Development Cooperation Handbook/Designing and Executing Projects/Project completion and closure
Development Cooperation in Action: steps and tools
See also ⇒ Evaluations At Project Closure
The purpose of Project Closeout is to assess the project and derive any lessons learned and best practices to be applied to future projects. Project Closeout begins with a Post-Implementation Review. The review may start with a survey designed to solicit feedback on the project from the Project Team, Customers, Consumers and other stakeholders. Once feedback has been collected and evaluated, an assessment meeting is conducted to derive best practices and formulate lessons learned to inform future efforts. Ideally, the best practices and lessons learned should be stored in a centralized organizational repository, facilitating access and retrieval by managers of future projects. Project Closeout ends with administrative closeout – providing feedback on Project Team members, updating the skills inventory, capturing key project metrics, and filing all pertinent project materials into the project repository. List of Processes
This phase consists of the following processes:
- Conduct Post-Implementation Review, where the Project Manager assesses the results of the project by soliciting feedback from team members, customers and other stakeholders through the use of a survey to gather lessons learned, best practices and performance patterns or trends, and communicate those results in the form of a Post-Implementation Report.
- Perform Administrative Closeout, where the Project Manager formally closes the project by providing performance feedback to team members, and archiving all project information.
Closing includes the formal acceptance of the project and the ending thereof. Administrative activities include the archiving of the files and documenting lessons learned.
The deliverables from the project close-out serve two purposes. They:
- finalize the project in the eyes of the stakeholdrs,
- present a learning opportunity.
Formal acceptance of the final deliverables by the beneficiary signifies that the project is complete. The lessons-learned report presents opportunities for improvement of both your project management process and your personal skills.
- Preparing for project closeout
- Administrative closeout activities
- Organizing a project closeout meeting
- Preparing lessons learned
Closing with progress
Sometimes, especially at the end of a long project, putting the work to rest and moving on to the next assignment is pretty appealing. As a project manager, however, you have the responsibility of managing the entire project from start to finish.
Why is project closure so important? Many of your plans, documentation, and adjustments are made during the course of the project, when much of what you do is in relation to the end result. Using the information you gathered to plan ahead for future successes is critical to the outcomes of your upcoming projects. Before your team members move on to the next project, use their input to improve the experience.
One way to gather the information you need is conducting postproject reviews with your team members. Getting input from everyone involved lets you use what worked well to your advantage and avoid repeating problems in the future. You can learn valuable lessons from every project. These lessons can offer solutions that make future projects an even greater success for you, your team, and your organization.
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