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Project Evaluation Process: Definition, Methods & Steps
Managing a project with copious moving parts can be challenging to say the least, but project evaluation is designed to make the process that much easier. Every project starts with careful planning —t his sets the stage for the execution phase of the project while estimations, plans and schedules guide the project team as they complete tasks and deliverables.
But even with the project evaluation process in place, managing a project successfully is not as simple as it sounds. Project managers need to keep track of costs , tasks and time during the entire project life cycle to make sure everything goes as planned. To do so, they utilize the project evaluation process and make use of project management software to help manage their team’s work in addition to planning and evaluating project performance.
What Is Project Evaluation?
Project evaluation is the process of measuring the success of a project, program or portfolio . This is done by gathering data about the project and using an evaluation method that allows evaluators to find performance improvement opportunities. Project evaluation is also critical to keep stakeholders updated on the project status and any changes that might be required to the budget or schedule.
Every aspect of the project such as costs, scope, risks or return on investment (ROI) is measured to determine if it’s proceeding as planned. If there are road bumps, this data can inform how projects can improve. Basically, you’re asking the project a series of questions designed to discover what is working, what can be improved and whether the project is useful. Tools such as project dashboards and trackers help in the evaluation process by making key data readily available.
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The project evaluation process has been around as long as projects themselves. But when it comes to the science of project management , project evaluation can be broken down into three main types or methods: pre-project evaluation, ongoing evaluation and post-project evaluation. Let’s look at the project evaluation process, what it entails and how you can improve your technique.
Project Evaluation Criteria
The specific details of the project evaluation criteria vary from one project or one organization to another. In general terms, a project evaluation process goes over the project constraints including time, cost, scope, resources, risk and quality. In addition, organizations may add their own business goals, strategic objectives and other project metrics .
Project Evaluation Methods
There are three points in a project where evaluation is most needed. While you can evaluate your project at any time, these are points where you should have the process officially scheduled.
1. Pre-Project Evaluation
In a sense, you’re pre-evaluating your project when you write your project charter to pitch to the stakeholders. You cannot effectively plan, staff and control a new project if you’ve first not evaluated it. Pre-project evaluation is the only sure way you can determine the effectiveness of the project before executing it.
2. Ongoing Project Evaluation
To make sure your project is proceeding as planned and hitting all of the scheduling and budget milestones you’ve set, it’s crucial that you constantly monitor and report on your work in real-time. Only by using project metrics can you measure the success of your project and whether or not you’re meeting the project’s goals and objectives. It’s strongly recommended that you use project management dashboards and tracking tools for ongoing evaluation.
3. Post-Project Evaluation
Think of this as a postmortem. Post-project evaluation is when you go through the project’s paperwork, interview the project team and principles and analyze all relevant data so you can understand what worked and what went wrong. Only by developing this clear picture can you resolve issues in upcoming projects.
Project Evaluation Steps
Regardless of when you choose to run a project evaluation, the process always has four phases: planning, implementation, completion and dissemination of reports.
The ultimate goal of this step is to create a project evaluation plan, a document that explains all details of your organization’s project evaluation process. When planning for a project evaluation, it’s important to identify the stakeholders and what their short-and-long-term goals are. You must make sure that your goals and objectives for the project are clear, and it’s critical to have settled on criteria that will tell you whether these goals and objects are being met.
So, you’ll want to write a series of questions to pose to the stakeholders. These queries should include subjects such as the project framework, best practices and metrics that determine success.
By including the stakeholders in your project evaluation plan, you’ll receive direction during the course of the project while simultaneously developing a relationship with the stakeholders. They will get progress reports from you throughout the project life cycle , and by building this initial relationship, you’ll likely earn their belief that you can manage the project to their satisfaction.
While the project is running, you must monitor all aspects to make sure you’re meeting the schedule and budget. One of the things you should monitor during the project is the percentage completed. This is something you should do when creating status reports and meeting with your team. To make sure you’re on track, hold the team accountable for delivering timely tasks and maintain baseline dates to know when tasks are due.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on quality. It doesn’t matter if you deliver the project within the allotted time frame if the product is poor. Maintain quality reviews, and don’t delegate that responsibility. Instead, take it on yourself.
