Post-implementation audit: Why is this a crucial tool for project managers?

It is pretty dangerous when putting in place a new system, and it is all too tempting to spike the football and go on to the next job after the first one is completed. However, implementation is merely the beginning of a new stage in the life cycle of a system. This is known as the post-implementation audit/phase.

The go-live date does not signal the end of the implementation process; instead, it marks the beginning of the new system’s continued use and support after it has been launched. It is recommended that a post-implementation audit be carried out to determine how the system is being used, what benefits have been realized. What lessons have been learned, and what remedial measures should be taken to ensure the new system’s maximum success.

What is a Post-Implementation Audit?

Post-implementation audits look at how well the project’s objectives and activities were completed in respect to the project’s overall plan;

  • Budget
  • Timetables
  • Quality of the deliverables
  • Requirements
  • Client satisfaction

Most project teams would prefer not to restart the process after completing a lengthy project within strict deadlines. And in compliance with continually shifting goals (this is especially the case given our current operating environment).

The purpose of a PIR, on the other hand, is to ensure that the firm recognizes and accepts possibilities for improvement. Several chances for advancement can be discovered through a prospective review. And a post-implementation audit can be an excellent tool for examining the implementation of policies, initiatives, or procedures.

Whether a product, a process, or a service, each output should be compared to the original concept and its efficacy evaluated accordingly. However, once a project is over, PIRs are rarely discussed in boardrooms.

What is the importance of post-implementation auditing?

Post-implementation audits are essential feedback loops that allow organizations to learn from their mistakes. This helps to improve their performance in delivering IT projects, and they should not be overlooked.

Additionally, they can aid the IT organization in showing the importance of its services to the corporation’s bottom line. They serve as a strategy for encouraging continuous development and boosting employee team spirit.

As many stakeholders as feasible should be included in the review process. Since it aids in assessing all areas of the project. And it provides a framework for resolving misconceptions and other issues that may arise.

What is the procedure for conducting a post-implementation audit?

It would help if you did a post-implementation audit of your project in order to optimize the value of your investment. This can begin at any point after the primary task is completed.

Still, it is preferable to start it as soon as possible after the primary project is constructed. So that the team’s memory of the project details is still fresh. It is critical to wait until the project’s product or service has established a foothold in the real world before beginning work on it if you want to get the most out of it.

Start by scribbling down your thoughts and observations to get the ball rolling. You don’t want to wait until other obligations divert people’s attention.

What are the goals of the post-implementation auditing process?

It is necessary to conduct a Post-Implementation audit when a project has been completed. The goal is to determine whether or not the project’s objectives were met, evaluate the project’s effectiveness, draw lessons for future initiatives, and make sure that the organization gains the most significant benefit possible from the project.

After a project has been completed, a detailed approach should be carried out to provide input for current and future projects, allowing for continuous improvement. The primary goal of the Implementation Phase is to install and activate the new information system’s activities in the production environment, which is accomplished through the use of test data.

How to Conduct a Post-Implementation Audit?

You should wait until all of the project’s deliverables have successfully completed at least one business cycle beginning with the auditing process. The following are some of the best practices to follow when doing the review:

Trust.

It is necessary to rely on your participants’ honesty to collect the information you require. As a result, inform them that you seek transparency and do not wish to be subjected to retribution.

Objectivity.

However, you do not want resentment or interpersonal problems to cloud your views with unpleasant feelings or serve as a means of settling old scores. Try to be as objective as possible, or at least as near to being unbiased as possible in your critique.

Documentation.

Just like with any attempt, you’ll want to leave a paper trail that illustrates how you arrived at your destination. Documenting the techniques and procedures that contributed to the project’s success allows you to duplicate those techniques and strategies in subsequent initiatives.

Hindsight.

Remember to keep in mind that this hindsight perspective can be helpful as you look ahead to future initiatives as you develop a narrative about what succeeded and what didn’t, about the surprises that occurred during the project, and how you dealt with them.

Improvement.

The main goal of this review process is not to assign blame for mistakes to individuals or teams but rather to learn from them and apply what we have learned to future endeavors.

Post-Implementation Audit Tools:

Various post-implementation audit techniques can be used to optimize and develop the project’s procedures, and they should all be investigated. On the same day, reports are prepared, and these reports serve as the foundation for all following discussion.

Several tools are available for post-implementation auditing, including the ones listed below:

The completed product is evaluated

This can be performed through the use of regularly scheduled meetings as well as quality audits and assessments.

Evaluation of Project Work that Has Been Outstanding.

Each outstanding task on a project can be evaluated to ascertain the project’s output quality, its performance in contrast to the plan, and the project’s overall performance.

Audit of a Project

The review may be required if the thoughts are to be structured, and group discussions based on the themes to be reviewed may be convened as a result of the questionnaire.

Process Assessment and Evaluation

The evaluation of any process is a vital part of the project’s overall success or failure.

Judgment

A preliminary investigation report (PIR) is a key yet sometimes overlooked stage in developing any business initiative. Using Post Implementation Audit as part of their standard project management technique is something that boards of directors and senior management should explore.

The Post Implementation Plan (PIP) is the final and most important portion of the Project Implementation Report. A concise review of the most important lessons gained from the project and an explanation of how these lessons will be implemented in the future should be included in this part.

It is recommended that those in charge of preparing the post-implementation audit report have a checklist of actionable issues that can be used to reference the next time a similar project is done.

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