What’s the point of a Review?

The purpose of any review process in any organisation is to improve the process.  Learning from your mistakes is important … for you!

I am a firm believer in learning from my mistakes … and I’ve learned loads.

But whilst you might benefit, and whilst you might learn from your mistakes at the end of your project, the reality is that reviewing your project at the end of your project might do lots for you but its going to do nothing for your project.

It’s too late!   

Learning from your mistakes after a review at the end of your project is of absolutely no benefit to the project.

At best it provides some insights into the reasons for any failures that you potentially might be able to avoid if the same circumstances were to unfold around you in the future.


  • teams are likely to be different in the future …
  • projects will be different in the future …
  • time itself will have moved on.

A brand new way

Whether you are an agile operator or whether you prefer the intellectual challenges of the waterfall model, there comes a point when the proposition has been defined as much as it’s going to be defined and it’s now time to put your money where your mouth is … and deliver.

This is where it can start to get expensive to rethink and redo the errors and the mistakes that you have allowed to get through.

This is the time to think about what you do.


Now is the Time

Reviewing the proposition once the upfront Analysis and the Outline Design has been completed is the point at which the most benefit can be gained, because you still have time to make the change. 

It’s not going to come by again

The Waterfall model is clear: everything needs to hang together … before you commit to the development.  The benefit of reviewing the waterfall project at this stage isn’t hard to see.  It’s a little less obvious with Agile because the development process is continuous and iterative, but don’t think that this means that there is any margin for error.  If you fail to align the logic of your vision with your vision, and you miss the signs of misalignment in your review, you are going to struggle to deliver.

No amount of clever developers can make up for this.  

review before you do

Make sure that it works

Agile and Waterfall are just different methods of delivery.  In both cases, you need to understand what you are doing, before you start doing it.  Waterfall essentially means that you need to have everything defined before moving on; Agile means filling in the gaps as the gaps need to be be filled.

But before you develop your product, you need a vision of your product.

And the vision still needs to work.

More about us Get in touch