Projects are time bound by nature. They have to be implemented within a specific period of time. Project Closing is the final phase and an important aspect of the project life cycle. It is, however, one of the most neglected project management activities. A Project Closure is often used in this phase to formally close projects. It used to summarize project results and validates the accomplishment of project goals.
A project closure is a document that provides a formal way for closing the project and a place to record the final project outcomes. It allows to go through the best practices and lessons learnt as well as any issues that have developed during project implementation. It helps ensure 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, 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 key stakeholders to confirm the completion of the project and gain their formal acceptance.
There are many tools that can help to formally close your project. The simplest way is to use this excel worksheet.