-depth the first stage evaluation is the more chance of having error-free project delivery.
3. Project Evaluation during Project Progress
It is necessary to carry out the project evaluation process during all the stages of the project progress. For example, after evaluating the project in the first stage, you need to closely monitor if the changes have been made. Also, you need to suggest the expectations in the advanced stages of the project. For example, if you have given your team the go-ahead in the project's design phase, you need to provide inputs to be implemented in the coding and testing phase of the project.
4. Post Project Evaluation
Once your team has completed all the project stages, it's time to do a complete assessment of the project. By conducting a team meeting, you can directly learn your team's strengths and weaknesses and create a future strategy to combat the shortcomings.
Some Project Evaluation and Review Techniques :
- Evaluation through Surveys
- Interview Evaluation
- Focus Group Evaluation
- Group Project Evaluation
Read more: A Step by Step Guide to Project Planning
Image source: Kahootz
With a clear understanding of the project management evaluation plan, let’s dive into the benefits of project evaluation.
Benefits of Project Evaluation
Project evaluation is an unavoidable part of any project management process. The benefits of project evaluation range from optimized budget and manpower utilization to enhanced stakeholder satisfaction levels.
1. Better Understanding of Budget Utilization
Project Evaluation gives you a first-hand analysis of your project's resource utilization. Initially, you might have planned and allocated a specific budget for your project. But, once it's complete and takes a definite shape, you observe that either there was underutilization or overutilization of the budget. Analysis of each stage helps you keep track of your project's real cost: Which stage is expensive? Which stage can be managed with a minimal budget and so on.
2. Understand the Strengths and Weaknesses of Team Members
While going through the different stages of project evaluation, you understand the potential of each team member. For example, some team members might have good logical skills and may be more apt to work in the coding arena, while some others possess good creative skills, they are more suited for the design stage of the project.
Based on the understanding of each member's potential, project evaluation helps you allocate the right job for the right person. With this manpower optimization, you can prevent redundancies and cost overruns in your project by making it useful.
Opportunity to Identify Additional Training Requirements
By evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your team members, you can arrange for their training needs. It makes them more efficient and improves their deliverability. For example, suppose your team member faces minor challenges while coding in a particular software language. In that case, you can arrange for a 2-3 day workshop or online training course to enhance their coding skills.
Understand the Real Requirements of Your Clients
When you evaluate your projects closely during all their stages, you tend to focus on your client's small requirements. Sometimes, small requirements, if ignored, can bring about disastrous changes to your project outcome. This could ultimately lead to project cost overheads.
Enhance Stakeholder Relationship
Project evaluation gives you a chance to collaborate and communicate with all your stakeholders. The more open you are about the project progress, the more the possibility of building trust and credibility. Keep your stakeholders informed of the details of project evaluation at every stage.
With a thorough understanding of project evaluation benefits, let's decode the step by step project evaluation process.
Project Evaluation Process: A Step-by-Step Guide
Project evaluation consists of a series of interconnected and interdependent steps to understand the efficacy of a project. Let’s understand it one by one.
The first step of project evaluation involves detailed planning concerning the questions to be posed to all the stakeholders involved. Starting from the team members to the clients, take their opinion on the project experience. When you take inputs using different viewpoints, you get a complete picture of all the nitty gritties of the project. Everyone has a different perspective and goal, leading to various approaches toward project completion.
Keep a checklist of interviews and survey questions. Also, conduct group discussions to identify the common issues and challenges during the course of the project.
The outcome is the immediate result of project implementation. It is measured using metrics like the ease of project completion, the skill enhancement of the members involved, time is taken to complete the project, etc. These outcomes give you an understanding of how small goals and objectives have been achieved: is it efficient, or did it lead to time and cost overruns?
Impact analysis takes into account the long-term impact of the project on business prospects. For example, how far does the project contribute to the business's overall growth, increased customer retention, new customer acquisition, and so on? By making a business impact analysis, you are planning with a vision focused on the company's prospects.
Image source: smartsheet
With outcome and impact analysis in your kitty, it is time to observe your industry's average accepted benchmark. Analyze the project evaluation process in different companies, especially your competitors. See how you fare with respect to them. Understand their vital areas, take a cue from them to apply the same ideas for your business. It is essential to learn from your successful counterparts to grow more in the future.
Course Corrective Strategy
Once you have identified your project's strong and weak areas, it is time to formulate a course corrective strategy. Prioritize the weak spots and troubleshoot them using multiple techniques. For example, if a manpower crunch significantly impacted your project execution process, go ahead with sourcing extra manpower. It could be from within as well as from outside the organization.
Now that you are aware of the primary project evaluation process, it is time to use a simple project management tool like ProProfs Project Management Software to plan and evaluate your projects.
ProProfs Project Management Software and Project Evaluation
ProProfs Project Management Software comes with an easy to use visual dashboard for planning your projects. You can plan the tasks and allocate them to your team members using a shared calendar. Further, you can keep track of your project progress using Gantt chart analysis.
Communication and collaboration across teams are necessary for the success of your project. ProProfs Project Management Software brings about a smooth and hassles free collaboration among the team using the task comments option. You can completely do away with lengthy email conversations with multiple people.
Every project needs to have a clear start and end date for its smooth implementation. ProProfs Project Management software enables you to assign a start and end date for your project. Also, there is a feature to divide your project into tasks and subtasks to monitor and implement the project.
Leverage the Power of Project Evaluation
Project evaluation is an indispensable part of the project management process. It needs to be carried out at each stage of the project progress. The more minutely you evaluate a project, the better the chances of understanding the project requirements and reduced chances of errors.
Further, project evaluation at every stage of the project reduces the chances of project scope creep. Ensure that you conduct a project evaluation during the pre, ongoing, and post stages of a project to understand the errors and requirements. Finally, create a course corrective strategy after every project to create a project benchmark for the future.
Q. Why is project evaluation important?
Project evaluation is the analysis of different stages of project planning and implementation.
Q. What information does a project evaluation plan have?
The project evaluation plan scrutinizes the outcomes and impacts to create a benchmark and a robust course corrective action plan for your business.
Q. In general, what is the purpose of a project evaluation?
Project evaluation is the means to analyze the project's efficacy: has the project met its objectives? What are the short-term and long-term impacts of the project?
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