Reviewing a project a few weeks after it ends can offer some great insight into areas of improvement, either as a company or an employee. By taking the time to understand the successes and failures of a project you give yourself the opportunity to improve your work. It also gives an opportunity for due praise and acknowledgment. Here are three things to keep in mind when conducting a project review.
Wait a few weeks before you think about it:
Take some time before you review the project. It’s important that you go into the review without any emotional bias. It is hard not to be biased one way or the other immediately after a project ends, it is too fresh. Any project can be wracked with problems and/or difficulties. This being said, if the final review with your client goes swimmingly it’s easy to assess the program as having gone well. Alternatively, you can have a program where you execute everything perfectly, but the client has a conflicting view point. You may be walking away from a good program with negative feelings. Review each project with an open mind for the sake of future projects.
Start with what went poorly:
Review all of the flaws the program had. This could span from budgeting issues to confusion between you and the client. Every point is worth discussing, even if you don’t think there is anything that can be done to address it. Try to ensure you understand what caused the problem, what can be done to fix it, and if it exposes future breakdowns.
Wrap with what went well:
Always finish with where the program excelled. Where did you succeed and what were the causes of those successes? Was the client happy simply because they had a report or did you understand and anticipate what their needs were? Try to identify your strengths so you can consistently leverage them.
Not all project reviews will offer great insight. You will have some mundane reviews that can simply be summarized as routine. By making sure you have an open minded and honest review, you ensure that any issues do not perpetuate themselves. You also ensure that good performances are both acknowledged and given the opportunity to grow.