Tuesday 8 February 2022

Plan and manage project closures.

why is it so important to close the project? as a project manager, it is indeed in your interest to formally close a project.

because you can gain more capabilities from these experiences; if you "don't" execute the project closure correctly, it can get you into trouble, for example: after the project is over, the client will complain that your project is not yet completed; realize that some key components have been missed after the project starts; or not solving the team's problems in the new project.

as a project manager, you know that any of these issues can make it difficult for you to move forward with your project. therefore, planning and managing the finishing touches can be very beneficial to yourself, your company, and your team.

three frequently asked questions about the finishing of the project

when i recently shared my project experience with my colleagues, i mentioned three things related to "planning and managing the finishing touches":

  • first, many companies only keep email and other communication records for a certain period of time, including my company.
  • and because of the requirements of information security, we can't back it up from our mobile devices. for example, in my colleague's project, he needed a plan to solve the problem of the project 10 months ago, and it was in one of the emails that helped him work with a supplier to develop a plan and strategy. and my company only kept the email for 6 months, which confused him, thought about it for one night, and didn't find a solution.

the second thing, when we talk about past projects, it's hard for them to say what they've accomplished from it.

because there is no summary of what has been done, it is difficult to describe the results that have been delivered. it's not that they didn't have any deliveries, it's that they didn't wrap up. a few months later, the company was about to restart a similar project, and the challenge came again, and it was difficult for everyone to know how to start from the past organizational process assets.

finally, when we have a new project to start, in order to provide the company with a basis for project decisions, we often flip through the market, financial, and other data archived at the end of the previous project.


all three of these things are irreversible, and there aren't many things you can do as a project manager. at that time, all that could be done was to rely on personal experience or to find relevant experts to assist in solving the problem, and it would take a lot of time and effort, which is the importance of planning and managing the final project.

what does a valuable project look like at the end?

through this dialogue between me and my colleagues, we have reached a very important consensus on the final work. in subsequent projects, we actively introduce activities around the closing process and summarize more effective organizational process assets for the company.

first of all, the closing of the project is one of the most overlooked processes in the project management process.
because by the end of the project, many stakeholders, including the team, have turned their attention to the next project. in fact, many project members may lose focus when it comes to confirming that most of the work has been done and that deliverables have been received. so, we need to tailor the finishing process appropriately, which may not require too formal or cumbersome processes, especially if it doesn't involve legal or compliance, so that the finishing is more valuable.

second, the three things in the conversation about the closing, in general, are the three interrelated benefits of the closing activity:

the first benefit is that retrieving project communications, many past critical emails and other communications can help us and allow us to better collaborate with future stakeholders.

the second benefit is that when team members move from one project to another, they often carry valuable information that is a summary of lessons learned from past projects. this case is not a good illustration, not the end of the project, the value is over.

the third benefit is that any project decision needs to be contextual, because after the project is completed, the decision made at that time is easy to remember, but it is difficult to recall why the decision was made and on what basis.

the core meaning of the project closure

the concern is that we tend to keep information on the archive as evidence in case of emergency.

but project information and data that could be useful in the future are not reflected in depth as lessons learned. in this case, we are likely to lose important opportunities because there is no way to answer new questions or gain a basis for new decisions because there is no way to summarize the past.

therefore, at the end of the project, it is important to carry out regular finishing activities during the implementation process.


there is a description in the book that goes like this:

closing process groups include processes that are carried out to formally complete or close a project, phase, or contract. the purpose of this process group is to verify that all processes of all process groups required to complete a project or phase have been completed and to formally declare the project or phase closed. the main role of this process group is to ensure that phases, projects and contracts are properly closed.

the purpose of this article is to provide project managers with ideas for successfully implementing such organizational projects. then you should note that the end of the project is important to both the project manager and the organization.

there are three things we do in the closing event, as mentioned in the above case: retrieving project communications, capturing people's ideas when they still have ideas, and project decisions that need to preserve context; the project closure process is throughout the life cycle of the project; and the steps at the end of the project.

the previous points have been described in the previous article, but regarding the "project closing process is throughout the life cycle of the project", it is recommended that you look at the pictures in the following draft, it is not difficult to understand.

the project closing activities in the figure continue to increase from the beginning of the project to the peak in the later stage, and end at the same time as the end of the project. it is worth noting that there are three activities in the diagram that run through the entire life cycle of the project, namely planning, performance and closing.

do the 8 steps to finishing

so what are we going to do as project managers?

first, criteria for successful closing of a project or phase are determined; then, readiness to the next phase is validated; and finally, activities for closing a project or phase are completed (e.g., final lessons learned, review, procurement, finance, resources)

in order to let everyone better understand, we provide you with the following steps to end the project:

step 1: after the project is completed, all deliverables of the project must be completed and delivered to the customer. you should also formally confirm the acceptance of the work done by the customer.
step 2: since the project is coming to an end, you should complete all the remaining payments that need to be made to the supplier or partner. the procurement steps have also been completed.
step 3: get formal confirmation, formal acceptance of the project and project deliverables by the client. typically, the client presents a written document, which can be an email or a signed document indicating that the project is complete and accepts the output of the project.
step 4: complete final performance report: calculate and record the final performance of the project. these include cost performance, schedule performance, quality performance, etc. for example, has the project been completed within budget or how much is the project over budget?
step 5: index and archive records: the collected files are finalized. the final version of the project management plan and all necessary documents related to the project are stored in the company records.
step 6: update lessons learned: collect lessons learned from all stakeholders. the lessons learned documentation is stored in the company's organizational process assets.
step 7: handover of completed products: after the project is completed, hand over the project products to the end customer for use. handovers may require scheduled maintenance times or some documentation describing how to use or operate the product.
step 8: release resources: upon successful completion of the project, all allocations of project resources are closed, lessons learned from project resources are collected, and then those resources are released separately.

the case sharing about the end of the project is here, and i hope that all the listeners can have some understanding, understand the importance of the project closure in the project and the practical ideas, so as to complete the project work more smoothly in the future.

today's highlights

Key steps in the closing of the project:

1. the completed deliverables are accepted and confirmed by the customer.
2. pay the remaining amount to the supplier or partner to complete the procurement steps.
3. present written documents to confirm the client's formal acceptance of the project and the project deliverables.
4. complete the final performance report.
5. establish indexes and archive records.
6. the lessons learned documents are stored in the company's organizational process assets.
7. hand over the project products to the end customer.
8. after the successful completion of the project, all allocations of project resources will be closed, lessons learned from project resources will be collected, and these resources will be released separately.

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