Project Audit – A check List
The primary purpose of a project audit is to find the reasons for apparent failings in the project process, and answer:
- What is the current state of the project
- Is the project going to deliver something useful that meets requirements?
- Is the technical approach being used still appropriate
- Is the business case still valid?
- Is the project organised in an effective way
- Is the project context hindering or helping progress
- Are industry standard project processes being followed
- Is the project following industry best practice development methods?
- What should be changed to improve the project focus?
The output of a project audit will be the answers to these questions and a practical assessment what can be done to improve and fix problems?
Areas of investigation
- Does the project communicate effectively with its sponsors and other stakeholders
- Are decisions taken rationally and quickly?
- Does the management team have appropriate skills and experience?
- Project organisation and staffing
- Is the project divided into effective work units (teams)?
- Is there capacity within the team to handle the workload?
- Are the teams located appropriately?
- Are roles and responsibilities identified and clear?
- Are internal and external communications effective?
- Does the staff have appropriate skills and experience to do the job?
- Is staff working in a suitable physical environment?
- Are project controls in place?
- How are work-packages identified and allocated?
- How is progress managed?
- How is change managed?
- Is proper version and configuration management in place?
Project planning and reporting
- What kind of plan is there?
- Is the level of detail appropriate?
- How has the plan been validated and agreed?
- How is progress against plan reported?
- Where is the project against the agreed plan and what are the reasons for deviations?
- Are the exception plans in place?
- Is the project actually at the point where progress reports say it is?
- How feasible is achieving the future goals in the plan?
Technology choice and usage
- What tools and technologies are being used?
- Why were these tools and technologies selected?
- Is the selection in line with industry best practice?
- Are appropriate skill-sets available to manage technology set?
- How do the pieces that make up the solution fit together?
- Can the solution meet the quality requirements (speed, load, reliability? etc.)?
- How are technical decisions made? Is there a design authority?
- How are technical decisions recorded?
- How is technical feasibility demonstrated?
- What is the requirements analysis process?
- How are users involved in the process?
- Are the requirements clear, complete and consistent?
- How are functional requirements turned into solutions?
- What kind of design documents is produced?
- Are coding standards in place and followed?
- Is the code clear, efficient and well-organised?
- What kinds of testing are carried out?
- What testing strategy is in place?
- How is testing planned and managed?
- Is there a “test to fail” or “test driven” philosophy?
- Is testing automated?
- How are test cases identified?
- What kinds of test tools are used?