Maintaining a close relationship with the project budget is just as important as tracking the schedule and quality. Keep an eye on costs. They will fluctuate throughout the project, so don’t panic. However, be transparent if you notice a need growing for more funds. Let your steering committee know as soon as possible, so there are no surprises.
When you’re done with your project, you still have work to do. You’ll want to take the data you gathered in the evaluation and learn from it so you can fix problems that you discovered in the process. Figure out the short- and long-term impacts of what you learned in the evaluation.
4. Reporting and Disseminating
Once the evaluation is complete, you need to record the results. To do so, you’ll create a project evaluation report, a document that provides lessons for the future. Deliver your report to your stakeholders to keep them updated on the project’s progress.
How are you going to disseminate the report? There might be a protocol for this already established in your organization. Perhaps the stakeholders prefer a meeting to get the results face-to-face. Or maybe they prefer PDFs with easy-to-read charts and graphs. Make sure that you know your audience and tailor your report to them.
Benefits of Project Evaluation
Project evaluation is always advisable and it can bring a wide array of benefits to your organization. As noted above, there are many aspects that can be measured through the project evaluation process. It’s up to you and your stakeholders to decide the most critical factors to consider. Here are some of the main benefits of implementing a project evaluation process.
- Better Project Management: Project evaluation helps you easily find areas of improvement when it comes to managing your costs , tasks, resources and time.
- Improves Team performance: Project evaluation allows you to keep track of your team’s performance and increases accountability.
- Better Project Planning: Helps you compare your project baseline against actual project performance for better planning and estimating.
- Helps with Stakeholder Management: Having a good relationship with stakeholders is key to success as a project manager. Creating a project evaluation report is very important to keep them updated.
How ProjectManager Improves the Project Evaluation Process
To take your project evaluation to the next level, you’ll want ProjectManager , an online work management tool with live dashboards that deliver real-time data so you can monitor what’s happening now as opposed to what happened yesterday.
With ProjectManager’s real-time dashboard, project evaluation is measured in real-time to keep you updated. The numbers are then displayed in colorful graphs and charts. Filter the data to show the data you want or to drill down to get a deeper picture. These graphs and charts can also be shared with a keystroke. You can track workload and tasks, because your team is updating their status in real-time, wherever they are and at whatever time they complete their work.
Project evaluation with ProjectManager’s real-time dashboard makes it simple to go through the evaluation process during the evolution of the project. It also provides valuable data afterward. The project evaluation process can even be fun, given the right tools. Feel free to use our automated reporting tools to quickly build traditional project reports, allowing you to improve both the accuracy and efficiency of your evaluation process.
ProjectManager is a cloud-based project management software that has a suite of powerful tools for every phase of your project, including live dashboards and reporting tools. Our software collects project data in real-time and is constantly being fed information by your team as they progress through their tasks. See how monitoring, evaluation and reporting can be streamlined by taking a free 30-day trial today!
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Project Evaluation 101: Benefits, Methods, & Steps
Whether you’re a startup owner or a seasoned entrepreneur, keeping track of your project’s real-time progress and performance is crucial for consistent success.
This is where project evaluation comes in. It assesses how well your project meets its objectives and delivers value to your stakeholders.
Project evaluation not only helps identify potential roadblocks but also enables you to optimize workflows promptly. By leveraging evaluation insights, you can make informed decisions that significantly enhance your business outcomes.
Curious about the various types of project evaluation methods and how each can benefit your business? And how project management software can assist in conducting evaluations effectively?
In this blog, we’ll address these and many more questions. We’ll explore the different evaluation types, delve into their benefits, and highlight how project management software can help you successfully deliver projects.
What Is Project Evaluation ?
Project evaluation refers to assessing an ongoing or completed project based on the inputs gathered at each stage. The project assessment is carried out with the aim to track the progress of a project and identify opportunities for improvement.
