Project PIRs are a waste of time!


Yes, I’m being controversial yet again, and this time it relates to project PIRs (Post Implementation Reviews).

I have been speaking to PMO staff members about the value of PIRs and realised that they are really a waste of every ones time.

If I hear the Project Manager correctly they don’t like PIR’s because it puts them under the spotlight.  It shows up where their weaknesses are; highlights what they could have managed better; highlights what they didn’t do at all; and sometimes it highlights where they did a good job (but not very often).

The business owners only attend PIRs so that they can explain where they didn’t get what they were expecting.  I have found that they may also express gratitude to the team, but it will depend on how many issues arose during implementation.  Yes, if a PIR is run properly the positives will be captured, but usually it’s all about what didn’t work.  Oh, and the business owners love to express where the project ran over budget.. as it often does. Where is the value in that!

The staff from the PMO who usually run the PIR process diligently do their job, collating all of the information gathered and either produce a report that is sent out to everyone, or even better still enter the data into a ‘Lessons Learned’ database.  That copious amount of data that is never looked at again.

See my point?

How many times are you aware of, that you as a Project Manager have bothered to look at, search through, question or just basically checked PIR data or a Lessons Learned database BEFORE or in the process of starting your project.

Even better yet, how many of you have looked at it when you are working on your business case?

Maybe there would be some valuable information that you might get from doing that…. but generally it is out of sight, out of mind.

I rest my case.  PIR’s are a waste of time!


Written by Karen Munro