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Surveys for each Project Process Group

Bruce D. Green, PMP

President, Green Expert Technology, Inc.

USA

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I am a huge fan of surveys. Not that I like the surveys that people at the supermarket carrying clipboards try to administer to me. And, I do not like the surveys that I am asked during election years to answer questions like, “Do you agree with Senator So-and-so’s plan to hurt the middle-class and take away your freedom?” The surveys I am a fan of are the ones that help me communicate with stakeholders, gather requirements, evaluate designs, and improve our project management. Surveys are a great tool that can be used within all of the project process groups. I have used surveys within all project process groups – initiation, planning, execution, monitoring & control, and closing. In this article, I provide examples of surveys that can be used for different knowledge areas of the five PMP Project Process Groups.

Project Closing Group Survey

For small and medium sized projects it is difficult to get people to support a lessons learned meeting especially in these days of contract employees and tight budgets. Many people are working on multiple projects so when project ends they immediately move to the next project. Or, they were hired specifically for the project and need to get started on their next contract. Also, budgets are run so tight that many sponsors demure at paying for everyone’s time to discuss a project that has already delivered.  Even if you are able to get everyone on a conference call to discuss lessons learned, there is a good chance that the many people’s minds will be elsewhere because, as previously stated, they are already working on a new project.

The survey is a convenient way to gather lessons learned because it does not require everyone to respond at the same time. People can fill out the short survey (keep it short) at a time that is convenient to them. If you send the survey by email, be prepared to send some follow-up reminders to the team. One survey email followed by no more than two follow-up emails should be enough to get a good response rate from people. If you are really keen on a person’s input I suggest that you call them and then ask the survey questions over the phone. When you think about it, you are likely to get a fuller and truer response in a one-on-one phone call than in an open meeting where politics and positioning may limit what people are willing to say aloud. You should also be able to get your survey response in less than 10 minutes which saves 50 minutes or more of the person’s time over their having to attend a mass conference call or lessons learned meeting.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bruce D. Green, PMP

Author

Bruce D. Green is the President of Green Expert Technology, Inc. and a PMI© Project Management Professional (PMP®). Bruce provides project and technology consulting as well as training to corporations in commercial and defense sectors. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and his Master of Science in Information Systems from Drexel University in Philadelphia. He has been published in J. of Organizational and End-User Computing, CHIPS, proceedings for Information Resources Management Association (IRMA) International, American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE), and Joint Technical Rail conferences.  Bruce can be contacted at [email protected].