technical inspections

Article - Top 10 Questions to Ask When Conducting Project Document Walkthroughs


I would like to start this article with a very interesting statistic originating from the IT and software industry. Unfortunately, due to lack of reliable information from other sectors we have to rely on the data collected in the high-tech field and then construct generalized extrapolations to the rest of the world. So, without further ado, here is a very interesting statistic:

Forty-five percent (45%!) of project costs industry-wide is rework

Let’s ponder this number for a while … If we choose to believe in the power of extrapolation to one degree or another, it looks like by eliminating the amount of rework completely we can decrease all of our project budgets in half. Durations would probably fall by a significant number as well.

How can we minimize the amount of rework?

And the answer is: by conducting technical inspections and customer walkthroughs of all major project documents. The more documents get reviewed fairly early in the process, the less are the chances of missing scope items, unforeseen risks and hidden constraints.

Table 1 contains a list of questions that should be asked during such meetings.

Table 1


And what questions do you ask at your walkthroughs and inspections?

  1. We do not conduct project document walkthroughs
  2. We use the “ad hoc” approach. If a stakeholder sees an error, she just points to it
  3. We have a checklist of questions or potential problems to refer to

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