It is particularly important for individuals taking the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, as the process of project impact evaluation and decision making based on evaluation is a key topic covered in the exam. This process goes beyond looking at the final results; it involves assessment of how the project has influenced different aspects of the organization—financial, operational, strategic, and personnel.

Table of Contents

Evaluating Financial Impact

The financial side of a project’s impact can be evaluated by comparing the planned project budget against the actual financial expenditure. A project that has stayed within or under its projected budget deems positive. Conversely, if the actual costs have exceeded the budget, it implies a negative financial impact.


Project Budget Allocation Actual Expenditure Financial Impact
A $100,000 $90,000 Positive
B $100,000 $110,000 Negative

Assessing Operational Impact

The operational impact of a project tends to relate to efficiency improvements. If a project streamlines workflows, reduces errors or increases throughput, the operational impact can be seen as positive. The real value of operational improvements can be tracked using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).


Project Operational KPIs Before Operational KPIs After Impact
A Error Rate: 20% Error Rate: 10% Positive
B Average Processing Time: 1 hour Average Processing Time: 1.5 hours Negative

Reviewing Strategic Impact

Strategic impact refers to how well the project aligns with and supports the organization’s long-term goals and objectives. This can be measured qualitatively through management feedback, and quantitatively through metrics such as Return on Investment (ROI), Net Present Value (NPV), or alignment with strategic objectives.


Project Strategic Alignment Pre-project Strategic Alignment Post-project Impact
A Aligned with 4/5 strategic objectives Aligns with 5/5 strategic objectives Positive
B Aligned with 3/5 strategic objectives Aligned with 2/5 strategic objectives Negative

Gauging Personnel Impact

Personnel impact relates to how the project affects team members and stakeholders. You can measure this through surveys and assessments to gauge employee satisfaction, motivation, and engagement levels before and after the project.


Project Employee Satisfaction Pre-project Employee Satisfaction Post-project Impact
A 70% 85% Positive
B 75% 65% Negative

What Next After Impact Assessment?

After assessing the impact of the project, the next step is to determine the required actions. If the project has a negative impact on the organization, it’s crucial to identify areas of improvement and formulate an action plan. For instance, if a project had a negative financial impact due to cost overrun, the necessary action might be reviewing and adjusting the budgeting process.

In case of a positive impact, while it is a cause for celebration, it is also an opportunity for learning. Identifying what worked well and replicating those successful elements in future projects is a strategic step forward. All actions and lessons learnt should be documented in the project’s “Lessons Learned” register for future reference.

By constantly evaluating and taking necessary actions based on project impact, PMPs can enhance their project management capabilities, ensuring optimal project outcomes and increased organizational efficiency. This process also ensures that continuous learning is fostered within the project team, driving consistent improvement in project performance.

Practice Test

True or False: The impact of a project on an organization can be evaluated based purely on financial metrics.

  • Answer: False

Explanation: While financial metrics are important, the impact of the project should also consider other factors such as employee morale, customer satisfaction, and strategic alignment.

Does project evaluation involve comparing actual project results to planned outcomes?

  • Answer: Yes

Explanation: Evaluating the impact of a project typically involves comparing what was actually achieved with what was planned. This comparison can help to determine whether the project was a success or failure and identify areas for improvement.

Can risk management contribute to minimizing the negative impact of a project on an organization?

  • Answer: Yes

Explanation: Risk management is a key element of project management, aiming to identify potential risks and mitigate their impact. This can help to reduce any negative consequences for the organization.

Which of the following is NOT a valid measure to evaluate the impact of a project on an organization?

  • A. Financial profits
  • B. Employee satisfaction
  • C. Number of external media mentions
  • D. Organizational carbon footprint
  • Answer: C. Number of external media mentions

Explanation: The number of media mentions might be relevant for a PR or marketing project, but it’s not a universal measure to assess the impact of a project on an organization.

What are the main types of factors that should be considered when evaluating the impact of a project?

  • A. Quantitative factors
  • B. Qualitative factors
  • C. Both of the above
  • Answer: C. Both of the above

Explanation: Quantitative factors include measurable aspects like cost, time, and scope. Qualitative factors can include client satisfaction, team performance, and the quality of the outcome.

Is it essential to examine the project’s impact on the organization and its strategic goals?

  • Answer: Yes

Explanation: Evaluating whether the project aligns with the company’s strategic goals aids in understanding a project’s relevance and impact on the organization.

True or False: The evaluation of a project’s impact should only be done after completing the project.

  • Answer: False

Explanation: During the project, regular evaluations should be carried out to monitor progress against planned outcomes, not just after project completion.

