Articles - Closing your project effectively

By Manjeet Singh (based on excerpts from the free ProjectMind's quick guide to project management)

The closing process signals the end of your project. Effective project closure is very important to a project's success. In fact, some companies have project closure managers for large projects. Introducing such a project closure manager towards the end of a large project injects some vigor into the project especially if the project has had a long life. Just like the other phases of a project, the project closure phase should be properly planned and budgeted for. To ensure that your project does not languish, has a distinct end and handover, follow this procedure:

  1. Identify the remaining work and ensure that it gets completed.
  2. Start releasing your staff if they have successfully completed the work that they were assigned to.
  3. Finish all administrative tasks such as obtaining final approvals and transactions (invoices).
  4. Get a final approval from the project sponsor and other key project stakeholders on the closure of the project – hold a formal project closure meeting. At the end of the meeting send out a project closure document that signals the shutdown of all project activities and the formal acceptance of the project’s results.
  5. Individually thank all the team members and their supervisors for their work. If required, you may want to communicate your assessment of team members’ performance to their supervisors.
  6. Write a project evaluation report. Such a report can contain the following sections:
    • Project performance: a comparison of what the project achieved with what was in the original plan (cost, schedule and outcome). Explain all deviations from the original plan.
    • Team member appraisals (should be confidential): provides an appraisal of the performance of team members during the project.
    • Lessons learned: provides information about what worked and did not work during the project.
    • Recommendations for future projects.

TIP: Store all the documents that you produced during the project in your knowledge base for use in a similar project in the future.

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