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Celebrating Success – Project Closure

Celebrating Success – Project Closure (#6 in the series How to Close Out a Project)
By Michael D. Taylor

This series discloses important aspects of closing out a project by describing the following aspects:

Celebrating success brings healthy closure to the project and should involve everyone who participated on the project. When participants are located far from the central project team, accommodations should be made for them as well.

Some suggestions for celebrating project success are as follows:

  • Gather outside of work environment. This lends to an informal, relaxed atmosphere, away from phone calls, e-mail, and general interruptions. Invite family members also.
  • Recognize outstanding performers. Both the project manager and the key stakeholders can recognize those individuals who made special, significant contributions to the success of the project. Recognitions should be very specific.

  • Express your appreciation to all project participants.

Read the Complete Article

Project History File – Project Closure

Project History File – Project Closure (#5 in the series How to Close Out a Project)
By Michael D. Taylor

This series discloses important aspects of closing out a project by describing the following aspects:

Without gathering data from previous projects the project manager is at a serious loss when it comes to planning and organizing the next project. Having past actuals (activity durations, labor hours, costs, etc.) from previous projects, even though they were not identical to the new project, will aid the project manager in making sound analogous estimates in the new project. Building a project history file can be accomplished easily by dedicating an external, portable hard drive for this purpose. Accessing historical data can be accomplished quickly using “desktop search engines” such as Google’s. It is assumed that any intellectual property rights would be safe-guarded when using this practice. Read the Complete Article

Conducting A Lessons-learned Review – Project Closure

Conducting A Lessons-learned Review – Project Closure (#4 in the series How to Close Out a Project)
By Michael D. Taylor

This series discloses important aspects of closing out a project by describing the following aspects:

The primary purpose of a lessons learned review is to assess the overall success of a project and to learn from your mistakes. Often it is best to conduct a survey before holding the lessons-learned meeting.
Survey. A lessons-learned survey can be sent to team members during or after a project, to solicit their feedback on how the project was conducted. It applies to any project; and questions can easily be added to focus on additional areas for your project. This survey can address the following aspects:

  • General Project Issues and Communication
  • Schedule Estimation Issues
  • Design, Implementation, Test Processes
  • Perceived Process Issues
  • Closing

Purpose. Read the Complete Article

Administrative Closeout – Project Closure

Administrative Closeout – Project Closure (#3 in the series How to Close Out a Project)
By Michael D. Taylor
This series discloses important aspects of closing out a project by describing the following aspects:

At this point all personnel loaned to the project will return to their respective functional groups. If personnel performances have not been evaluated prior to this point, then this is the logical place to complete them. Functional managers will be given an appraisal by the project manager of their loaned skilled individuals so they can administer a formal review of their project support.

Intellectual property (IP) must also be addressed no later than this stage of the project. Protection of IP should begin as early as possible on the project and completed during the project closeout.

MICHAEL D. TAYLOR, M.S. in systems management, B.S. Read the Complete Article

Contract Closeout – Project Closure

Contract Closeout – Project Closure (#2 in the series How to Close Out a Project)
By Michael D. Taylor

This series discloses important aspects of closing out a project by describing the following aspects:

In addition to scope verification, efforts to closeout a contract between the buyer and the seller will take place. These are typically formal reviews which will culminate the business arrangement.

The Seller’s Role

During this review the seller (subcontractor) will ensure that all open issues and discrepancies are identified and resolved with the buyer (customer). Any proprietary documents loaned to the seller must be returned or destroyed at the buyer’s direction. For proprietary information to fall into the hands of a buyer’s competitor would not only be disastrous but could lead to litigations.

