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Why The Best Project Reviews Are More Like Pitstops than Reviews
Could you be under-estimating the importance of project reviews to the success of your strategic initiatives? It is a critical oversight being made by too many leaders.
Success is linked to Reviews
Our data reveals a direct link between the level of confidence in a project/initiative and the effectiveness of project reviews.
This link between project reviews and project success is hardly surprising. After all, if effective ongoing reviews were an integral part of project life, then many of the factors that end up derailing projects could be tackled ahead of time. For example, a project might be less likely to fall behind the changing needs of the business or its stakeholders.
Moreover, if effective project reviews were happening on a regular basis, all those involved would likely feel more confident and in control. They would be empowered to tackle obstacles and barriers.
Spot-Light On the Project Review
With a renewed appreciation of the importance of project reviews, lets put your organization’s approach to project review under the spotlight.
- Are your project reviews regular enough?
- When they do take place, how effective are they?
There is a quick way to answer the effectiveness question – by means of image association below. In particular, which image best reflects your project reviews?
For a more scientific assessment of your organization’s approach to project reviews let’s compare against those factors that emerge from our research data.
Use the table below to rate the effectiveness of your organization’s approach to strategic projects and initiatives:
|Do your organization’s approach to project reviews:||Circle the number below (where 1=’absolutely disagree’, 10 = ‘absolutely agree’)|
|Accelerate momentum behind the project||1 2 3 4 5|
|Engage and energize those involved||1 2 3 4 5|
|Boost speed & agility||1 2 3 4 5|
|Foster creativity & innovation||1 2 3 4 5|
|Identify some quick wins & overcome some obstacles||1 2 3 4 5|
|Generate open & honest dialog about what is/is not working||1 2 3 4 5|
|Promote effective collaboration||1 2 3 4 5|
|Connect with business / stakeholder needs||1 2 3 4 5|
|Create ownership & accountability||1 2 3 4 5|
|Build the cohesiveness of the team||1 2 3 4 5|
|Calculate your total score|
Max. score = 100
Calculate your total score by adding your answers in the table above, then use the following scale to reveal what the analysis says about your organization’s approach to the management of strategic projects and initiatives:
40-50 Project Reviews effectively contribute to project success
30-39 Project reviews are moderately effective in contributing to project success
20-29 Project reviews may do more harm than good
0-19 Project reviews are likely to hinder project success
Don’t Just Review – Re-energize Too!
Teams charged with the execution of critical projects are looking not just to review, but to re-energize projects. They want to leave the project review energized, not drained. Oh, and they would like it to be quicker and more action-oriented too.
If you cannot see energy and engagement during a project review then you should be worried as you are unlikely to see it anywhere else. Moreover, this is a talisman for success, with research showing that levels of energy, engagement and exploration could account for as much as 50% of the difference between the lowest and highest performing organizations1.
Where to look for inspiration in terms of your project reviews? Well imagine project reviews that were more pitstop and less bureaucratic process. Just as in racing, it is an opportunity to come together mid-race (as a team) to identify what is working and quickly fix what is not.
- Alex “Sandy” Pentland, ‘The New Science of Building Great Teams’, HBR, Apr. 2012.