RE.1 Do a project review workshop

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OVERVIEW

The aim of this activity is to review the performance of the project and consider how future projects could be implemented more effectively and efficiently.

INPUT

• Results of the first project for eco-innovation.

OUTPUT

• Short report describing the outputs of the project review.

• Five actions that could be implemented to improve the performance of future projects.

These outputs are used in the activity RE.2 Do a personal review and RE.3 Review the business model and roadmap.

TEMPLATE

HOW TO GO ABOUT IT

1. Review workshop planning

If you have not already done so, seek the permission of the CEO to perform the review workshop. Explain to the CEO that the purpose of the review workshop is to determine the results and benefits of the project and to identify ways to improve the performance of future projects for eco-innovation.

Decide on the scope of the review in terms of time period considered, which aspects of the project will be covered and who will be consulted during the review. If value chain partners have been in- volved in the project, it may be useful to obtain their feedback within the review process. Gaining feedback from partners will be particularly important if they are due to be involved in subsequent projects on the roadmap as you will need to ensure that they are satisfied with the business benefits they are realising from the eco-innovation activities and remain motivated to continue with their involvement.

Whilst feedback and improvement ideas for all aspects of the project should be welcomed, it can be useful to focus attention on one or two key aspects. For instance, if the aim of the project was to develop a more sustainable packaging solution, the review might focus on the technology development process and the communication between the production process, design and marketing personnel.

Aim to complete the review soon after the completion of the project – when project team members will still be able to remember the details of the project. However, it is important to allow time for the results of the project to become clear. For example, if the project was about the development of a more sustainable packaging solution you may have to wait 3-6 months to obtain the product sales data in order to be able to evaluate the consumer acceptance of the new design.

Gather and review project documentation such as the requirements specification and the Risk Register. Also gather evidence of the results and benefits of the project e.g. data showing a reduction
in the energy consumption of production processes following the introduction of a new manufacturing process.

Decide on who should participate in the review workshop. Team leaders are good candidates to involve in the review because they should have a good overview of the activities completed and the problems encountered. The presence of members of the Senior Management Team may inhibit some participants from providing a critical and honest review of the project and should therefore be avoided. Try to ensure a gender balanced group of participants for the review workshop.

Prepare a review form that includes no more than 10 questions about the key aspects of the project you would like to review. Send each participant a copy of the review form to complete prior to the workshop. Some basic, generic questions are:

  • Did the project accomplish what it set out to achieve? What went well within the project?
    What was challenging about the project?
    What could have been done differently?
  • What wider benefits has the project generated beyond its primary scope? (e.g. any new knowledge and skills, new partnerships, improved gender equality or brand and public relations benefits)?
  • What have you learned from participating in the project?

Try to develop your own more specific questions for inclusion in the review form. Ask the participants to bring their completed review forms with them to the workshop.

2. Facilitating the review workshop

Begin the workshop by explaining that the purpose of the review is to determine the results and benefits of the project and to identify ways to improve the performance of future projects for eco- innovation. Ask participants to be open, honest and objective when providing their feedback. It can also be productive to ask participants to focus their criticisms on the project process, not on individuals.

Ask each participant in turn to read out one of the points they have made in their review form. Allow some time for discussion of each point, but aim to keep progressing through the points so that there is an opportunity to hear all of the points. Continue until all points have been heard.

Based on the points raised and the discussion, ask the participants to list their top five actions that can be taken to improve the performance of future projects and make a note of these.

3. Reporting the findings of the review

To ensure that the conclusions from the review are captured and acted upon it is important to summarize the findings from the review workshop into a short report. This should explain the scope of the report, describe the review workshop activity and highlight the recommended actions to improve the performance of future projects.

One aspect to think about is how the benefits of the project could be enhanced. For instance, if a new eco-innovative product has been launched, should the company now apply for an eco-label
for the product? Is there an award scheme for sustainable product innovations that you could enter? Are there other parts of the company that could benefit from what has been achieved within the project? These types of follow-up actions should be noted in the report for discussion at the roadmap and business model review.

Once the review report is ready, you should try to arrange a short meeting with the CEO and the Senior Management Team in order to present a summary of this report. This presentation can be integrated at the start of the roadmap and strategy review, described in the activity RE.3 Review the business model and roadmap.

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