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Author: Elyse, PMP, CPHIMS
November 25, 2006

Closing a project follows the same pattern as all other project management processes, there are inputs and outputs associated with closing a project, as well as tools and techniques to help with the process.
The inputs are used to verify project completion and validate that all issues are resolved. The inputs are:

  • Project Management Plan - The Project Management Plan presents how the project is executed, monitored and controlled, and closed. It also documents the collection of outputs from the Planning Process Group processes.
  • Contract documentation – Contract documentation details the requirements of contracts to supply the project with materials or resources, which are deemed to have been successfully delivered or not on the basis of a review of work performance information.
  • Organizational process assets – Organizational process assets are the standards, policies, life cycles, quality documents, and procedures that have a bearing on the completion of the project. They must be updated to take account of any decisions to change or update these policies and procedures during project execution.
  • Enterprise environmental factors – Enterprise environmental factors are any or all external environmental factors and internal organizational environmental factors that surround or influence the project's success.
  • Work performance information – Work performance information is the raw data about the status and quality information of all completed activities. It is used to confirm that all necessary activities have been completed and that the project and its contracts can be closed.
  • Deliverables - A deliverable is any unique and verifiable product, service, or result that must be produced to complete a process, phase, or project. When all deliverables have been approved, the executing processes end and the closing processes begin.

To assure that everything necessary has been completed and the project meets its objectives, a project manager will continue to use the same tools and techniques as from the previous integration knowledge group processes.
The tools and techniques that you'll use in this final phase are:
  • Project management methodology - A project management methodology will provide you with the guidance, procedures, and templates that you'll need to manage project closure. The methodology should provide a guideline to help validate all products have been delivered and approved by the customer.
  • Project management information system (PMIS) – A PMIS is a repository for all project related data, documents, and information. This central repository can be used as an archive for knowledge sharing across future projects.
  • Expert judgment – The team will also need to rely on their collective experience to review the outcomes and determine the project has been satisfactorily concluded.

From project initiation through execution and monitoring, you will have used methodologies, tools, and expert judgment to help you deliver on all aspects of the project. At the close of a project, these tools and techniques will help you ensure that everything is completed, recorded, stored, and accessible for future reference.

Closing a project can vary greatly from one project to another. Every project is different, so each will have different techniques for measuring satisfaction in each area. There are four outputs from closing a project.

  • Administrative closure procedure – The administrative closing procedure includes collecting project records, analyzing project success or failure, gathering lessons learned, and archiving project information for future use.
  • Contract closure procedure – The contract closure procedure addresses the terms and conditions of any agreements relating to the project. The closure procedure ensures that all responsibilities have been met, all results are verified, sign-off is received, and payments are made.
  • Final product, service, or result - The final product, service, or result is the item or items, service, or result that the project was commissioned to deliver. It also includes any ongoing warranty period.
  • Organizational process assets updates - Changes to procedures that impact future projects, completion or termination closure documents, and project files are all process assets that can be recorded in a lessons-learned knowledge base.

Going through the project is very rewarding although time-consuming. It provides an opportunity to learn from the experience, and assurance that everything is truly completed.

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1 Comments to “Closing a project”

This was helpful information. Many times when you look for "project management" you get only that information that pertains to engineering projects. There are other projects that the Army is doing besides in the engineering department. This article validated the process and procedures protocol that our Agency has used for quite some time.

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