Project Closure

Project Closure

All projects have to be implemented within a specific period of time, and the process of closing the project is an important aspect of the overall project life-cycle. A Project Closure is often used to bring the project to its final state. It is a report that provides a formal way for closing the project and a place to record the final project outcome. It is linked to and considered the bookend to the project charter.

The process of closing the project is one of the most neglected project management activities. It is, however, an important activity as it allows to validate that all project tasks have been completed and the project goals have been fully accomplished. It allows to go through the best practices and lessons learnt as well as any problems or shortcomings that have developed during project implementation. This process also ensures controls are in place and sufficient to sustain the benefits achieved. It also allows to release the team from the project and formally hands off the project to the process owner.

Project closure reports often include the following elements:

  • Project deliverables and results.
  • Benefits obtained (net gains, hard savings, soft savings, etc.).
  • Improvement in performance (Initial vs. final defect levels, DPMO or other key metrics, etc.).
  • Controls in place to sustain the benefits (audit checklists, visual controls, etc.).
  • Best practices, lessons learnt, problems and shortcomings developed during implementation.
  • Ongoing work and next steps.
  • Signatures: It is important to obtain signatures from the key stakeholders to confirm the completion of the project and gain their formal acceptance.

Example of a Project Closure Template

See the below infographic if you are looking for a quick summary (Click to enlarge):