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Effective Software Project Management by Robert K. Wysocki Ph.D.

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Project Review Sessions

At milestone events, a project review should be held. The purpose of these review sessions is to ascertain the performance of the project against the project plan. A typical review session will be attended by three or more senior project managers who do not have a vested interest in the project being reviewed, by a manager from the Project Management Office (if there is a PMO), the project manager of the project being reviewed, and any other persons who are associated with the project being reviewed and who the project manager feels would have valid input. These are serious sessions. In them the project manager must review the project plan and the status of the plan; if there are problems, there should be a presentation of them, their cause, and the fix that is in place. At the next project review it is expected that the project manager will update the reviewers as to the outcome of the fix. The reviewers have three purposes in mind for these sessions:

  • Compliance to the established project management processes— The project manager must show how that has been achieved or establish a rationale for whatever departure from the process was taken and why it was taken.

  • To review status against plan— They will be looking for variances that might foreshadow problems or continuing trends that need the attention of the project team.

  • To offer suggestions and strategies to address any issues raised in the previous two paragraphs— If such are offered, it will be incumbent ...

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