Throughout the evaluation, you address some key questions like:
- Is the project on track to achieve its defined aims and objectives?
- How many goals have been achieved?
- What are the challenges being faced by the team?
- How is each team member contributing to the project’s overall performance
Addressing these questions offers a comprehensive picture of the status of a project. This helps in identifying roadblocks, if any, and taking timely steps to address them.
Unlocking the 5 Key Benefits of Comprehensive Project Evaluation
Here are some proven benefits of project evaluation. Take a look.
1. Identify Strengths & Weaknesses of Team Members
While going through the different stages of project evaluation, you understand the potential of each team member.
For example, some team members might have good logical skills and may be more suitable in the coding arena. While others might possess good creative skills and are more suited for the design stage of the project.
So, you can evaluate an individual’s key skills and delegate them to the most relevant task or project.
Project evaluation helps you allocate the right job for the right person based on their skills and knowledge level. With this manpower optimization, you can prevent redundancies and cost overruns in your projects.
2. Understand Budget Utilization Better
Project evaluation gives you a first-hand analysis of your project’s budget utilization.
Imagine this. You plan and allocate a specific budget for your project. But, on project completion, you realize that the budget was overutilized.
On the other hand, had you analyzed each stage for budget utilization, you could have gained a better understanding of your project’s real costs and steered the project in the right direction to keep costs under control.
This evaluation also helps you improve cost distribution for your future projects.
For example, the evaluation process will enable you to identify which project stage is more expensive and which stage can be managed with a minimal budget.
Also, you can effortlessly extract financial summaries with a simple tool like ProProfs Project . Most tools offer project profitability reports that let you track project expenses versus budget and adjust resources or timelines accordingly. This way, you can always stay in control of costs and deliver projects within budget.
3. Identify Additional Training Requirements
Project evaluation will help you spot loopholes in project execution. This, in turn, will help you identify where the team lacks and arrange for their training needs.
On-the-job learning and development opportunities not only help in enhancing the capabilities of your human resources but also helps improve project deliverability.
For example, suppose a team member faces minor challenges while coding in a particular software language. In that case, you can arrange for a 2-3 day workshop or online training course to enhance their coding skills.
4. Understand the Real Requirements of Your Clients
Evaluation throughout the entire project lifecycle allows you to prioritize even the smallest requirements of your clients.
Ignoring these seemingly insignificant details can adversely affect the project outcome.
Suppose you are developing a website for a client who wants a simple and elegant design. You may think that adding some animations and graphics will make the website more attractive and engaging.
But if you don’t evaluate your project regularly and communicate with your clients, you may end up with a website that doesn’t match their expectations and preferences.
This can lead to wasted time, money, and a dissatisfied client.
Thus, by identifying your clients’ key requirements, you can ensure that no aspect is overlooked, leading to the successful delivery of the project as expected.
5. Enhances Stakeholder Relationship
Project evaluation goes beyond assessing project progress. It also helps foster collaboration and communication among stakeholders.
By being transparent about project progress and requirements, you enhance the potential for establishing trust and credibility. This not only helps strengthen stakeholder relationships but also ensures smoother coordination of project activities.
Remember, effective project evaluation is not just about metrics and numbers; it’s about building connections and developing a shared understanding of project goals.
Now, let’s dive into the various project evaluation methods and see which one can be the right fit for you.
Elevate Your Evaluation Game With These Project Assessment Techniques
Here are the top project evaluation techniques that you can deploy to gain optimum results:
Return on Investment (ROI)
Return on Investment measures the actual profitability of an investment by calculating the ratio of net profit to the initial investment. It helps assess the efficiency of a project and its potential for generating financial gains.
A higher ROI indicates a better investment opportunity, while a lower ROI may warrant closer scrutiny or alternative options.
Tip : Consider both short-term and long-term ROI to gain a comprehensive understanding of the project’s potential.
Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA)
This technique compares the total costs with the expected benefits of your project over its life cycle. It helps you decide whether your project is worth undertaking and how to allocate your resources efficiently.
