An Insight into Project Closure Activities

The Project Closure phase is the last phase of the project management life cycle. It is just as crucial as the other phases of project such as initiating, planning and monitoring. A project can be terminated in two ways. Either by natural closure when all the project requirements have been met and successfully implemented or by unnatural closure which occurs sometimes when certain assumptions prove to be false, performance is poor or the project requirements are no longer valid.


Subsequent to the acceptance of all project deliverables by the customers the project is ready for closure activities. The business benefits as per the project must be made fully visible to the customer. While performing project closure the Project Manager should verify that all project completion criteria has been met, identify that there is no pending outstanding issues, all deliverables and related documentation is handed to customers in understandable terms, project resource release process is in place and communication regarding these activities is circulated to all stakeholders.

Sometimes the project manager needs to work with Finance and Legal teams to ensure that all outstanding contracts are finalized and closed.
The Project report that is prepared should have an objective evaluation of the performance of the project. In this, the project accomplishments must be outlined, significant changes and their effect on the project life cycle should be highlighted, any outstanding issues and further work required mentioned, final project accounting details clarified and recommendations for future projects if any, described. These activities are usually listed in the project closure report also and the project is closed only when all the activities listed in the report are completed successfully.

 

The project completion review is a process where it is checked if the project activities had confirmed to the processes outlined in the quality plan during the planning phases. The results of these assessments, as well as the key achievements and lessons learned are documented and presented to the customer or project sponsor for approval.

 

As per PMBOK® the project closure phase recommends a formal completion step involving a meeting with the customer and project sponsor. The purpose of the meeting is to review final acceptance documents and check objectives are attained and approvals in place. The unfulfilled requests may need to be addressed and may lead to a further project. A reconciliation of the project budget should be done and unused funds may be decided to be allocated to follow up items.

After the Project Report has been delivered, contracts closed, team members released or reassigned, the Project manager must ensure that all project documentation is completed, archived and accessible.

A vigilantly structured project closure phase ensures that the project is brought to a controlled end. This improves the morale and self-assurance of the project team. The team members are buoyed with a sense of achievement and this will enable the success to be carried forward to future projects too. Increase in customer satisfaction with project performance is in direct alignment with business growth.
A project manager should thus ensure that project planning includes project closure tasks and activities initially itself.

| An insight into coordination and communication issues in Project Management | An Insight into Project Closure Activities | An Insight into Risk Breakdown Structure | An Insight into Work Breakdown Structure | Overview of Resource Management Techniques | Project Management Tools (PERT, Gantt, Run Charts) | Project Manager’s Perspective on Document Management System | Understanding Critical Practices in Project Management |

 



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