Evaluation is an important process in project management. It involves objective and systematic assessment of a project, either progressive or completed. The aim of conducting an evaluation is to assess the design, policy, results, and implementation of a project in order to make informed judgement. The process is also vital in ensuring sustainability, efficiency, effectiveness, and impact based on the main project objectives. Moreover, project evaluation is instrumental in assessing the level to which the management is accountable to the laid out policies. Conducting an evaluation also provides various stakeholders with relevant information that makes them understand the needs of a project. For an evaluation process to be effective, it is important to outline a clear purpose, decide on the specific area of focus, understand the target audience, select the team, choose the leader, and come up with the criteria for selection.
- Outline a clear purpose. It is vital to state the reason for conducting specific project evaluation. Basically, the process should show why the assessment is being conducted. In most cases, an evaluation is normally for strategic planning or reporting to project sponsors. This fact means that the process should show areas of improvement and development. The reasons stated in an evaluation brief should convince all the stakeholders of a project.
- Decide on the specific area of focus. Project evaluation should have a well-defined scope. The scope, in this case, is the specific area of focus that highlights the issues that the assessment will address. It is also important to show the order of urgency and priority when highlighting the issues. Besides, the evaluation scope depends on the available timescale and budget.
- Understand the target audience. Any project evaluation process has its target audience. Understanding the audience means knowing their needs and reasons for evaluation. The methods to be used in evaluating a project also depends on the target audience. For instance, a technical project cannot be evaluated using the same approaches as a non-technical one.
- Select the evaluation team. It is vital to select the right team of evaluators before conducting an evaluation. The team selection process should also consider the expertise needed and available time. Available resources also play a vital role in selecting the evaluation team.
- Choose the team leader. An evaluation can be conducted by the project team. However, it is the leader to present the assessment to stakeholders. Therefore, it is important to select a leader from the evaluation team that understands the process and is able to manage and guide the other members.
- Constitute the criteria of evaluation. A project assessment process can have more than one opinion. In such a case, it is vital to constitute a criteria to be used when conducting the evaluation. Experience and interviews are some of the methods that can be used to come up with criteria for conducting an evaluation.
Evaluating a project is a vital task in management. Therefore, conducting an assessment makes it easy for concerned stakeholders to assess a project. The process of conducting an evaluation involves outlining a clear purpose, deciding on the specific area of concentration, understanding the target audience, selecting the team, choosing the leader, and constituting the criteria for selection.