[PROJECT_ MANAGEMENT/PM Definitions/index.htm]
Project Management

CLOSING THE PROJECT

The Importance of Closing  Project

The intent of closure is to determine what was done well and also identify opportunities for improvement for future projects.


The Value of Project Closure

The value of having a planned project termination is realized by leveraging all information and experience gathered throughout your project. If your project is implemented and your team simply disbands, you do not have an opportunity to wrap up loose ends, perform staff evaluations, document key lessons learned, or ensure that appropriate deliverables are transitioned to ongoing operations.


Reasons Why Project Closure Is Skipped

Project closure is frequently omitted. You may think, "Project closure is unnecessary.

There are four main reasons why project closure is often skipped:

         You are impatient or pressed for time.

         Many project team members are not open to honest feedback.

         Team members are unavailable to participate in the closure process.

         The project team may just be tired of the project and want to work on something else.

plan for the closure activity well in advance of its occurrence.make it part of your project plan.


Planning for Project Closure

It is the responsibility of a project manager to include project termination activities into the project plan.


Your Project: Success or Failure?

Sometimes it is obvious if a project is completely successful or is a total failure. However, in many cases there are mixed results.Define up-front what represents success criteria. Make sure to include all stakeholders in your decision-making process.


Project Closure Steps

The process of closing a project is known by other names including the "post-accomplishment phase", "closing processes", and the "termination phase."

The role of a project manager in project closure includes preparing a final technical report, reviewing final financial reports and providing information on other closing reports.

steps that should take place.

1.       Make sure that your customer/client is content with project deliverables.

You may need to make minor modifications, provide additional training or answer questions to completely satisfy your customer. Satisfied customers represent referrals that result in future projects.

2.       Verify that documented evidence is generated that demonstrates your customer has accepted your project deliverable.

In many cases, final payment for a project is dependent upon customer acceptance and approval.

3.       Hold a project conclusion meeting.

Hold a meeting with your project team, sponsor, and appropriate stakeholders to formally conclude your project.

Recap your project, document what went right and wrong, define strengths and weaknesses of your project management processes, and identify any remaining steps required to close your project.

4.       Place final reports and assemble other documents that need distribution or placement in your project notebook.

File essential project documents (plans, specifications, blueprints, technical drawings, computer files).

At a minimum, include the following in your final report:

a.       Identification of fulfillment of your project objectives.

b.       Statement of expenditures as compared to the main budget lines.

c.       Assessment of the sustainability of the project including possible need for future assistance.

Experienced project managers know that there are many things that go wrong in projects regardless how successful they are in planning and execution. In addition, an experienced project manager normally desires to learn from others' mistakes in order to avoid making the same mistakes.

When reviewing contents of a project notebook, include the following types of documents:

4.       Original project plan

5.       Organization chart for project

6.       Schedules

7.       Team meeting minutes

8.       Other meeting minutes

9.       Project outputs

10.   Customer feedback, including evidence of satisfaction

To be safe, place all relevant documents from your project in a project notebook. Make a duplicate copy of your notebook and keep it in a very safe place.

5.       File essential project documents (plans, specifications, blueprints, technical drawings, computer files) in places where they are easily found in the future.

6.       Return equipment and perform housekeeping.

7.      If appropriate (if the project deliverable becomes part of ongoing operations), identify support requirements and remaining resources to pertinent company personnel.

Chances are a customer needs help with something in the future. This transition includes knowledge transfer to the support team, completion and turnover of all documentation, and turnover of the list of remaining work.

8.     Close out contracts as appropriate, obtain final payment, and disburse funds to vendors.

Perform final accounting to make sure that the project budget is up-to-date and can sustain an audit.

Make sure to address all open financial issues, including budget deficits.

9.     Disband your project team and if possible, assist in reassignment.

10.   Conduct performance reviews.

If your project is substantial or lengthy, it may be appropriate to conduct performance reviews after your project is over. The project manager is evaluated by management and then reviews the entire team, or at least direct reports. Use overall success ratings as feedback into individual reviews.

11.   Finally, and very importantly, make sure to celebrate and recognize project team members.

12.   Remember your extended project team.

 show appreciation to your suppliers and customers for their support, acknowledge in a letter, recognize your extended project team.

 

PROJECT CLOSING

 
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