The project closure process is the last of the process groups, and is considered important for the project’s success. All projects have a definite start and a specific end. A project closure process indicates the formal closing of a project, and lists the key activities required to be undertaken at this stage of a project. To calculate total expenditure a closing costs calculator is available to accurately determine the buyer’s closing costs.
The project closure phase can use a lessons learned template, and a project closure report form to facilitate the project closing.There are only 2 Processes in Closing Process Group – Close Procurement, and Close Project.
As part of the Integration Management and Procurement Management areas, PMI provides the following two procedures to be performed in order to close out an entire project or project phase:
- Administrative closure
- Contract closure
These procedures guide in project closeout. The benefit of these procedures is that we can use them to help transition the project to the business and realize true project success.
Contract Closure is Close Procurements and Administrative Closure includes Close Project or Phase.
Difference between Contract Closure and Administrative Closure:
- Contract Closure or Procurement Closure is done before the project can be closed completely.
- Contract Closure may be done multiple times (once for each contract) during the lifecycle of a project.
- Administrative Closure is only done once per phase, or for the entire project. Project closure is not complete without procurement closure.
- Product acceptance is carried out using the Close Project or Phase process.
Characteristics of this process:
It verifies that the defined processes are completed within all the Process Groups to close the project or a project phase, as appropriate, and formally establishes that the project or project phase is complete.
10 steps at the time of closing the project
- Develop Closing Procedures to help you get a closure easily.
- Complete Contract closures – this area may need to be done multiple times for each contract. No project can be closed without the contracts being closed first.
- Verify product scope requirements –most essential step before the user signed-off.
- Gain Formal Acceptance from the key stakeholders.
- Submit the final Performance reporting – Important step. Most project managers choose to skip the documentation part, and just move on to other projects. Remember documentation of performance with test results, is as important as testing and verifying the product.
- Conduct post-project or phase-end review.
- Index and Archive all relevant project documents in the Project Management Information System (PMIS) to be used as historical data forfuture search and references.
- Document Lessons Learned on this project. Apply appropriate updates to organizational process assets, so you and other project managers can benefit from them, and do not have to start from scratch.
- Hand off completed product to the customer or stakeholder.
- Release resources back to Functional Managers in case of Matrix organization. From PMP exam perspective assume organization type as Matrix unless any other type is stated explicitly.
The importance of this process should be realized by the project team in order to develop suitable strategies. Normally, the project team may relax after the execution phase, and thus the project may not be fully prepared for this important process.All efforts by the project management team during the project life cycle are directed towards the efficient and smooth project closure process, when the deliverables are signed-off by the customer. Project delays can be prevented by the involvement of the customer throughout the project life cycle. Budget overruns and project delays affects the organization adversely, and a smooth project closure process will be cost effective for the business. Use of a lessons learned template may be valuable to recognize the potential difficulties during the project closure process, and development of suitable strategies for a smooth closing. Thus it is important that the project managers fully realize the importance of project closure process, list down all the activities and steps in the initial stages of the project, review it regularly and then execute it at the right time.
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