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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chapter 91: Performing Project Closure

Closing the project means finalizing all activities across the project. You also need to determine and coordinate the procedures required for verifying and documenting the project deliverables. The items that describe what the project was planned to deliver and what it has delivered would be the obvious inputs to the process of closing the project. The formal name of the project closure process is Close Project or Phase, because it can also be used to close a phase in a multi-phase project.

The process can be illustrated using the picture below:

Input to the Close Project Process

You need a list of project deliverables that will go through the acceptance procedure. The project management plan contains guidelines on how to close the project. These and other input items that may be used in this process are:
Project management plan - This defines how to close the project and will be useful in establishing the project closure procedure. The project management plan is also used in verifying and accepting the project deliverables because it explains what deliverables are expected.
Accepted deliverables - These are the deliverables that have been verified through the scope verification process. That means these deliverables meet the scope requirements. This includes the deliverables from procurements that have been accepted through the procurement closure process.
Organizational process assets - These can include project closure guidelines or requirements like product validation and acceptance criteria, final project audits, and project evaluations. Also, you can learn from the historical information what kind of project documents you need to archive and in what detail you want to review the project to gather and store lessons learned. Your organization may also have transition criteria or a procedure on handing the product of the project to the appropriate party.

These input items provide information about what the project was supposed to deliver and what it has delivered. You use this input and some tools and techniques to carry on the project closure.
For example, you can use expert judgment in the various aspects of project closure, such as developing the closure procedures and ensuring that the closure procedures are performed to meet the appropriate standards. You can also use the project management information system to perform closure activities, such as archiving the project documents.

You use these tools to carry on the project closure.

Output of the Close Project Process

Project closure accomplishes three main elements: completing all the closing procedures; achieving final acceptance of the project deliverables by the customer, including handing over the deliverables to the appropriate party; and archiving project-related documents. These elements are described in detail below:

Final delivery and transition - This means that the project product or output has been delivered and transitioned (handed over) to the appropriate party. This includes getting formal acceptance for the product, in the form of a receipt that contains a formal statement to the effect that the requirements of the project have been met, including the terms of the contracts. One last time, make sure the following activities have been completed:
• Activities to define the requirements for getting approval from the stakeholders, such as customers and the sponsor, on the project deliverables and the approved changes that were supposed to be implemented
• Activities that are necessary to satisfy the project completion or exit criteria
• Activities related to the project completion, such as:
o Confirming that the project has met all requirements
o Verifying that all deliverables have been provided and accepted
o Verifying that the completion or exit criteria have been met

Updates to organizational process assets - The closure process will add the following documents to the organizational process assets:
Acceptance documentation - This is the documentation that proves the fulfillment of the project requirements have been confirmed, completion of the project has been verified, and the product has been formally accepted by the customer. In the case of a project termination, of course, the documentation should show that the exit criteria have been met.
Project closure documentation - In addition to the acceptance documentation, you should also archive the other project closure documents, such as the closure procedure and the handing-over of project deliverables to an operations group. If the project was terminated, then the formal documentation indicating why the project was terminated should be included in the archive.
Project files archive - This includes the documents from the project’s lifecycle, such as the project management plan, risk registers, planned risk responses, and baselines for cost, schedule, scope, and quality.
Lessons learned database - The documentation on lessons learned should be saved in the organization’s knowledge database so that future projects can benefit from it.

The deliverables that are processed through the project closure include the deliverables from procurements that are accepted through the procurement closure process. Therefore, in order to complete the project closure, you need to perform the procurement closure too which we will do in the next chapter.

Prev: Verifying the Scope of Deliverables

Next: Procurements Closure

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