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The Project Audit Check List

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

Project management

  • 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?

Project processes

  • 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?

System architecture

  • 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?

Functional requirements

  • What is the requirements analysis process?
  • How are users involved in the process?
  • Are the requirements clear, complete and consistent?

Software design

  • How are functional requirements turned into solutions?
  • What kind of design documents is produced?

Code quality

  • Are coding standards in place and followed?
  • Is the code clear, efficient and well-organised?

Testing

  • 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?

Royston

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