Post Implementation Review
We have a team of experienced project professionals who combine deep understanding of project risks, stakeholder motivation and performance metrics to provide you with an objective and result focused Post Implementation Review (PIR). Regardless of the nature of the project or the purpose of the review, we can tailor a highly relevant program of review activities to provide you and your stakeholders with an assessment to suit your collective needs.
What it is
A PIR is a formal review of a programme or project. It is used to answer the question: Did we achieve what we set out to do, in business terms and if not, what should be done? It will be performed after a period of live running, some time after the project is completed.
There are three purposes for a Post-Implementation Review:
- To ascertain the degree of success from the project, in particular, the extent to which it met its objectives, delivered planned levels of benefit, and addressed the specific requirements as originally defined.
- To examine the efficacy of all elements of the working business solution to see if further improvements can be made to optimize the benefit delivered.
- To learn lessons from this project, lessons which can be used by the team members and by the organization to improve future project work and solutions.
In some cases, the first of these objectives can be a contractual issue. Where that is the case, it may be safer to run separate reviews – one focused on contractual compliance and the other seeking to derive further benefit from a no-blame review.
A Post-Implementation Review should be scheduled some time after the solution has been deployed. Typical periods range from 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the type of solution and its environment. The PIR is intended to be an assessment and review of the final working solution. There should have been at least one full processing and reporting cycle completed.
It should not be performed while the initial snags are still being dealt with or while users are still being trained, coached and generally getting used to its operation.
The PIR should be timed to allow the final improvements to be made in order to generate optimum benefit from the solution. There is no point in waiting too long as the results are intended to generate that final benefit for the organisation and team.
Who is involved
The Project Owner, as the owner of the business case for change, is ultimately responsible for the PIR. Team members conducting the review will typically include:
- people with working knowledge of the business area under review and its processes
- people with relevant technical knowledge
- strategy planners with knowledge of the organization’s business strategy and the business change contribution to it
- people involved in the everyday benefits management process.
Business change projects vary in their scope, method of delivery and the environment in which they are implemented. The reviews of such projects vary similarly. There is, however, a set of fundamental principles which apply to all projects; they have implications for the conduct of the review.
Reviews help organizations to assess the contribution of business change projects to business objectives – these objectives and the metrics that will be applied to measure their achievement should be stated in your business and supporting strategies. In practice, these objectives are achieved through projects and programmes of business change.
PIRs are a key part of the benefits management process – benefits will not materialize simply through the implementation of change delivered by a project – they may also require a change in the way that the organization and its staff work. Benefits must be actively managed to be achieved; the PIR is a key element in the benefits management process because it is used to assess whether the changes that have taken place have improved effectiveness and to make recommendations for further improvements (Programme management).
PIRs identify and appraise opportunities to improve the effectiveness of business change by maximizing benefits and by minimizing costs and risks – throughout its lifecycle a business change will consume resource and have the potential to deliver benefit. Over time and with changing circumstances the benefits profile will alter. PIRs examine ways of maximizing benefits and minimizing costs on an ongoing basis.
PIRs are not a one-off exercise – a programme of business change may be in excess of ten years and the business system it supports may be in existence for an even longer period of time. The level of cost, risk and benefit delivered by the change must be reviewed periodically, following the first PIR. It may be appropriate to conduct abridged PIRs after the full PIR, to address only those key areas that reflect business priorities.
Reviews must be conducted in an open manner; organizations must be prepared to learn – to get most value, reviews should be conducted openly and participants must be prepared to make constructive criticism. It is only in this way that real lessons will be learned or improvements to business processes and supporting infrastructure made.
Recommendations need to be implemented by the organization if reviews are to add real value – recommendations for improvements should add value to the business. This will involve changing the way the business system or process operates in some way. Recommendations must be sufficiently robust for the organization to be able to act upon them. Importantly, good practice in project management and business operations should be included in recommendations for incorporating in the organization’s guidelines for good practice.