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The purpose of this section
is to formalize the acceptance of
the project or phase and bring it
to an orderly end.
After either achieving
its objectives or being terminated
for other reasons, the project or
phase requires closure. From the
beginning the project must know
its completion criteria, the difference
between a completed or an uncompleted
project, to stop a project from
dragging on endlessly.
(See the project’s Product
Description and the Integrated Project
Plan documents.) Project closing
consists of verifying the project’s
completion criteria have been met,
Project Evaluation Report
and, if necessary, the Project Close-out
Transition Checklist (used to roll
a project into maintenance and document
Lessons Learned) have been compiled
and archived into the project archives
to retain this information for use
on future endeavors. These criteria
typically indicate that a project
has delivered the specified product,
though usually there are several
loose ends to wrap-up.
Before a project is considered
complete and resources are released
the project must wrap-up loose ends
Verifying that all deliverables
have in fact been delivered and
Outstanding issues are assigned
Lessons are documented as to what
went well (to repeat in the future)
and not so well (mistakes to avoid).
Coordinating with the maintenance
manager to ensure maintenance personnel
is assigned and familiar with all
aspects of the product release.
Ensure that control over future
components (change requests) has
passed to the maintenance manager
and user support is in place.
Formalizing acceptance of the product
by the sponsor, client, or customer.
- To ensure all stakeholders
agree the product or service is
acceptable by signing a formal
written document during the project‘s
phase completion or close-out.
- To ensure the appropriate
stakeholders agree the contractor’s
product or service is acceptable
by signing a formal written document
during the project ‘s phase completion
- To complete a comprehensive
- To verify the project’s
completion criteria, including
business transition efforts, were
- To recognize project
team and celebrate project closure.
- If applicable, to
ensure outstanding issues are
passed to appropriate personnel
with a follow up or maintenance
- To indicate how
to roll the project into maintenance
or to close the project.
- To document final
lessons learned to provide repeatable
and avoidable activities/tasks
for future projects.
- To ensure all project
documents, e.g., project evaluation,
lessons learned and other valuable
information is archived.
lessons learned from skipping or
poorly executing the closing phase
to obtain sponsor signoff created
the never-ending project.
close-out has caused problems with
transitioning projects into maintenance
or programs and this causes the
inability or a low capability to
maintain the product.
of a project data repository (I.e.,
project books and archived lessons
learned) to prevent future projects
from repeating similar mistakes
made on other projects.
by the customer if the project accomplished
what it set out to do.
issues were dropped or later became
bigger problems to deal with.
to reward/acknowledge team successes
caused low morale problems making
the reassignment of staff problematic.
Input to Closing
- Performance measurement documentation.
All documentation produced to
record and analyze project performance,
including the planning documents
that established the framework
for performance measurement, must
be available for review during
- Documentation of the product of
the project. Documents produced
to describe the product of the
project (plans, specifications,
technical documentation, drawings,
electronic files, etc.-the terminology
varies by application area) must
also be available for review during
- Contract documentation. Contract
documentation includes, but is
not limited to, the contract itself
along with all supporting schedules,
requested and approved contract
changes, any seller-developed
technical documentation, seller
performance reports, financial
documents such as invoices and
payment records, and the results
of any contract-related inspections.
Closing -Process Activities
process is a course of proven actions
used to guide the organization through
Customer relationship, understanding
of support roles, and sustenance
of the developed product as well
as performing these activities has
been proven to increase the quality
of future projects.
Remember - The
closing process overlaps with other
during the initial stage of the
Closing phase the amount of work
activity and staff is declining.
Remember the Closing process
overlaps the other processes as
depicted below. Many times it is necessary to do some of the
Closing work (I.e. closing contracts,
documenting Lessons Learned and
compiling this information for the
Project Evaluation Report) during
the end of the Controlling and Executing
stages to ensure the success of
the project’s closure.
Closing Process Activities Diagram
The project management
process activities are diagramed
then followed by brief description
of each activity.
The diagram is numbered to
correspond to the “Project Management
– Overview Reference” located in
the Introduction of this process
The overview represents closing
as a single project management step
(#20) because most of the project
management closing work is not serial. However, for reading purposes we have broken
this single step into two distinct
A description of the project management
sub steps follows the diagram.
A sub step title is indicated
in bold in the left-hand column.
actual work activities to be closed
by the teams are defined in the
Project Evaluation Reports.
The standard templates for
Project Evaluation Reports can be
found in the closing templates section
of this guide.
20. Close Project
This process step has two sub steps
that are worked together to manage
and coordinate Administrative Closure
and Contract Close-out.
Keep in mind that the project
closing process does overlap the
Project Control and Execution processes
– meaning that during the project’s
Closing process, the project management
team is also performing Project
Control and Execution activities.
So during the final phase
of building the products of the
project – several project management
process activities are occurring
to ensure the project’s success.
All of the accomplishments, open
issues, and lessons should be wrapped
up in the Project Evaluation Report
during the Closing phase of the
project and then archived.
20.1 Administrative Closure
(Project Evaluation and Lessons Learned Checklist)
The project manager must ensure that
the administrative processes achieve
proper closure and that the project
has delivered the desired product
or service to ascertain the project’s
successfully close-out a project,
the Administrative and Formal Acceptance
documents, including relevant Transition
Checklists to roll an application
into operations/maintenance, must
be agreed to and signed by the appropriate
parties to finalize the Administrative
processes. These agreements, along
with the Project Evaluation and
Lessons Learned must then be archived
in the standard project directory.
Archiving project documents will
increase the department’s knowledge
aptitude for use on future projects.
Close-out could begin during the
planning stage and continue into
the close out of the project depending
upon the type of contractors used
on the project.
goal of Contract Close-out is to
ascertain the finality of all project
contracts. Completing this sub process
provides the project the added quality
assurance needed to simplify audits
especially if Contract Close-out
Templates for each contractor are
added to the project book and then
Close-out should maintain strong
links to the Planning, Executing
and Controlling processes and to
all related contract documents and
to the project’s procurement and
See Contract and Procurement Management
20.3 APD Close-out
If project was federally funded, the
APD closing process must be executed
before the project can be closed.
Output from Closing
- Project archives.
A complete set of indexed project
records should be prepared for
archiving by the appropriate parties.
Any project-specific or program-wide
historical databases pertinent
to the project should be updated.
When projects are done under contract
or when they involve significant
procurement, particular attention
must be paid to archiving of financial
- Formal acceptance.
Documentation that the client
or sponsor has accepted the product
of the project (or phase) should
be prepared and distributed.
- (Phase end) Lessons
- Contract file.
A complete set of indexed contract
records should be prepared for
inclusion with the final project
records. The Contract and Procurement
Management Plan Template recommends
a standard filing index for project
- Formal acceptance
The person or organization
responsible for contract administration
should provide the seller with
formal written notice that the
contract has been completed. Requirements
for formal acceptance and closure
are usually defined in the contract.
Tools and Techniques
- Performance reporting
tools and techniques. (Outputs
of information for closing).
- Lessons learned
facilitation. The key team
player should facilitate the lessons
learned session to provide and
record various perspectives using
the Lessons Learned Template.
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