Modified: Saturday, April 23, 2011
Project Check UpTM

Rapid assessment and practical advice to assure that your project will deliver a quality result, on time and on budget.

What is a Project Check Up?

PROJECT CHECK UP™ - a short-term, independent review performed at selected points during a project.

The Project Check Up examines an active project to determine its overall health, with minimal impact on your team's time and budget. Actions are recommended for any significant problems. These mid-project corrections improve the performance of healthy projects and help ailing projects recover.


Identifying and prioritizing risks lets executives and project managers focus on the critical areas of their project. Businesses that take advantage of the Project Check Up will experience fewer "surprises", since they identify (and in many cases, eliminate) the sources of trouble before they occur.

We will give you an action plan to improve your project. Teams that implement the recommendations:

  • increase stakeholder satisfaction,
  • have more predictable schedules,
  • complete sooner, and
  • cost less.

How does it work?

The Project Check Up begins with the identification of project strengths and risks. We meet with management, team members and stakeholders. We read selected project documents. We consider project management best practices and individual project characteristics. The information is used to develop a risk management plan and corrective actions.

  Every project is unique, and so is every Project Check Up. However, the objectives, framework and benefits are the same.


Statement of work: a concise definition of your Project Check Up. It will cover the scope, schedule, deliverables, budget (fixed price) and client resources (facilities, time and documentation).

Project assessment: a formal report of the findings of the Project Check Up. A draft table of contents for this report will be part of the Statement of work.

Presentation of findings and recommendations: we will prepare and present a summary (or attend, as the sponsor presents) to your target audience. Normally this is the project steering committee, PMO or project manager.

What will be addressed?

  • Will the project finish on time?
  • Will the project complete on budget?
  • Will the quality meet expectations?
  • Is the staff plan realistic?
  • Are scope change requests controlled successfully?
  • Are project issues dealt with effectively?
  • Are project risks being managed?
  • Are project stakeholders' needs and concerns being satisfied?
  • Are the objectives well understood?
  • Is the business case still relevant?
  Together, we decide on the breadth, depth, participants and specific topics to be addressed.

Adapted to your situation

The scope of the Project Check Up can include your particular areas of concern or risk, such as: corporate alignment and support; organizational change readiness; IT fit: architecture, operability, maintainability; technology risk; teamwork and morale; staff skills; project management tool usage; system development processes; development and test environment; deployment readiness; contract reviews; vendor involvement and performance.

  A Project Check Up is a wise investment in preventive maintenance.

Do you need it?

If you face any of the following challenges, you should schedule a Project Check Up.

  • You need an independent assessment of an outsourced project.
  • The project is larger or more complex than your usual project.
  • Your project manager is new to the job, or to your company.
  • You can't afford to be late.
  • Some groups are reluctant to commit staff, time or budget.
  • You're concerned about a project, but not sure what to do about it.
  • Major project milestones were missed, or rescheduled.
  • Testing or training time is reduced to keep the project on schedule.
  • People are talking about scope creep.
  • Work has been pushed into Phase 2.
  • Problems with new technology.
  • You have staffing issues (skill gaps, turnover, overtime, low morale).

 All too frequently, Information Technology projects are late and over budget. The initial implementation often falls short of expectations.

Return on investment

Acting on the recommendations of the Project Check Up will quickly recoup the investment. An effective evaluation process will keep your project on schedule, and can save significant dollars.

Typically, the project contingency budget funds the work. The fixed price will be 1% - 3% of the total project budget, depending on the scope you choose for the Project Check Up and the amount of detail in the action plan.

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Copyright © Paul Lear & Associates Inc. All rights reserved. Project Check Up is a trademark of Paul Lear & Associates Inc.