To conduct a CBA, you need to identify and quantify all the costs and benefits of your project and discount them to their present values.
Then you can compare the total discounted costs with benefits and choose the option with the highest net benefit or benefit-cost ratio.
Tip : Take into account both tangible and intangible costs and benefits to ensure a comprehensive evaluation.
Net Present Value (NPV)
Net Present Value calculates the difference between the present value of all the cash inflows and outflows of your project. A positive NPV suggests that the project will generate more value than the initial investment, making it a potentially attractive opportunity.
To calculate the NPV, adjust project cash flows using a discount rate to account for the time value of money.
Then you take away the money you spend from the money you earn, and you get the NPV.
This helps you decide if the project is worth doing or not because it shows you how much money you will gain or lose over time.
Tip : Use a suitable discount rate that aligns with the project’s risk and opportunity cost of capital for accurate NPV calculations.
The Payback Period
The Payback period estimates the time required to recover the initial investment through cash inflows. It helps you assess the liquidity and risk of your project and prioritize projects with shorter payback periods.
A shorter payback period indicates a quicker recovery of investment.
To calculate the PP, you need to divide the initial investment by the annual cash inflow of your project. For example, if your project has an initial investment of $10,000 and an annual cash inflow of $2,000, then your PP is $10,000 / $2,000 = 5 years.
Tip : Consider the project’s lifespan and potential cash flow variability to accurately determine the payback period.
Benefit-Cost Ratio compares the total expected benefits of a project to its total costs. This ratio helps gauge the economic feasibility of investment by determining whether the benefits outweigh the costs.
A ratio greater than 1 signifies a potentially worthwhile investment.
To calculate BCR, you need to divide the total discounted benefits by the total discounted costs of your project.
Tip : Include both direct and indirect benefits when calculating the benefit-cost ratio for a comprehensive assessment.
Evaluation Through Surveys
This method is used to gather data from a vast group of individuals. The data is then analyzed to uncover hidden strengths, pinpoint weaknesses, and discover crucial areas for improvement. This helps find out what works well, what needs improvement, and what opportunities you have to meet customer and market expectations.
Surveys provide a cost-effective means to gather valuable information, offering a window into customer satisfaction and market needs. This can help you gain invaluable insights that drive growth and enhance decision-making.
Tip : When designing surveys, ensure clarity and simplicity to maximize response rates and collect accurate data.
This method is a personal approach that delves into individuals’ perspectives, unearthing profound insights. By asking targeted questions and gathering qualitative data, you gain a rich understanding of your team’s progress, enabling you to guide them along the right path.
Interviews provide a unique opportunity to connect, probe, and explore beyond surface-level information. Leverage this method to gain invaluable insights, fuel growth, and foster meaningful development.
Tip : Create a comfortable and open environment during interviews to encourage honest and detailed responses, facilitating a deeper understanding of individuals’ viewpoints.
Focus Group Evaluation
If you want to assess how a specific group of people reacts to your project, you can use focus groups to collect and analyze their feedback.
Focus groups can help you gather feedback from a group of individuals who share common characteristics or interests. This gives you qualitative data, helping you understand group needs, opinions, and behaviors.
Tip : Foster an inclusive environment during focus group sessions, encouraging active participation and honest sharing of opinions to maximize the richness of qualitative data.
Incorporate these powerful project assessment techniques into your evaluation process to enhance your decision-making and increase the chances of project success.
You can also tailor the evaluation techniques to the specific project and consider combining multiple techniques for a comprehensive analysis.
Project Evaluation Stages: From Vision to Victory
Project evaluation is carried out at different stages of a project’s life cycle, right from the commencement of the project to its completion.
Here are the different project evaluation stages that you should be aware of:
1. Pre-Project Evaluation
Pre-project evaluation happens before you start working on a project.
This stage of evaluation constitutes the planning part of your project. Here, you brainstorm and put forth your project’s main requirements in collaboration with your clients.
It’s a good idea to create a project charter , defining all the essential aspects of your project, such as resources, milestones, and potential risks.
Once the first draft is ready, your project’s basic framework is all set.
