Even after providing deliverables, the project must be closed using a pre-planned method known as project closure. In project management, project closure is a crucial step that has to be performed by project managers. It is done to ensure that the documentation process is recorded, that payments are made, and to assess and analyze the project’s success. This further aids the project manager in future planning and execution of successful projects.
Project closure is the final step in the project management process. This process begins after the project manager verifies that the client, stakeholder, or customer has accepted the project deliverables. During this phase, the project manager will evaluate and rate the entire project. In addition, the project team will also share their observations and feedback, which will be compiled in a document called ‘lesson learned’. This serves as a roadmap for future endeavors. The process of project closure further entitles the team to assess and evaluate the project’s performance in order to ensure the success of projects taken up in the future.
The project closing process guarantees that
- Project’s objectives have been met and any risks or difficulties have been resolved.
- Signing documents, closing contracts, and making final payments to the vendor.
- Entire procedure of project management has been successfully executed.
Step involved in closing the project
The following are the eight steps that help the project manager to close the project:
Transfer deliverables to the client
The first stage in project closing is the formal transfer of all deliverables to the client. On completion of the execution stage, the project manager should review the project scope and ensure that the deliverables are delivered as intended during the planning stage. After receiving the confirmation, he/she can send deliverables and important documents to the client as per requirements. Additionally, such professionals also need to ensure that the client is satisfied with the final product.
Gain formal acceptance
After transferring the deliverables, the project manager is required to obtain an official document signature from the customer and stakeholders. This in turn indicates that the project is complete and that the customer is satisfied with the project’s outcomes.
Complete procurement closure
A project manager must review all project documentation to ensure that all third-party suppliers and subcontractors who worked on the project have been paid. Additionally, all contracts should have been signed off confirming that the project is complete.
Review project performance
Project professionals should calculate and record the final performance of the project, which includes cost, schedule, and quality performance. This is conducted to assess the success or failure rate of the project.
Prepare the Lesson Learned document
Once all the documentation procedures are complete, the project manager should prepare a “Lesson Learned” document that can be used as a reference for future projects. The usual process of preparing this document starts with conducting a meeting involving project team members to discuss their observations and feedback. This will be further compiled in the lesson learned document to evaluate the project performance.
Release all resources
Project managers are necessitated to release both internal and external resources from the project once it is complete. Internal resources are all the members involved in the project. They need to be released in order to work on the other project. Furthermore, project managers need to notify external resources such as the vendors and suppliers that the project is complete.
Archive all documents
On completing the preceding steps, the project manager must verify all papers, including contracts, project plans, scope, costs, and schedules, and keep them in the business archives for future reference. In addition, detailed notes on the project’s performance and improvement prospects need to be crafted to be used as a guide for similar projects in the future.
The final step is to celebrate the project’s success. Project managers are required to appreciate their team members for their contribution towards completing the project. This in turn promotes positive workplace relationships. In addition, it helps project managers to collaborate with the same team on future projects.
Project closure is an important step in the project management process. Following the processes outlined above, a project manager can easily close a project in the organization by applying industry standard practices.
Individuals who are interested in becoming project managers can take up CAPM Certification Training, pass the exam and receive the CAPM Certification. A certified project manager can utilize the training session to know more about the project management process and assist the organization in satisfying their clients.