Closing a project is not like switching a computer off

Closing a project is not like switching a computer off

The key benefits of this process are the project or phase information is archived, the planned work is completed, and organizational team resources are released to pursue new endeavors.

The Close Project or Phase process is another one where the Project Manager takes center stage and will be checking that that all project work is completed and that the project has met its objectives, including work and objectives that were added along the way as the result of approved change requests.

Depending upon the organization type (we will be covering organization types later in the course) the project staff will be assigned to another project, or they will return to their usual jobs, or their contracts will be finalized and they will leave the organization to take up the next contract

Dealing with excess project material. This can mean dealing with the materials and equipment that is lying around after the project has finished. For example, after completing a building there will be piles of bricks, sands, roof tiles, offcuts of wood, bags of cement, and so on. All this needs to be dealt with. Some can be returned to stock, machines will be returned to the store, or returned to the hire company, and material that can’t be reused or recycled but be cleared away.

Confirming the formal acceptance of the seller’s work. It the work is not up to the agreed standard, the seller should bring it up to standard. This is often a contentious area, with the seller trying to charge for re-work as an “enhancement”. This is where you need to be as clear as possible on the scope and quality requirements. But you can’t think of everything.

For example, on a project I was managing, to produce a new financial system, one of the required functions of the system was to pay contractors at the end of each month, for the work they had done during the month. We tested the module a number of times. There were a few bugs discovered, but the developer fixed them.

But on a full-scale test of the whole system I discovered that if a contractor had no billable hours during the month, the system would process a payment for zero dollars and attempt to make a zero dollar payment to them.

His response was “It is an enhancement

Finalizing open claims. This is where you have made claims against a provider for work that you believe is substandard, but the provider is arguing the case. Or it could be penalties built into the contract have been triggered. For example, there may be a penalty in the contract if the provider fails to meet certain milestones. But I have found in practice, that penalty clauses seldom work, and trying to argue them can cause the provider to stop work. And if it goes to Court, you will pay the lawyer more than the provider owns you.

Archiving such information for future use. As well as being a sensible thing to do, most countries have laws to ensure that business records are retained and securely stored.

Identify lessons learned. Please note that you should be recording lessons learned as they are learned, rather than waiting until the end, because you will have forgotten them.

Actions and activities necessary to transfer the project’s products, services, or results to the next phase or production and/or operations. The whole point of the project is to create a unique product, service, or result. But that means you have to hand them over. In most projects, deliverable will be completed and handed over throughout the project, rather than doing it all in one hit. The one hit problem is you may discover a serious, previously undetected fault in the dying stages of the project. This is a very bad time to discover a serious fault.

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