Unformatted text preview: nned. That evaluation provides
the basis for management decisions on how to proceed with the project. The evaluation must be credible in
the eyes of everyone affected or decisions based on it will not be considered valid. The primary tool for
project evaluation is the project audit, which is usually conducted at major milestones throughout the life of
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by James P. Lewis
ISBN: 0814478352 Pub Date: 01/01/95
Search Tips Search this book: Advanced Search Previous Table of Contents Next Title Purposes of Project Evaluation
Sports teams that practice without reviewing performance may get really good at playing very badly. That is
why they review game films—to see where they need to improve. ----------- As W. Edwards Deming has pointed out, there are two kinds of organizations—those that are getting better
and those that are dying. An organization that stands still is dying. It just doesn’t know it yet.
The reason? Your competitors are not sitting by idly. They are doing new things, some of which might be
better than yours. If you aren’t improving, you will be passed by, and soon you won’t have a market.
The same is true of every part of an organization. You can’t suboptimize, improving just manufacturing, for
example. You have to improve every aspect of the business, and that includes how you run projects.
In fact, good project management can give you a real competitive advantage, especially in product
development. If you are sloppy in managing your projects, you don’t have good control of development costs.
That means that you have to sell a lot of product or else charge large margins to cover your development costs
so that the project is worth doing in the first place. If you can’t sell a lot of widgets, then you have to charge
the large margin.
In order to learn, people require feedback. Furthermore, people tend to learn more from mistakes than from
successes, painful though that may be to admit.
If your competitors, on the other hand, have good cost control, they can charge smaller margins and still be
sure that they recover their investment and make money. They have a competitive advantage over you
because of their better control of project work.
In order to learn, people, like the team reviewing game films, require feedback. The last phase of a project
should be a final audit so that the management of future projects can be improved. However, such an audit
should not be conducted only at the end of the project. Audits should be done at major milestones in the
project so that learning can take...
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