This review takes place within the operational phase, after the project has delivered its agreed outputs. This might be a new facility, IT asset or a soft output such as training. Unlike the earlier phases of the project lifecycle, the operational phase is likely to be long term and consume a significant proportion of the whole life costs of the investment within the Business Case.
It will typically occur several times over the life of the operational service. Depending on the lifespan of the operational service there may be a number of repeating mid term reviews to check operational management. The mid term review examines in detail aspects such as arrangements for contract management improvements in value for money and performance incentives against a baseline. The final review will concentrate on the project activities concerned with closing down the current service contract and ensuring that suitable arrangements are in place for the future.
There may also be projects where only one review is needed. It can be used for the provision of works or a new module of an existing IT system. It should be held 6-12 months after rollout of the new service/ delivery of the new assets, when evidence of the in-service benefits delivered is available.
Benefits may not all be delivered at the same time - e.g. new ways of working will need to be established in (say) a new type of school environment, before improvements in educational results are seen.
At appropriate points the findings from the reviews will inform any programme level decision points and GR0s.
Handover from the project's Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) to the operational business owner typically occurs within a year of the start of the operational service. It will be the business owner's responsibility to ensure the expected benefits are delivered and the operational service runs smoothly. It will also be their responsibility to close the current arrangements and report back to senior/corporate management, feeding as necessary into new initiatives as required.
At GR4 the project's SRO decides on the timing of the initial GR5, to coincide with the key decision points following the Post Implementation Review. The new owner of the operational service will decide on the timings of subsequent reviews.