Article #086 Enforcing Formal Post Project Review for Completed Capital Projects Before Formal Closeout

The purpose of the Post Project Review (PPR) is to review the completed project and find lessons learned on what went well and what could be done better. It is intended to promote collaboration and agreement on what and why there were advantages and disadvantages to doing things a certain way. Usually, the PPR should take place between one to two months after completion. The Post Project Review has four stages: A pre-workshop questionnaire to be sent to the attendees; a Post Project Review workshop; a Post Project Review report; and the lessons learned log updated.

Using Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb, the project management team can improve the Post Project Review (PPR) process. PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the Pre-Workshop Questionnaire form which will be designed to encourage project participants to think about the significant issues of a project before the PPR workshop. For example, the questionnaire could include sections that are relevant to the project Start Up and Design, Procurement and Construction and Handover, Operation, and User Perspective phases. Each question in the form will be assessed using a scale of “4” where “1” is significant room for improvement, “2” is room for improvement, “3” is good, and “4” is very good.

The workflow assigned to the pre-workshop questionnaire will ensure that each participant receives a notification email to participate in the survey. When the survey is completed within the allotted time, the workflow will be used to return the survey to the PPR workshop facilitator. It is recommended to have an independent PPR workshop facilitator who was not part of the project delivery team.

The results from the pre-workshop questionnaire will be presented in the Post Project Review Pre-Workshop Questionnaire Survey Results” report which will be one of the appendixes of the final Post Project Review report that will be presented to the management. The histogram displays the average score that each item in the survey has scored.

PMWeb meeting minute module will be used to capture the details of the PPR workshop. The purpose of the PPR workshop is to review the completed project through the various stages from inception to completion and identify both successful and problem areas to provide a basis from which lessons learned may be applied to future projects. The attendees should include all key project stakeholders and project team members. The workshop agenda will be aligned with the questionnaire questions and will be concluded by having a compiled list of key lessons learned.

In addition, the workshop participants will be provided with a list of questions that are intended to form a basis for discussions within the workshop. The list of questions is intended to prompt discussion and identify both successful and unsuccessful aspects of the project during the different life cycle stages. Since those questions tend to be standard in nature, the PMWeb checklist module will be used to capture those lists and make them available in the meeting minute module.

The identified successful or “Positive” areas and problem areas or “Do Different” during the PPR workshop will be captured in the Project Valuation form which will be also created using the PMWeb form builder. The form will include a separate table for each of the project’s three sections or life cycle stages, i.e. project Start Up and Design, Procurement and Construction and Handover, Operation, and User Perspective. Each table will be used to record the identified issues, whether each identified issue is considered Positive or Different and the number of votes that the workshop participants considered each reported issue to be the most important. The ‘top three issues that got the maximum votes will be then discussed in greater detail to establish the lessons learned for each section.

PMWeb custom form builder will be also used to create the Key Lessons Learnt form. The form will be used to capture the project success aspects or what went well as well as the less successful aspects or what didn’t go that well and where there are areas for Improvement. The captured lessons learned will be also grouped into the three sections, or the project life cycle stages, of the project, Start Up and Design, Procurement and Construction and Handover, Operation, and User Perspective. For each captured lesson learned, the form table will record the details for the Key Issue & Impact, Lesson Learnt, and Action that has been taken.

The workflow assigned to the Key Lessons Learnt form is needed to ensure that the reported lessons learned are formally approved and can be shared with the project team members and other stakeholders. In addition, this is needed to identify if those lessons learned can be used to populate the organization’s Lessons Learnt Log.

The Post Project Review Outcome Report will collate the information from the Key Lessons Learnt, Project Valuation, and Pre-Workshop Questionnaire forms. In addition, it will extract the general project information for the PMWeb project module. The report will provide a link to the PPR Workshop meeting minutes to view the list of participants and items discussed.

The information captured in the Key Lessons Learnt form will be used to populate the Lessons Learnt Log which will become available for the organization’s individuals who have a role in delivering the organization’s projects portfolio. The Lessons Learnt Log is a real-time report where it contains all lessons learned from previous post-project reviews.

About the Authorfounder

Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with more than 35-year service record providing project management and controls services to over 100 projects with a total value of over US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, and Telecommunication and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in complete project management including project management control systems, computerized project control software, claims analysis/prevention, risk analysis/management (contingency planning), design, supervision, training, and business development.

Bassam is a frequent speaker on topics relating to Project Management, Strategic Project Management, and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 years, he has lectured at more than 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America. He has written more than 250 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is a co-founder of the Project Management Institute- Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC) and has served on its board of directors for more than 6 years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), and Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE) and Green Project Management (GPM).

Bassam holds a Masters in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – Kuwait University, Kuwait and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA and London Business School, London, UK.


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