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Monday, February 11, 2008

Great questions at the end of a major project or bid

Thank you to Matthew Homann at the non billable hour for capturing some of the great questions that you should try to capture at the end of every project.

I have made some alterations in respect of my own experiences but direct quotes via Matthew are in italics. 

These are as follows:-
  • What was the outcome of this project?
  • What was good for our client about the outcome of this project?
  • What were the areas of improvement for myself and the team
  • What was the best part of the project? 
  • What was the biggest pinch point in delivering this project?
  • What new abilities or knowledge have we learned from doing this project? (though see my point later in this post.)
  • What do we wish we had known when we started this project?
  • Briefly what were the 3 lessons of this project that other colleagues need to know?  (I suggest taking 5 good lessons and 5 areas for improvement. - but don't make that an inflexible rule)
The important element to do is not to just file it away as part of some closed file but to share it  - this could either be via a blog but ideally with a wiki style approach - so that people can add additional comments especially if you are doing a number of projects for the same client and want to capture points say about a clients preferences or key areas of concern or praise expressed on an issue.

I think though that it time is pressing then you can use these four steps which tries to cover all the points earlier - but still does not obviate the need to capture these in a electronically searchable format.
  • What were our intended results?
  • What were our actual results?
  • What caused our results?
  • What will we sustain/improve?
Interestingly though this article neglects the need for people to carry out a before taking action review which covers the following points that people should ideally carry out before carrying out a major project and to some extent a bid

 This might then deliver an answer before the need to say - what things did we wish we had known before starting.
  • What are our intended results and measures?
  • What challenges can we anticipate?
  • What did we/others learn in similar situations? (hence searching a wiki)
  • What do we think will make the biggest difference to success ?

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