You then provide valuable feedback and inputs to further finetune the project. This pre-evaluation process ensures that all stakeholders gain a comprehensive understanding of the project roadmap, which helps foster clarity and alignment between teams.
2. Ongoing Project Evaluation
The next stage for evaluation of a project is when the project is going on.
It involves closely monitoring the implementation of changes suggested in the previous stage, ensuring they are reflected in project charters and briefs.
Also, keep an eye on key project metrics such as project budget, team productivity, and performance analysis among others. This helps keep the project on track, ensuring it progresses in the intended direction.
3. Post-Project Evaluation
Once your team is done with all the project stages, you must do a complete assessment of the project.
This can be accomplished through a team meeting, which provides a valuable opportunity to identify and evaluate your team’s strengths and weaknesses.
By directly engaging with your team members, you can gather insights and formulate strategies to address any shortcomings observed, ensuring enhanced performance in future projects.
Such assessments facilitate learning, growth, and the continuous improvement of your team’s capabilities, enabling you to tackle future projects more effectively.
Now, with a thorough understanding of project evaluation stages, let’s decode the project evaluation process.
Step-by-Step Guide to Effective Project Evaluation: Pathway to Project Success
Project evaluation consists of a series of steps that can be performed independently. Let’s understand the steps one by one.
The initial project evaluation step involves detailed planning regarding the questions to be presented to all stakeholders.
It is important to seek opinions and insights from team members and other involved parties to gather a comprehensive understanding of the project experience.
When you take inputs from your team, a holistic picture of the project’s intricacies emerges. Each individual has a different perspective and goal, which helps in figuring out the right approach toward project completion.
To facilitate this process, maintain a checklist of interview and survey questions. Additionally, conduct group discussions to identify common issues and challenges encountered throughout the project’s duration.
2. Outcome Analysis
This project evaluation step focuses on assessing the outcomes resulting from project implementation.
These outcomes are measured using metrics, such as the ease of project completion, the skill enhancement of team members, and the time taken to finish the project.
Evaluating these outcomes provides a clear understanding of how well the project has achieved its smaller goals and objectives. It helps determine the efficiency of the project, identifying whether it was completed successfully or if it experienced issues related to time and cost overruns. This helps facilitate improved decision-making for future projects.
3. Impact Analysis
Impact analysis takes into account the long-term impact of the project on business prospects.
This analysis considers the project’s contribution to the overall growth of the business, customer retention, customer acquisition, and other relevant factors.
By conducting a business impact analysis, you adopt a forward-thinking approach that aligns with the company’s vision and objectives.
This enables you to plan strategically, taking into account the potential impact of the project on your company’s future prospects and ensuring that the project’s outcomes are in line with your goals.
It is also crucial to consider the industry’s average accepted benchmark as the next step in project evaluation.
Analyze the project evaluation processes deployed by various companies, particularly your competitors. Assess how your performance compares to theirs and identify their key areas of success.
This way, you can draw inspiration and apply similar ideas to benefit your own business. Learning from successful competitors is crucial for continued growth and improvement.
5. Course Correction
Once you have identified your project’s strong and weak areas, it is time to develop a corrective course strategy.
Start by prioritizing the weak spots and devising solutions to address them effectively.
For instance, if a shortage of manpower significantly impacts the project execution process , explore the techniques to resolve this issue. Consider sourcing additional manpower both from within and outside the organization, ensuring sufficient resources are available to meet project demands.
This strategic approach enables you to adapt and overcome obstacles, ensuring successful project outcomes.
Now that you are aware of the project evaluation process, it is important to understand how project evaluation tools can help you plan and evaluate better.
Let’s see how it works!
To start with, you can leverage the tool’s custom templates to get started easily. All you have to do is select a template, tweak its settings according to your needs, and kickstart your project immediately.
However, if you don’t wish to use a template, you can also build your project dashboard from scratch .
To learn how to build a dashboard by adding tasks and other project details, watch this quick video.