Which of the following is a potential action required after evaluating the impact of a project?

  • A. Adjusting the project plan
  • B. Reallocating resources
  • C. All of the above
  • Answer: C. All of the above

Explanation: Depending on the evaluation result, a variety of actions might be necessary, including adjusting the project plan or reallocating resources.

Does the evaluation of a project’s impact help the organization to learn and improve?

  • Answer: Yes

Explanation: Evaluating a project’s impact gives the organization insight into what worked well and what could be improved in its processes and management, ultimately leading to better outcomes in future projects.

Can the performance of the project team be a parameter of project impact evaluation?

  • Answer: Yes

Explanation: The performance of the project team is integral to project success and can serve as an important part of project impact evaluation.

Interview Questions

What are some ways that a project’s impact on an organization can be evaluated?

Some potential ways to evaluate a project’s impact include assessments of return on investment, cost performance index, schedule performance index, resource usage efficiency, the increase in market share, and stakeholder satisfaction.

What is the role of a project manager in determining the actions required for a project?

The project manager’s role in determining required actions includes identifying and planning the work, coordinating with the team and stakeholders, monitoring and controlling the project’s progress, adjusting as necessary, and ensuring that the project is completed on time while staying within budget.

How can stakeholder satisfaction be used as a measure of the project’s impact on the organization?

Stakeholder satisfaction can indicate a project’s impact on the organization because it reflects how well the project has met or exceeded expectations. A project that has high stakeholder satisfaction will have a positive impact on the organization’s reputation and potentially its bottom line.

How can the Cost Performance Index (CPI) and the Schedule Performance Index (SPI) help in evaluating the impact of the project on the organization?

CPI and SPI provide quantitative measures of project performance. A CPI less than 1 indicates cost overrun, while an SPI less than 1 indicates a schedule delay. These values can help an organization to assess whether the project has delivered value with respect to the invested resources.

Why is it important to evaluate the project’s impact on the organization’s strategic objectives?

Evaluating the project’s impact on the organization’s strategic objectives is crucial because it helps in understanding how much the project has contributed to the overall goals of the organization. This will help in future decision-making and project selection.

What type of actions may be required if a project is not having the desired impact on an organization?

Required actions may include corrective actions to get the project back on track, preventive actions to reduce the probability of future deviations, and escalation of the issue to higher management levels for decision making.

How can a Post-Implementation Review (PIR) help in evaluating a project’s impact?

A PIR can provide valuable insights into the project’s performance. It can identify what worked well, what didn’t, lessons learned, and recommendations for future projects – all of which can influence the assessment of a project’s overall impact on an organization.

How does resource usage efficiency reflect a project’s impact on the organization?

Efficient use of resources minimizes wastage and maximizes output. A project that uses resources efficiently will positively impact the organization’s bottom line and potentially its sustainability.

What is the importance of communication in determining the necessary actions of a project?

Effective communication ensures that everyone involved in the project is on the same page regarding goals, tasks, and responsibilities. It is critical for effective decision-making, project management, and the implementation of necessary actions.

Why is it essential to consider a project’s ROI when evaluating its impact on the organization?

Considering a project’s ROI is crucial because it provides a quantifiable measure of the profitability and efficiency of the project. It is a critical factor in the decision-making process for future projects and can contribute to understanding a project’s overall impact on the organization.

What is risk management’s role in determining the required actions in a project?

Risk management helps in the identification, analysis, and response to project risks. It can dictate necessary actions to minimize the negative impact of threats and to capitalize on opportunities, thus protecting the project objectives.

What is Earned Value Management (EVM) in project management and how can it be used to evaluate the impact of a project?

EVM is a project management technique for measuring project performance and progress in an objective manner. It integrates scope, cost, and schedule, and can be used to predict future project performance and highlight any areas of concern that may impact the project or the organization as a whole.

How does increased market share measure the impact of a project on an organization?

An increase in market share as a result of a project suggests that the project has successfully enhanced the organization’s competitive position. Therefore, market share growth can be a significant measure of a project’s impact.

How can project management tools be used to determine required actions in a project?

Project management tools like Gantt charts, critical path method, and project management software can be used to track project progress, highlight areas of concern, guide decision-making, and plan necessary actions.

What is the value of conducting project reviews in evaluating the impact of a project on an organization?

Project reviews provide an opportunity to reflect on the entirety of the project – both successes and failures. They allow learning from the project process, outcomes, and stakeholder feedback, and they contribute valuable insight into the true impact of the project on the organization.

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