Keys to Project Success – Using Audits and Reviews as a Best Project Management Practice

In recent years, many companies are putting increased emphasis on project management techniques as a result of lessons learned on past project performance PMP certification . After experiencing project delays, overruns, missed quality goals, communication barriers, “scope creep”, and a general perception of projects being out of control, these companies are scrambling to implement good Project Management practices to prevent these types of problems.

As part of these best practices, many companies have established project review and audit programs, periodically reviewing the status of projects and their alignment with individual and corporate goals. While worthwhile, in many cases these reviews and audits are performed by senior managers with either a stake in the project outcome or no real experience and training in project management. Several companies have found that these management reviews have not succeeded because senior management and project managers may be speaking a different language and viewing the projects from completely different perspectives.

Audits and reviews require preparation to be fruitful. Pre-defined project review and audit protocols can help focus both the project manager and the reviewer/auditor on the important aspects of the project. Basing these protocols on proven philosophies from the Project Management Institute (PMIĀ®), the world’s foremost authority for the project management profession, can provide great insight into the actual status of the project. This provides the opportunity to take actions at the most efficient points in project execution, increasing the probability of project success.

We’ve found that the most effective audits are centered on the project management knowledge areas as defined by PMIĀ®. We have also found that effective project reviews and audits involve much more than just sitting down with the project manager and asking a series of questions. Interviews with project team members, stakeholders, and senior management as well as a thorough review of all project related documentation are just as critical to producing effective results.