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5.10 Project Evaluation


The focus of project evaluation is the project management process and continuous improvement of the management process provides the rationale for undertaking a project evaluation.  The Project Evaluation Report focuses on two distinguishable elements of the management process.  The first is how faithfully the project produced what it was intended to produce.  It asks whether the intended results been achieved and, where there are significant differences between intentions and results, why those differences have occurred.  Second, it asks what things have worked well, what things proved challenging, and what things would be done differently in the future.

 A Project Evaluation Report can be used at the end of the Planning Process (to assess the performance of the planning process) by comparing the Project Plan to the Project Charter, or at the end of any formal project phase, as a stage gate review mechanism, to evaluate progress to the end of that phase with the relevant portion of the Project Plan.  In this context the Project Evaluation Report helps inform the decision to proceed to the next project phase.

 A Project Evaluation Report is required at the end of all projects.

Process Inputs

A Project Plan (or Charter, if the Planning Process is the focus of the evaluation)

A completed project (or phase, if the evaluation is being used for stage gate review purposes)

Process Outputs

A Project Evaluation Report


For project managers to improve their performance over time, and for the organization to improve its track record for running successful projects, it is essential that both managers and the organization take a critical look at how well the project management processes employed have met their intended purpose.  It is also valuable for both managers and the organization to identify things that have worked well, things that proved challenging, and things that they would do differently in the future.  The collection and dissemination of these "lessons learned" is a key contributor to this essential individual and institutional learning.  The Project Evaluation Report is organized to draw evaluative attention to all of intentions, results, explanations, and lessons learned and thereby support individual and institutional learning.


  1. Obtain the reference document (Plan or Charter as the case may be) to which performance (project results or the Project Plan) will be compared.

  2. Note the commitments made in the reference document in terms of why the project is being undertaken and the benefits it is intended to deliver, the deliverables it is to produce, and the functions the deliverables are to fulfill, including their features.Compare these intentions to the project results and identify any material differences in Section 2.0, Evaluation Findings.

  3. Interview knowledgeable project team members, the project sponsor, steering committee members, and review change requests and other project documentation to identify why the material difference occurred, its significance, and any lessons that should be drawn for the project management process.Enter these conclusions in Section 3.0, Evaluation Conclusions.

  4. Identify any outstanding issues (unresolved change requests or risk responses) that remained at the end of the project and note these and any suggested disposition in Section 4.1, Outstanding Issues.

  5. Summarize the lessons drawn under #3 above.Conduct a lessons learned session with the project team and the project sponsor.Record the results in Section 4.2, Lessons Learned.

  6. Identify specific project management achievements and successes in Section 4.3, Project successes.

  7. Identify any other recommendations that come from stakeholders, the project sponsor, team members, and your own experience on this project for any other improvements to the organization's project management processes.Record these recommendations in Section 4.4, Recommendations for Other Project Management Improvements.

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