IPMA International Project Management Association
13 October 2016 / 5:43

Project performance review

In a recent publication Alexia Nalewaik and Anthony Mills highlight the importance of performance audits for project success. Firstly, they explain the different terms being used in that context, such as review, evaluation, audit or assessment. The term “review” refers more to a regular (internal) review of the project performance by the project team or other (internal) stakeholders, whereas an audit or review is rather performed by an external party to evaluate the performance of a project or the methodology applied. The terms audit and assessment are related to performing an evaluation from an external point of view. For example, through IPMA the assessment of an organisation´s competence in managing projects is done by an accredited Certification Body. The assessment of a single project according to the IPMA Project Excellence Baseline is also done by a group of experienced assessors, evaluating the way the project has been managed the results that have been achieved.

Through the book, a “Nalewaik-Mills Performance Review Method” is offered. The ultimate goal is to identify opportunitues for continuous improvement, goal-achievement assurance, and stakeholder satisfaction regarding sufficient oversight, accurate status reporting, expenditure controls, and risk management. The modules comprise of eight modules, covering “Planning”, “Stakeholders”, “Risk”, “Compliance”, “Resources”, “Management Controls”, “Post-Project” and “Special Issues”. Thus it covers well acknowledged aspects from the viewpoint of a cost engineer. Nevertheless, from an IPMA point of view, some of the most important aspects of the IPMA Individual Competence Baseline (IPMA ICB)  covered in the Eye of Competence with “People”, “Perspectives” and “Practices” are missing in the model of the performance review. For example, does the project team has the necessary competences “on board” to lead project to success? Are the processes, the structure and – most importantly – the culture of the project aligned with the ones of the embedding organisation(s)? Often projects encompass change, thus the question is whether the project supports the organisation and the people in change aspects?

As a conclusion, the books offers great insights in the challenges and ways of performing project performance reviews. A detailed method is provided to perform the review. The breadth of the method should be discussed before implementing it into practice, maybe additional aspects could be covered as defined in the IPMA Global Standards IPMA ICB, IPMA OCB and IPMA PEB.

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Author of this post

Dr. Reinhard Wagner has been active for more than 35 years in the field of project-related leadership, in such diverse sectors as Automotive, Engineering, and Consultancy, as well as various not-for-profit organizations. As Managing Director of Tiba Managementberatung GmbH, a leading PM Consultancy in Munich/Germany, he supports executives of industrial clients in transforming their companies towards a project-oriented, adaptive and sustainably successful organization. He has published more than 40 books as well as several hundred articles and blog posts in the field of project management. In more than 20 years of voluntary engagement he served the German Project Management Association (GPM) as well as the IPMA in various roles and was granted for his international commitment with the Honorary Fellowship of IPMA and several of its member associations. He received his doctorate in the field of projectification of society and continues to be active in it through his research and lectures.