Tip of the Week #69                     Tip Index

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"Lessons Learned Through Process Thinking and Review"

by George Pitagorsky, 2000, PM Network, Project Management Institute, March, pp. 35-39.

The most important step to improve the quality of decision making is the Post-Implementation Review (PIR). This is also called, variously, post-mortem, post-audit, post-evaluation, and look-back analysis. Whatever it is called, this is Step 10 in the 10-step decision analysis process that I advocate.

Mr. Pitagorsky's article provides excellent advice, aimed at project management professionals.  I read it thinking primarily about project evaluations and forecasts.

The PIR is assisted by a facilitator and a scribe.   The facilitator is best an objective person coming from outside the project team.   He or she should be "compassionately ruthless" as well as having project management, content area, and facilitation skills.

The scribe's job is to document the review:
[I've modified Pitagorsky's list.]

  1. Identify attendees and interviewees.
  2. Use a checklist to address:  Scope definition, estimation and scheduling; project procedures; relationships; vendor and subcontractor performance.
  3. Review project files to identify metrics and issues.
  4. Interview key players to identify problems and best practices.
  5. Document and support the PIR sessions.
  6. Publish and distribute the results.

Barriers to Process Review and How to Overcome Them
[Again, I've embellished.]

"Either learn from history or relive it."

—John Schuyler, April 2000.

Copyright 2000 by John R. Schuyler. All rights reserved. Permission to copy with reproduction of this notice.