The primary objective of the contract closeout is to obtain the buyer’s full acceptance of the subcontracted product, and to end in such a way that pleases the customer so that they will feel strongly inclined to work with the seller again in the future. Read the Complete Article

Scope Verification – Project Closure

Scope Verification – Project Closure (#1 in the series How to Close Out a Project)
By Michael D. Taylor

This series discloses important aspects of closing out a project by describing the following aspects:

Before the project can be formally closed out, an audit must be conducted to verify that all required scope (work) has been satisfactorily completed. When a new product is completed, and it is a commercial product to be mass produced, the scope verification effort may take place with a production manager. When the new product is sold to an individual customer, the scope verification may take place with the customer present. In any case, this event will include the following steps:

  • Verify tested products meet all specifications. Sometimes called a functional audit, a review of all test data against the approved specification must be conducted.
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Planning a Project Post-Mortem

Planning a Project Post-Mortem (#1 in the series Planning a Project Post-Mortem)
By Gina Lijoi

In order to continuously improve your organizational process, a Project Manager should conduct a post-mortem (also known as a post-implementation review) once each project has reached completion. No two projects are alike – each will have its own nuances, so taking the time to understand why a project did or did not go smoothly is an invaluable way of learning how adapting you process can lead to greater success. Any resource that participated in your project must be included in your post-mortem review. While some organizations will invite clients into the review, this can be a difficult and awkward decision, for fear of exposing internal weaknesses to your customers. It’s not mandatory, but client participation will certainly result in a more comprehensive and holistic assessment.

Setting Expectations: The goal of your post-mortem is to identify the challenges your team and/ or client experienced in a given project, pin-point the source of each issue, and determine what could be changed in your current process to improve these specific challenges. Read the Complete Article

End Project / Project Closure Report

End Project / Project Closure Report
By The Office of Government Commerce – OGC, UK

Purpose of the End Project / Project Closure Report

This report is the Project Manager’s report to the SRO/Project Owner (who may pass it on to corporate or programme management) on how well the project has performed against its Project Initiation Document, including the original planned cost, schedule and risk allowances, the revised business case and final version of the project plan.

Fitness for Purpose Checklist

  • Does the report describe the impact of the approved changes on the Project Initiation Document \ Project brief?
  • Does the report cover all the benefits that can be assessed at this time?
  • Does the quality work done during the project meet the quality expectations of the Customer?

Suggested Content in the End Project / Closure Report

The End Project Report should contain:

  • Achievement of the project’s objectives, summarising whether the project was successful or not
  • Performance against the planned target time and cost
  • The effect on the original project plan and business case of any changes that were approved
  • Final analysis on change issues received during the project
  • The total impact of approved changes
  • Analysis for all quality work carried out.
Read the Complete Article

Project Sign-off Agreements

Project Sign-off Agreements
By Louis Marshall

A Sign-off Agreement is simply a document both client and technology supplier sign at the end of a project. In essence, it signifies that a client is happy with the work they have paid for.

You could say the Sign-off Agreement officially marks the end-point of a project, generally trailing behind UAT1 (also called System Acceptance). Could you close a project without a Sign-off Agreement? Of course, you may be thinking this process is overly bureaucratic, and that may be true for certain situations.

So, what’s the point of the Sign-off Agreement? One reason behind it is to give everyone involved in the project a sense of closure. I would say this idea of closure is a good thing, for one it gives the development team a feeling of achievement. Another important aspect is it sets up a boundary relating to version control (i.e. Read the Complete Article

Post Implementation Review – PIR

Post Implementation Review – PIR
By Michele Berrie, Queensland University of Technology

All major projects require a Post Implementation Review (PIR) after completion. The PIR may be requested for any other project, for example, if more information is needed than detailed in the Project Activity Completion Report.

The sponsor should make arrangements for the Post Implementation Review (PIR) when the project closes, as required.

Recommended composition of PIR team for a major project:

  • Chair (Not usually the project manager)
  • 1 steering committee member
  • 1 independent member from the client area
  • 1 project team member

Composition of a typical PIR team for a minor project:

  • Project manager as organiser and leader
  • 1 independent member

The review should take place within a time frame appropriate to the nature of the project, often within three months, but as long as six months for a large project.

The review should evaluate the way the project was run and assess whether the projected benefits have materialised or will be realised in future. Read the Complete Article

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