Once you have created your project dashboard, you can start project execution and track progress effectively via Gantt Charts , Kanban Boards , and Calendar views .
You can also monitor your progress and keep an eye on team performance via data-driven project reports .
Some of the reports that you can create include Summary reports , Project profitability reports , Timeline reports , etc.
Here is an example of how a Summary report looks like.
Apart from these, using a project management software also enables you to share files and discuss work via task comments . With these features, you can collaborate with your team and clientele, evaluate progress, and give feedback effortlessly.
Overall, the best project management tools offer you all the essential features you need to keep work on track right from the start.
Maximize Project Performance Through Effective Evaluation
Project evaluation is an indispensable part of the project management process , essential to be conducted at each stage.
A thorough evaluation enhances understanding of project requirements and minimizes the risk of errors.
It is crucial to evaluate the project during pre, ongoing, and post-stages to identify errors and ensure alignment with requirements. Additionally, after each project, develop a course corrective strategy to establish a benchmark for future endeavors.
Develop a robust project evaluation strategy and pave your way to project consistency and success!
Q. Why is project evaluation important?
Project evaluation is the analysis of different stages of project planning and implementation.
Q. What information does a project evaluation plan have?
The project evaluation plan scrutinizes the outcomes and impacts to create a benchmark and a robust course corrective action plan for your business.
Q. In general, what is the purpose of a project evaluation?
Project evaluation is the means to analyze the project’s efficacy: has the project met its objectives? What are the short-term and long-term impacts of the project?
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About the author
David is a Project Management expert. He has been published in elearningindustry.com , simpleprogrammer.com . As a project planning and execution expert at ProProfs, he has offered a unique outlook on improving workflows and team efficiency. Connect with David for more engaging conversations on Twitter , LinkedIn , and Facebook .
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What is Project Analysis and Why it is Important?
By Aastha Shaw Jan 25, 2022
What do you do to check if a project is going on track?
You analyze it!
Consistent project analysis helps you make the right choices at the right time, leading you towards a more successful outcome and the highest possible ROI.
Here we will talk about project analysis, its importance, the different types of project analysis, and lastly, how you can implement it using the right tools.
What is Project Analysis?
When executing a project , you need to analyze it periodically. Failing to do so, would mean unexpected challenges, overlooked critical information, or flaws in the work process that manifest as the project unfolds.
This is why you need project analysis.
It is assessing every expense or problem related to a project before working on it and evaluating the outcome once the work is done.
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Importance of project analysis.
A study conducted last year stated that over two-thirds of all projects were not completed on time and went over the budget.
What separates the failed two-thirds of the projects from the successful one-third?
Project analysis lets you see the present problems and prepare for and avoid future problems. This ensures smooth project execution and timely project delivery.
For efficient project analysis, it is equally important to have the right tool that will help you monitor and analyze your project from its initiation to completion.
Types of project analysis:
A. ongoing project risk analysis.
What happens if your key teammate gets injured during a project and needs to take a month off? Or your equipment malfunctions which stop the work, but the labor charges keep adding up? Or a natural calamity takes place?
All of these can affect the project timeline and cost.
Risk analysis ensures that the least number of surprises occur during your project. It helps you predict the uncertainties in the projects and minimize the occurrence and impact of these uncertainties.
How to do project risk analysis?
1. Define Critical Path:
Each project consists of dependent tasks that rely on one or more tasks to be performed in a particular order for their completion.
This is where understanding the longest chain of dependencies or the project's critical path becomes very important. Any delay in the critical path would ultimately lead to missed deadlines.
You can use project management software that helps you map your project plan and highlight its critical path. (In the image below, you would see the critical path highlighted in red)
2. Streamline communication channels:
You don't want to be spending most of your time coordinating with the management, sales team, clients, and vendors. So, it's essential to keep communication and information flowing in one tool.
Establishing a good communication channel instead of checking on everyone for updates will help you better track task progress and save time. With a proper communication channel in place, task assignees can keep you updated in real-time and let you know about any delays, problems, or requirements easily.
Thus, it is critical to have a project management tool that allows real-time collaboration & communication via Chat, Task Comments, and Video conferencing.
