A project audit, sometimes referred to as a Project Health Check, provides an opportunity to uncover the issues, concerns and challenges encountered in the execution of a project. It affords the project manager, project sponsor and project team an interim view of what has gone well and what needs to be improved with the project to successfully complete it. If done at the close of a project, a project audit can be used to develop "success criteria" for future projects by providing a forensic review. This review will provide an opportunity to learn what elements of the project were successfully managed and which ones presented some challenges. It will also help the organization identify what it needs to do so that mistakes are not repeated on future projects.
Regardless of whether the project audit or project health check is conducted mid-term on a project or at its conclusion, the process is similar. It is generally recommended that an outside facilitator conduct the project audit or project health check. This ensures confidentiality but also provides the team members and other stakeholders with the opportunity to be candid. They know that their input will be valued and the final report will not identify individual names, rather it will only include facts. It is common that individuals interviewed during the project audit of a particularly badly managed project will find speaking with an outside facilitator provides them with the opportunity to express their emotions and feelings about their involvement in the project and/or the impact the project has had on them. This "venting" is an important part of the overall audit.
Business Improvement Architects undertakes an in-depth project audit and project health check that consists of three phases:
Our project audit and project health check process includes:
- Phase 1: Background Research
- Phase 2: In-depth Research
- Phase 3: Report Development
- A comprehensive review of all project documents including the scope statement, project plan, project risk assessment, management of change, communication, etc.
- Meeting with all members of the project team, both individually and as a team.
- Meeting with the sponsor, selected customers and other representatives of management to whom the project leader or team directly report.
- A review of all documentation and related reports.