The Project Check contains:
• Seven sets of 26 cards, 25 with propositions and one role card
• Three cards to explain the three symbols at the bottom of the 25 cards
• A manual

Initiator’s preparation

Goal: To determine which roles are relevant in the project and invite the parties involved.
Who: Those who wish to evaluate the project by means of The Project Check.
Duration: Approximately 1 hour.

  1. Determine which roles are relevant for this Project Check. Three roles should always be represented: the user of the end result, the project leader and the client. You could call these the core roles of each project. Often different users can be designated in each project.
  2. If you have multiple clients, user groups or groups in the project environment: specify who you are talking about. For example: the residents of the Third Avenue, or: the manager of department X.
  3. Determine which people will participate in The Project Check. Try to have as many people who fulfil those roles present themselves. If this is not possible: determine who will ‘play’ the role. Ask this person to imagine himself in the other party’s shoes. Make sure there are no double roles.
  4. Determine who will facilitate the meeting. It is recommended that this person will not actively participate in The Project Check – rather, they will function as a process facilitator.
  5. Invite all parties involved, and inform them about their role and that of the process facilitator if necessary.


Doing The Project Check

Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours.
Needed items: Set of cards per role, flip-chart, markers, post-its.

Make sure that the reason, goal, method, duration and result of this Project Check are clear for everyone.

Round 1: What is going well? (1 hour)
In this first round, you will investigate what everyone experiences to be strong points in the project and what they yield.

  1. Everyone receives the set of cards pertaining to their role.
  2. Each participant subsequently determines which three cards they feel reflect why things are going well in the project. Let the cards be a source of inspiration, but reformulate when needed in your own words what exactly is going so well. If you feel something is really missing, then ‘use’ the blank card 25 and formulate it yourself.
  3. Everyone determines which card they would like to illustrate (first) and then give a brief explanation of why they picked that card. The participants indicate how the point on the card influenced the success of the project or organisation according to them. For example, if the project team member chose card 18 ‘It is clear that we keep our promises with the user’: ‘I like this way of working because you don’t always have to chase everything three times, and a customer also expressed his appreciation for this recently.’ Note down the points so everyone can see them.
  4. Discuss: How did these become the strong points? Why are things going so well? Or: What are the three most important success factors of this project? An example, again for card 18, ‘It is clear that we keep our promises with the user’: ‘… because everyone in the team always has a clear overview of the project.’ And: How do you work together to hold onto those success factors? For example: ‘At the start of projects, project leaders promise to share as much information as possible with everyone. And we remind each other to do so as well.’
  5. Celebrate this success in an appropriate way!


Round 2: What can be improved? (1 hour)
The second round is spent searching for improvement possibilities. In addition to this, everyone will research what they can personally contribute.

  1. Just like in round 1, each role gets ‘its own’ cards.
  2. Everyone chooses three cards again. Now focus on: What is not going well enough? What can be improved? If you feel something is really missing, then use the blank card 25 and formulate it yourself.
  3. Everyone offers an explanation about their most important card: Why did you choose this particular one? Which burden do you/the project experience from this not running properly? Others do not respond yet at this point, but they will have opportunity to do so later on.
  4. Determine together which three cards adversely affect the success of the project the most. Put the chosen cards on the table so everyone can clearly see them.
  5. Make an analysis of the possible causes: What has not been arranged properly or what is missing? Note down the points so everyone can see them.
  6. Determine which causes -improvement points- you would like to tackle first.
  7. Everyone can now answer questions a to d for each improvement point. Schedule 5 minutes per individual for this.
    • Can strong points from the first round help improve the less strong points?
    • b. Can I start with improving these points myself right away or do I think that someone else should do it?
    • c. If you cannot deal with them yourself right away: Who could and what would you like the other person to do about it? Then determine what you can do yourself to ensure the other person will take up the improvement point.
    • d. Determine if you can achieve ‘quick wins’: What could you and others do differently from tomorrow onwards?
  8. Everyone tells their resolutions to the group and makes agreements. You note them down so everyone can see them.
  9. For which points should you take action together? Make agreements about that as well.



  1. Determine: To what extent are the positive and improvement points found characteristic for the project management in the organisation? Is it necessary that this will be changed? What can you do about this?
  2. Everyone determines for themselves: How was it to do The Project Check? Did it produce anything new? What can be improved next time? Share this with the group.
  3. Plan a follow-up meeting to exchange the results of the execution of all resolutions with each other.


Is your project not ‘just a normal project’?
See our suggestions about how to deal with complex situations and projects, for example those involving multiple groups of users, multiple clients, external project leaders, etc.

Click here tot see the variants of The Project Check