3. Regularly monitor risks:
Once you have defined the project's critical path and streamlined the communication channel, you need to focus on how each task is panning out.
You would not want to be unaware of situations such as delays in the shipment of raw material on which a lot of your project tasks depend.
This is why we recommend tracking and analyzing the project's progress every week. (In SmartTask, there's a News Feed view that would allow you to share the project status with the team and for team members to share their thoughts on the status update.)
Say today is Saturday, and you are going through the last week's progress. You identified that one procurement item might become a bottleneck and affect the critical path.
This will help you immediately take necessary actions and save your project from facing major drawbacks.
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4. Determine their impact on the project:
Every risk has an impact, some more than others.
You can evaluate the impact of the risks by looking at:
- How much will the task be delayed?
- Would it affect the critical path?
If the delay does affect the critical path, can we have the procurement team expedite the delivery? Or is it a lost cause?
5. Prepare a contingency plan to treat those risks:
A contingency plan helps you to be prepared for future challenges and reduce the biggest risks to manageable levels. It is a course of action that enables you to deal with a situation that might happen.
In the above example, we tried to expedite the raw material delivery; however, it is clear now that the item won't be delivered on time.
Now, as a project manager, it's time to re-evaluate the project plan and see if you can save the project from overshooting the timeline.
There are two ways to deal with this:
- Allocating additional resources to tasks dependent on raw material shipments and attempting to complete tasks ahead of schedule. - This would speed up your work and allow you to get back on track.
- Executing dependent processes in parallel. - Some tasks can be executed parallelly, but we avoid doing this to be safe and complete the tasks with perfection. - But with good planning and required resources, you can execute dependent tasks parallelly to complete the project on time and with the same quality.
Your decision would be based on the trade-offs you are ready to make. So, it's wise to your team's and management's feedback to get better insights and make the best decisions.
6. Regularly update the team on the project’s progress:
It’s important to keep everyone updated on the project progress and all the important decisions taken. With SmartTask’s News Feed feature you can update your teammates and project stakeholders about everything related to your project in real-time.
On the feed update itself, they can share their feedback, mention others, and share important files.
With SmartTask, you can record all your project history in one place and easily access them when needed. It also helps you track your projects to identify any potential problems and bottlenecks so that you can deal with them on time.
B. Project Cost Analysis
Suppose you land a software project. You roughly forecast the project timeline, resources, budget, etc., and reach a tentative project cost estimate at the project proposal time.
But moving forward without a thorough project cost analysis leads to budget overruns, missed deadlines, and a miserably failed project.
Therefore it's critical to conduct a proper project cost analysis to develop a strategic plan to avoid repetitive cost overruns and save your project from sinking.
How to do project cost analysis?
1. Determine the project goal:
Before you start working on project costing, your team needs to have a clear idea of the final goal and requirements of the project.
This is where a clearly defined client requirement document helps.
The client's requirement document will help your team divide the project into milestones and adequately define all the resources needed for timely project delivery.
2. Draw up a project plan:
Once the milestones are set, utilize project management software to map out tasks within those milestones with their delivery timelines and expectations.
You can use task dependencies to better map out the project plan and provide that clear understanding of the critical path to your team.
Lastly, assign each task to a suitable person. A good collaboration software would notify each team member when a new task is assigned.
3. Set Time Estimates:
One of the most crucial cost factors of any project is the resources needed to accomplish this project.
Make sure that the time to be spent on a task is set as a Time estimate. (Note: Time estimates or efforts needed to accomplish the task and task timeline are independent of each other.)
4. Define Resource Cost:
A good resource management software allows you to define the cost per hour and Billing rate for each resource.
So, along with the fixed cost, assignee, time estimates, and efforts needed to accomplish each task in the project, you also get a clear idea of the cost per resource. And in turn, you can set and track the total cost of the project better.
5. Set a Factor of Safety:
While you understand the project's total cost, it's essential to consider contingency funds if things don't go as planned.
