You’ve made it, your project has come to an end (along with this 5-part blog series) and you’re pondering what happens now. Well, there are things you should do at the end of every project:
Before diving into the detail on the two actions you should take at the end of each project that you’re going to be exploring through this blog post – feedback and evaluation – if you haven’t read the previous 4 instalments of this series, you’ll benefit greatly from working your way through them in order. Head to the main blog repository to access parts 1-4.
The purpose of evaluating your project is:
Most evaluations are done by asking, and then reporting on, a series of questions. Identifying the questions that you should address will depend on your context. Things to consider in planning your evaluation include:
Delivering a one-day workshop will require less detail than a full year programme.
Sometimes you need to report to stakeholders, investors or the wider public. This may inform the questions you ask, based on what they need to hear.
Some projects require evaluation by an independent assessor, especially if there is a chance of bias or recognised standards which need to be met.
If so, you will want to focus on data that allows you to improve it the next time around.
Some useful project evaluation questions:
EVALUATING A PERSON
It is important that each person in your project team has some sense of how they performed in order to:
Useful evaluation questions:
Most projects, campaigns and services involve stakeholders. It is important to gain their opinions at different stages of the process:
To gain this feedback you could use:
This helps team members to improve and develops trust in your relationships. Here is some guidance on good feedback:
If you begin with a negative (e.g. you need to improve XYZ) that can sometimes affect the other person’s confidence. Many people have a critical voice inside their heads, so it is important to start by affirming the positive things so that people feel psychologically safe, supported and ready to grow from feedback. One model is to use the feedback sandwich where you begin with a positive, state an improvement target for the filling and end on another positive.
All feedback can be stated in a negative or a positive way. For example: “You were too quiet, we couldn’t hear you,” versus, “You need to speak louder so that your instructions are clear.” They both address the same point but the second feedback tells the person how to make a positive change, the first seems to place blame. Always try to give feedback that sets a positive goal for the other person.
Using “When THIS then THAT” helps you to get across the important growth point without blaming the other person:
It is important to suggest a solution or goal moving forward on each growth area you have identified during your evaluation. It can sometimes be helpful to phrase solutions as a question so that you are not telling people what to do, but offering a suggestion for them to think about. For example, the above challenges could be solved in the following way:
Giving and receiving feedback at the conclusion of a project is vital to Project Management success. There are different approaches for evaluating projects vs people and for gaining stakeholder feedback vs giving feedback. Employing these recommendations could make all the difference to how your team functions through the process of managing projects.
This was the final instalment in the 5-part Project Management for self-leaders series. Through this series, you’ve taken a deep dive into visioning / goal setting, getting organised, time management, risk management and evaluation / feedback. This is a rich subject, with so many more elements that you might want to explore in a practical way. The Self Leadership Initiative is here for you. Book in a FREE 30 minute chat with Founder Gemma Perkins to discuss your team’s needs today.