Sometimes it is hard to understand the status of a project. A project assessment, or audit, may be called for to determine just where the project stands. In some cases, projects purposely set up status reviews in their Quality Management Planning. These assessments utilize an outside party. This “outside party” could be any qualified person except the project manager.
The audit itself focuses on whether effective project management processes are being utilized and whether the project appears to be on-track. A project audit asks questions about the processes used to manage the project and build deliverables. The audit can follow this process:
Notify the parties The auditor notifies the project manager of the upcoming audit and schedules a convenient time and place. Other key stakeholders are notified of the audit as well.
Prepare for the audit The auditor may request certain information up-front. The auditor might also ask the project manager to be prepared to discuss certain aspects of the project. This ensures that the actual meeting time is as productive as possible.
Perform initial interview During the initial meeting, the auditor asks the appropriate questions to ensure the project is on-track. If there are any areas that are not on track, the auditor notes them as such.
Perform as many other interviews as necessary (optional)If the project is large or complex, the auditor might need to perform follow-up analysis. This includes meeting with other team members and clients, and reviewing further documentation.
Document the findings The auditor documents the status and the processes used on this project against best practices. If the organization has standards and policies in place for managing projects, the auditor determines whether any of these are not being followed on the audited project. The auditor also makes recommendations on things that can be done to provide more effective and proactive management of the project.
Review draft audit report The auditor and the project manager meet again to go over the initial findings. This auditor describes any project management deficiencies and recommendations for changes. This review also provides an opportunity for the project manager to provide a rebuttal when necessary.