But, whether you’re feeling an overwhelming sense of happiness from delivering an outstanding product, or just plain old relief from seeing a project just get out the door, the end of a project is the perfect time for an organisation (and the project manager) to be analytical.
Reflection is perfection
As an SEO agency and digital agency, projects are very hard to estimate – there’s an abundance of variables when it comes to making a website, and trying to consider them all is practically impossible. Therefore, the end of a project is the perfect opportunity to review the team’s performance, your estimation, and whether there’s room for improvement next time. Typically, some of the things you might evaluate include:
- Time: Most businesses in the digital world don’t hold stock or sell a physical product – so for them, time is their stock or product. Time spent on project management, time spent on design, time spent on development, etcetera. At the start of a project, estimating the time needed for all of these phases is difficult (but essential) to give the client both a rough scope and price. When a project is delivered, reflecting on this time and seeing whether you were under or over time (and if so by how much!) allows you to be much more exact for future projects, removing nasty surprises for you and the client.
- Budget: Hand in hand with time, is budget. If you’re selling time and you’ve estimated a certain time for a project, then of course you’ll have calculated a cost for the project too. Reviewing the time also allows you to review the cost and therefore be more precise with any future quoting.
- Delivery: Delivering the project can be a glorious event, especially when you’re handing over the complete package to the client. However, depending on how you break down the project – such as using the MoSCoW method which breaks down tasks by priority – not all elements are always delivered. In these situations, reviewing the order in which the tasks were handled, the time they took, and how their priority was assessed are all valuable analytical approaches to avoid making any repeat mistakes (or for delivering more elements on the next project).
- Communication: Throughout the project, you’ll be communicating a lot with the client. Now is the time to look at that communication and assess whether it was frequent, clear, and kept the client in the loop, etc. Any holes in the comms need to be patched up immediately, but if your comms were regular and informative, that’s definitely something to take forward to the next project.
- Result: Overall, how was the result? Ultimately, at the end of the project, you want to have a client that’s happy with the delivered product. If you can achieve that – no matter how smooth or rocky the journey – well, you could consider the project a success.
From a business perspective, taking any opportunity to reflect on the previous projects allows you to assess and deliver the next project more accurately. This not only improves the team’s overall project management but means other clients are more likely to feel valued as these improvements filter down to future work.
If you want to know more about our project management methods, then get in touch!