Chapter 19

Project Reviews

Subbu Murthy

The purpose of project reviews depends on the project life cycle (see Figure 19.1). Understanding the purpose of a review is as important as the review itself. In the early stages of the project, reviews are typically held to assess the project impact across the portfolio of other projects, evaluate alternatives, and make decisions to continue the project or abandon them.

Figure 19.1 Project Life Cycle


In the planning stages, reviews are held to assess the project costs, schedule, and risks. They are also held to establish the high-level scope and interfaces with other projects and to evaluate resource allocations. The reviews in the early stage and the planning phase play a key role in prioritizing and sequencing the project.

In the execution stage, reviews are focused on understanding the project specifications (requirements, design, etc.), assessing the progress of the project, and assessing project quality.

Postimplementation reviews are also crucial as they serve to assess overall performance and review the key lessons learned. They also help understand the true causes of variance. In a majority of IT projects, poor specifications and scope creep are the two strong determinants of cost and schedule variances.

Project reviews share four characteristics: (1) They are measurable, (2) they have specific goals, (3) they deliver direct or ...

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