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6. Project monitoring and evaluation

Participatory ongoing monitoring

Monitoring the project is necessary at all stages of the project life cycle. Continuous monitoring ensures that deviations are detected and corrected in time, minimizing any negative impact on the project. To be truly effective, it should done in an open manner with broad stakeholder participation.

Monitoring is an ongoing process that should be done regularly at fixed intervals, and should focus on assessing implementation performance in several areas: client/user satisfaction, performance indicators evaluation, and ways to measure the effect of the system on profitability. Some of the indicators that could be used to measure performance are listed below:

Client/user satisfaction:

Tasks completed, outputs generated and impacts

Cost savings generated, impact on cooperative profitability, performance, etc.

Monitoring and evaluation: key points

  • Ensure Project Management continuity wherever possible. Changes of management in the middle of the project can cause delays.
  • Establish clear milestones and measurable performance indicators to ensure that staff and consultants meet their obligations on time.
  • Arrange formal project reviews on a regular basis. For example, set meetings at the end of each stage of system development, and then every month of the first year the system is operating.
  • Perform sensitivity analysis of actual results to plan more effectively. If the results do not satisfy expectations, it is easier to fix in the first months the systems is operative.
  • Formulate recovery plans where task completion is behind schedule.

Final evaluation

At the end of the computerization project, it is necessary to evaluate how successful the project was and if it satisfied its intended objectives, in order to inform other stakeholders, especially elected leaders, directors and members.

You do this by comparing the value of each indicator you have defined (such as the number of transactions, accuracy, speed, cost savings) before the software was implemented, and after it was implemented. You can also include predictions on future performance. The choice of indicators will depend to some extent on the business goal or objective of computerization.

For example, if the business objective was to reduce the time required to generate a trial balance and income statement, some indicators can be: improved transaction time, members’ satisfaction, monetary savings due to a better administration of assets, timely compliance with legal requirements.

Evaluations can be performed by members of the cooperative, but an external opinion is always helpful and adds objectivity to the reports.

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