A project is a temporary endeavor, so it has a beginning and also an end. We have seen the phases of the project life cycle, called the ‘project management process groups’. Every process group has a particular objective. But what is the aim of the project closure? Doesn’t the project end after finishing the work and handing out the outcome? Of course no. During the last phase of the project life cycle, meaning the project closure, everything should be detailed in order to measure if the project went as planned and if the outcome is done as required by the customer.
Project closure activities ensure the recording project documents, archiving in organizational process assets, making final payments, releasing resources and completing the project. Every project teaches lessons to the organization whether it’s a success or is a failure. So even after a project finishes, the documentation of this project is going to be helpful for completing the coming projects successfully.
8 steps of the project termination phase
1: Confirm work is done as per the requirements
Once the project is closing, all deliverables of the project must have been completed and delivered to the customer. You should also take formal acceptance of the customer for the completed work.
2: Complete procurement closure
Since the project is closing, you should complete any remaining payments that need to be made to the suppliers or partners. The procurement steps are also completed.
3: Gain formal acceptance
Formal acceptance of the project and project deliverables are taken from the customer. Usually, the customer presents a written document, it can be an email or a signed off document, which states that the project has been completed and they accept the outputs of the project.
4: Complete final performance reporting
The final performance of the project is calculated and recorded. These include cost performance, schedule performance, quality performance etc. For instance, whether the project has been completed under budget or if it could not be completed, how much did the project exceeded the planned budget?
5: Index and archive records
Collected documents are finalized. Final versions of the project management plans and all necessary documents about the project are archived in the company records.
6: Update lessons learned
Lessons learned is collected and gathered from all stakeholders. Lessons learned documentation is stored in the organizational process assets of the company.
7: Hand-off completed product
Once the project is completed, the product of the project is handed over for the use of the end customer. The handover may need a predetermined period of assistance or some documents describing how to use or how to operate with the product.
8: Release the resources
After the project is completed successfully, all assignments of the project resources are closed, lessons learned inputs from the project resources are collected and then these resources are released respectively.
As you see, the project closure is also as important as the other phases, so you must take these activities into consideration for better outcomes in your next projects.