The 7 Step Project Management Closure Guide
The 7 Step Project Management Closure Guide
When it comes to project management, completing a project isn’t just about finishing off the deliverables and handing off the ownership of the end product.
Even if the process seems cumbersome or over-managed, a legitimate closure phase ensures that all loose ends of the project are tied up well — the documentation is complete and approved by the stakeholders, the middlemen are paid off and every team member is on the same page.
And this is not all — the closing page also gives you a decent opportunity to ensure the project went as planned, take a detailed overview of the milestones, and wrap things up in the best way possible.
So how do you do it?
Let’s find out:
- Formally take the final deliverables
The first step in closing a project is to complete the project results and receive them from the development agency. Run the project plan to identify all the results and make sure they are fully completed and submitted.
- Confirm that the project is finished
Next, confirm the fact that the project is complete.
However as the project manager, it is not enough to declare the project completed, therefore all stakeholders must agree to end the project before officially terminating the project and continuing.
Therefore to confirm the completion of a project — you must obtain approval for the project deliverables. This means that all involved parties must agree that they have completed all parts of the project plan with a formal signature from project participants. The benefit of this step is that it will work as a proof for you that the project has been completed.
- Review The Contracts & The Documentations
Once you have received the final product from the client — it is important for you to visit back the original contracts, and ensure that you have received everything you were supposed to get.
And in case the agency is charging you extra — with the contracts you could actually see what has been done out of the initial scope.
- Release the Resources
Say a formal goodbye to the resources who have been working on the project with you such as the suppliers, contractors, all the team members, and everybody else. Notify them that the project has been ended, clear out their payments if they were externally hired — and release them from their duties.
- Conduct a project post-mortem
Post-mortem analysis or project review is one of the most valuable steps in the project closure process. This is when you see the successes, failures, and challenges of your project and identify opportunities for future improvement.
Perform a performance review of the project at the beginning of the post-mortem, which simply means to calculate the project performance in terms of cost, schedule, and quality.
And to do so, you have to ask yourself the following questions:
- Did you stay within your budget?
- Did the team members involved spend their time wisely?
- Did you have any quality issues or compromises along the way?
After that, conduct a survey or meet with the project management team to get feedback on the progress of the project. These individual responses help to get a complete picture of the project’s performance.
- What went well?
- What was the challenge or failure?
- How well did the team communicate?
- Did the team follow the outlined process and plan?
- Are the customers satisfied with the results?
- What will be changed or improved for future projects?
You can identify the insights and future opportunities you have gained by taking into account project performance and feedback.
Keep in mind that the purpose of a post-mortem is not to take responsibility or to point fingers for mistakes. Instead, it’s a learning opportunity for everyone to improve future projects.
- Archive the documentation
Once the project post-processing is complete, you can complete all the documents (contracts, project plans, specifications, costs, schedules, etc.) and index your company’s archives for later use.
Make a clear note of project performance and areas for improvement so that you can easily associate and implement them in similar projects in the future.
Finally, don’t forget to celebrate! The end of the project is a great achievement, the culmination of hours of effort and dedication by a team of contributors.
A project completion party is a great way to recognize and motivate your team.
It also increases the chances that a happy team will work with you in the future to build on your previous successes and become a more effective unit in the future.
Once the paperwork is complete and the review is complete, take your time and celebrate your success. You deserve it!