Don’t Abandon Your Project … Close it!

Close Your ProjectIt is nearly impossible to work any project through to completion without making changes. Small projects are no exception. Generally, changes and revisions must be incorporated into the plan and workload or you are heading for trouble. One way to be ready for the next project is to properly close the current project by preparing a Final Report.

The Final Report should show several data columns that compare the baseline plan to actual results. You established the baseline plan at the outset and entered them into the project management software or spreadsheet, at the beginning. Now that the project is completed, it is time to look back to see how well you did in leading and managing this project.

Close-down Phase
The close-down, or closeout, phase begins during project implementation. In this phase, the project is terminated and life after the project is planned in earnest. During the close-down phase, some types of meetings may occur daily. For a small project, such as exhibiting at a trade show, the close-down phase may be complete when all prospects identified at the trade show have been qualified and the qualified leads contacted. Reassignment of team members to other projects can occur at any point in the project after the members’ tasks are complete.

Perform a post-project evaluation or audit. Examine the project plan and its details, including risks, time, and cost estimates. Document the lessons you learned and hold a transition meeting with the customer or client. For any type of project, ensure clarity with the sponsor, client, or customer by listing responsibilities and timing for project completion and follow up.

Hold a post-project meeting with the project team and management. Terminate the project and ensure that all project work is stopped. Determine the project’s costs and expenses. Recognize and reward team member achievements.

Closing the Project
The first thing that you will do is prepare to reassign or release project team members to new projects or tasks. However you must complete a final audit of the project details, including risks, time, and cost estimates and document the lessons learned. As appropriate, hold a transition meeting with the customer or client. Also, conduct a post-project meeting with the project team and management. Ensure that all project work is stopped so you can determine the project’s costs and expenses. Recognize and reward team member achievements.

Finally, prepare a report for management to include the final schedule, cost, and quality results, as well as comparisons to the baseline, variances, explanations, and implications for the future.

The Final Report
The report should include the final schedule, cost, and quality results, as well as comparisons to the baseline, variances, explanations, and implications for the future.

Related Articles:   Keep Track of Your Next Project   and   Improve Your Results for FREE!

Please “Like” and share your comments. Additional training resources are located here.

FREE Digital Course PreviewsChange Management  PRIDE System of Customer Service  Interviewing Skills  Performance Management  ROAR Model of Process Improvement  Superior Sales Strategies  Time Management

James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Business Process Improvement, Professional Skills, Project Management

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 136 other followers

%d bloggers like this: