The Importance of Project Closure
Project closure is the last phase of finalizing all activities for the project management process (Project, phase, contract). The key benefits of this process are the project or phase information is archived, the planned work is completed, and organizational team resources are released to pursue new endeavors. The Close Project or Phase process is another one where the Project Manager takes center stage and will be checking that that all project work is completed and that the project has met its objectives, including work and objectives that were added along the way as the result of approved change requests. The inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs of the process are depicted in Figure below:
Why is the Project Closure Process Important?
- Confirmation of Objectives Being Met
Part of the closure process is to obtain project or UAT (User Acceptance Testing) sign-off from your client to confirm that you and your team have met the project objectives and met the agreed-upon requirements
- Sense of Closure
Confirming that objectives have been met to the client’s satisfaction gives the client and the project team a sense of accomplishment and closure.
- Improving Future Engagements
Unless we look back and reflect on each engagement, it is impossible to learn from it. During the project closure process, it is essential that a lesson learned meeting happen with the client and another with the internal team
- Capturing the Knowledge
The team should identify project assets (documents or code), that can be re-used in future engagements. Task someone at the end of the meeting to do just that, so that it does not get forgotten as the next engagement begins. Set up a knowledge base where all the project documents can be accessed by the internal team and the client in the future.
- Tying up Loose Ends
There are a lot of administrative tasks that must happen at the end of a project to make sure the project is appropriately closed from a back-office perspective. Tasks like sending the final status report, asking for the final payment, approving all time sheets and re-assigning resources, should all be part of the closure process to make sure they are executed in a timely fashion.
- Rewarding the Team
Recognition of a job well done is just as important as sharing constructive feedback. Making a company-wide announcement to share the successful completion of the project and thanking the team is extremely important.