The When, What, and How of a Post Implementation Review: Part 2

How to Carry out a PIR

In our last article, we looked at the objectives of a post implementation review, what to review, and four tips to make a review effective. In this article, I would like to examine a little more deeply how to carry out the PIR for maximum effectiveness.

5 Effective PIR strategies

You should plan your review in advance, using PIR strategies that will ensure all relevant information is gathered and examined appropriately. These PIR strategies should be designed also to help you consider the metrics of measuring project deliveries and outcomes.

1.      Define the scope of the PIR

Before attempting to review project outcomes and produce a list of learnings, you need to know what it is you are reviewing. This should start with listing the objectives of the PIR, and its scope in terms of elements and people.

2.      Documentation review

All key project documentation will need to be reviewed. This helps to determine if the project planning process and procedure was effective, and if expected benefits were achieved.

3.      Use a mix of reviewers

Sometimes people that have been closely associated with the project don’t give the best reviews: no matter how impartial they want to be, there may be some bias. Independent reviewers remove the potential for bias, though using people who have been involved in the project gives a different perspective. Perhaps the best strategy is to have a balance of both types of reviewer.

4.      Use the right data collected appropriately

The data you collect should be appropriate for use and also collected appropriately. For example, interviews and surveys can be used to gather specific insight as to processes, procedures, and systems used during project management and the execution of each associated task.

5.      Publish reports and recommendations

Findings and recommendations should be published in order to achieve the overriding strategic objectives of the PIR: to develop better and more effective project management. You’ll be aiming to continue with everything that went well, and improve on project management aspects that under-performed. Detailed recommendations should be provided to all project stakeholders: this will aid best practices to be learned and on-boarded in the future.

5 PIR activities to include in the execution of the PIR

When developing PIR strategies and methods, consider using different techniques to conduct the review, gather information, and produce results. These may include:

  • Developing a survey for project stakeholders
  • Conducting one-on-one interviews
  • Conducting review meetings
  • Writing up the post implementation review report
  • Writing up the lessons learnt register

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