Government compliances, taxes, client and vendor delays may delay the project and increase the cost of delivery.
It's prudent to consider all these unknown factors and add them to the project cost as a Factor of Safety.
While each project is unique and Factor of Safety(FOS) percentages can be different, we recommend not having less than 20% as FOS.
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C. Workload Analysis
Suppose your team has two software engineers who are working on a project. You divide the tasks equally amongst them.
After they start working, you see that while Engineer A has completed his tasks, Engineer B has not started his work.
But when dwelled deeper, it is seen that Engineer A didn't have much on his plate, whereas Engineer B was overloaded with tasks from more than 3 projects, causing the delay.
To avoid such situations, you need a Workload analysis tool that would forecast each team member's workload, whether they are overloaded or under-utilized.
How to do workload analysis?
1. Define effort required in each project:
As noted in the "Project cost analysis" section, define the time effort required to accomplish each task in the project.
Depending on the task's timeline and the effort required, estimate each project member's number of hours blocked.
2. Group projects to understand the holistic picture:
Since a team member may be involved in multiple projects , it's important to group all these projects. This will give you a better understanding of their total effort and responsibilities across different projects.
Here's what the workload would look like. As you can see, the red color indicates overloading.
A workload view helps you track what your team members are working on what and also enables you to reassign the task from one member to another if required.
3. Balance workload among the team :
If your team is continuously overburdened and stressed out due to extra work, it might result in a breakdown soon. Thus it's important to distribute the workload among your team members evenly.
Once you identify resource overloading, here's how you can handle it:
- Unloading the task - By re-allocating the task from one person to another.
- Extending the task's timeline- To lower the effort required per day.
Want to save your team from burnout?
D. process analysis.
Sometimes a particular process can be complicated and unnecessarily lengthy, leading to poor project performance.
Process analysis helps you analyze and improve the process with inefficiencies that can affect your bottom line.
How to do process analysis?
1. Define what you want to analyze:
Say, if you are running the same type of project, again and again, it is normal that you might fix a template and follow the same process for similar future projects.
This often leaves out the opportunity to dwell and improve on the process as you keep following the same template again and again.
You need to quit this cycle and identify where your processes need revamping.
2. Collect all information about the process:
Collect as much information from all the past projects as possible on the selected process..
Identify the stakeholders and all the people involved in the process.
Gather data on how they tackle the process, what they do, when they do it, how often, what tools they use, what procedures they currently follow, and more.
3. Analyze the process:
Now looking at the collected information and the existing process template, perform a thorough analysis to figure out problems like;
- What are the most critical aspects of the project?
- What are the most time-consuming aspects?
- Is there anything causing delays?
- Which tasks get delayed regularly?
- Is it possible to speed up the process?
- Are there any steps that can be automated or eliminated?
- What are the most prevalent complaints from people involved in the process?
- In which areas are human errors most likely to occur?
This is where having project management software with portfolio view can make your task way easier.
With a portfolio, you can group all the similar projects together and get all the insights like due dates, delays, assignees, progress, and more at once.
Don’t forget to get feedback from important stakeholders and people involved to ensure that you are not missing out on anything.
4. Make changes for improvement:
It’s time to envision how the process can be improved in future and eventually change the project template to reflect those improvements.
These improvements can be addition or removal of tasks, automating repetitive taks, change in timelines, or effort required for each task, change in team, and so on...
Suppose your goal is to shorten the process cycle. Then you need to develop solutions like automating your process where possible and reduce manual labor to save time.
Also, make sure to convey any changes to the stakeholders involved and monitor the process regularly.
Keep in mind that business process analysis is a continuous process. You must examine the processes regularly and improve them to keep the process error-free.
Here’s a detailed video on how to do process analysis:
Project analysis is critical for companies and project managers to make their projects more successful and sustainable.
While it’s evident that problems and challenges will come your way, you can keep things under control with the right tool and approach.
There are many project management tools in the market, but SmartTask checks all the boxes for analyzing and managing your projects efficiently.
So be smart and get SmartTask to make assessing your projects easier and deliver better.
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