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Project Management Software

Lessons Learned: The Importance of the End-of-Project Briefing

Throughout one’s project, reports are made. Data from project management software is used to create progress presentations and memoranda. Tracking information, budgetary concerns, and ongoing analysis and monitoring take place throughout the project. And when it is all done, it is tempting to merely sigh deeply and walk away. However, this is not always the best course of action. After all, if hindsight is, indeed, 20/20, then it is important to look back at the project over all and evaluate what was done.

It is especially important to review the processes and the effectiveness of each stage. By taking the project management group processes (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing) each at a time and reviewing what happened each step of the way, the project manager can get an idea of how to better streamline project for the next time. While particulars will change, the over all process should remain basically the same. When one looks back at how everything went, it can help one better tailor a system that works best for him or her.

One of the most important aspects of project debriefing is reviewing the project objectives and then measuring what was actually accomplished against the objectives. Where they all met? Could they have been met more completely? What could have been done better? These are all questions that should be asked. Project management software can help teams look at their progress and measure it against schedules and objectives. But most importantly, team members as well as the project leader should evaluate how they feel about the job done, and why they feel that way. Those working on a project should be encouraged to think about their own performance and see if it squares with what they would like their performance to be. They do not have to articulate their feelings and thoughts, but self-critique can help workers be more effective team members on future projects.

There is no reason why the project manager and her or his superiors should be the only people involved in debriefing. This is a valuable learning experience for all team members. They can learn more about the process, and it is very likely that they will add substantially to the discussion. Not only does it help project team members learn more about the process, but it can also help them gain insight and learn skills so that they can become future project leaders. It is a valuable thing to have employees who know how to step up and lead when necessary, but are professional enough to work as a team member when not a project leader.

Project debriefing is an important aspect of project management. Not only does it give a final look at what happened, and allow team members and leaders to learn from the project, but it also provides a time to reflect and determine what follow up might be necessary. If there is a hand off work involved, this can provide a valuable time to prepare notes for the next team. When a project is debriefed, it becomes more than just another success — it becomes a success to learn from and build upon.

Article by Remedysoft, Inc.
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