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Efficient Project Closure with Project Management Tools

December 25 2006

Efficient Project Closure with Project Management Tools

Merry Christmas!

We’ve received lots of requests from customers wanting us to explain how to complete the Project Closure phase quickly and efficiently. So in this edition, we’ve described:

How to close projects quickly and efficiently using our project management tools

Once all the deliverables within a project have been completed and approved by the customer, the project is ready for closure. Closing a project is a task not to be under-rated, as it requires the review of the entire project to date and the completion of a comprehensive set of closure actions. Take the following steps to close projects quickly and efficiently.

Step 1: Confirm Project Completion

The first step in closing a project is to confirm that the project is ready to be closed. The project is only ready for closure when all the completion criteria specified in the Terms of Reference have been met in full. Examples of completion criteria may include:

  • The project vision has been achieved.
  • All the project objectives have been met.
  • The project has resulted in the stated benefits.
  • All the deliverables specified have been produced.

If you’re confident that the project has met all of the completion criteria specified, then the next step is to identify any outstanding items using the specified project management tools. These are typically activities listed as “Incomplete” on the Project Plan; however they may also be miscellaneous risks, issues or general items that are noteworthy and need to be raised. Identify the outstanding items required to be completed, in order to confirm that the project is ready for completion.

Step 2: Identify Closure Actions

Now that you’ve confirmed that the project is ready for closure, you’re ready to document the actions needed to close the project, within a “Project Closure Report”. This report describes how the:

  • Deliverables will be handed over to the customer
  • Documentation will be handed over to the business
  • Supplier Contracts will be terminated and contractors released
  • Project resources will be released. This includes:staff, equipment and materials.

You should also identify the actions required to close down the Project Office, including the cessation of premise rental agreements and cancellation of supply accounts such as water, electricity and phone lines.

You should then create a plan for communication of the project closure to all stakeholders using our project management templates. Note: You may need to create different messages for different audience groups.

Step 3: Undertake Closure Actions

Following the approval of the “Project Closure Report” by the Project Board, the Project Manager will be responsible for undertaking each of the actions listed within the specified dates. The Project Manager and Project Sponsor will stay in close contact as each closure action is performed, to ensure that the project is closed quickly and efficiently.

Only after all of the actions specified within the Project Closure Report have been completed, will the project be designated as officially closed. Download a Project Closure Report for your projects now or take the further step and sign up using this Project Management Software.