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Evaluating Project Readiness

Evaluating Project Readiness

Author: Jeff Carroll

This lesson reviews the elements required to determine whether a project is ready to close.

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Source: Image of female project manager, male project sponsor, Creative Commons, Kelly Eddington; Image of checkmark, graph moving up, images by Video Scribe, License held by Jeff Carroll; Image of checklist, Public Domain,

Video Transcription

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Hi, I'm Jeff, and in this lesson, we'll learn how a project manager evaluates project readiness, which is necessary to close a project. This is the transition between phase three, managing the project, and phase four, closing the project.

A project is considered ready when all project commitments have been fulfilled. This means that all deliverables have been created to the standards set forth in the project scope, all the work is marked as complete, and any resources necessary to place the deliverables into operation have been acquired. If a project is not ready, then additional tasks and cost might need to occur, and the closing sequence may be delayed, so it's critical for the project manager to be unbiased when evaluating the state of the project.

A check-off sheet can help a project manager remain objective. The elements on this check-off sheet should include all project deliverables completed. This means that all requirements have been met and that the deliverables meet, or exceed, the quality standards. The deliverables have been tested. Or, there's a plan in place to assure that the deliverables are tested before going into operation. All change requests have been completed. Each request must be closed, and the results of the change verified.

All high impact and high probability risks have been managed. This means that each risk must have been mitigated or the risk has been shifted to a low impact or low probability due to other circumstances. All contracts have been completed. Any agreements with vendors consultants or other resource providers must be fully satisfied. All deliverables are ready for sign-off. Key stakeholders must be able to review, evaluate, and sign-off on the deliverables. And finally, the project, and its deliverables, must have met any additional success criteria established in the scope document.

An additional step, when judging readiness, is also judging the projects impact or benefits to the organization. The project scope outlined these impacts. And, at this phase of the project, those impacts should be reevaluated. The project manager must ask and receive answers to the following two questions. Is the project going to achieve the business impact that it is expected to once it is implemented? And what is the likelihood that the benefits will be realized once the deliverables are implemented?

These questions should be discussed with the project sponsor and any stakeholders or organization members responsible for implementing the deliverables. Since all individuals associated with the project know considerably more about the deliverables now than when the project began, the impact can be more clearly judged. It's critical to ask these questions because this stage determines if the deliverables will work as intended or whether further work will be needed to reach the goals of the organization.

Ultimately, projects are judged by the value they bring to an organization, not just the successful completion of a schedule.

OK, good job! In this lesson, we learned why and how a project manager evaluates a project's readiness and how the impact of a project is an important part of this evaluation. Thanks, and have a great day.