Evaluating Project Work

AIM

Evaluation of the outputs of a project at its end and during its progress is standard practice. Over and above this, the methodology of the Brain project (see Overall Project Methodology), centred on short cycles of incremental development based on user feedback. This presupposed a process of continuous evaluation and how this was to be done had to be considered carefully.

CONTEXT

Applies to all aspects of the project’s work.

SOLUTION

Some Focus Group and other events were specifically organised for evaluation purposes. However, because requirements gathering continued throughout the life of the project, this could also include an evaluation component, especially later on as users could be asked about the projects outputs or would comment on them naturally as part of the discussion. Much feedback about tools and systems was obtained indirectly as part of activities, discussions and events which were primarily about other issues but where the project’s outputs had impacted in one way or another. In addition the project was able to take advantage of interest in what it was doing and invitations to research groups and other bodies, such as Senior Managers’ Groups, to include evaluation activities within the sessions organised. To a considerable extent the rapid development and close feedback loop with users also facilitated the evaluation process. Often users would provide carefully considered evaluation because they knew this would be taken into account and would improve the tools and services they were using.