How do You Close a Project Phase or the Project Itself!

Close Phase or ProjectYou have produced deliverables as per requirements, have had testing team validate them, fixed all the issues found and change requests raised, re-validated the deliverables, and finally had customer verify them.

Now it is time to formally close the phase, or project.

You cannot close a project or phase until customer has formally signed off on the deliverables.

In essence, this activity is more of a document verification sorts. You go over all the project documents, make sure there are no open items, all the agreed upon work items are delivered and signed off officially, and all the exit criteria are met, and obligations are squared off.

The PM refers to the project management plan to make sure that all the requirements are met, deliverables are made and thus the project has met its identified objectives.

No lose ends are left.

Exam pointer: A project is formally closed even when it is terminated prematurely. Project manager will still have to do administrative closure and log reasons of termination, and lessons learned. These lessons are very valuable for other projects.

Project manager will need to look at information from Closing project management activities for ALL previous phases to ensure that the work is truly complete as per the project objectives written in the project management plan.

Administrative closure is done by the project manager

When a project or phase is complete project manager has to ensure that the project’s product, service or result (remember ‘PSR’) is transferred to next phase or to production and, if necessary, to the Operations team.

Project manager also needs to write all the successes, failures, root causes, and lessons learned during project execution into the Organizational Process Assets. Why is this necessary? So that subsequently other project managers can take precautions to avoid certain pitfalls based on other’s mistakes.

Project manager should also archive all project documents such as scope, cost and schedule baselines, risk registers, subsidiary plans, and performance metrics.

Final PSR (product, service, or result) transition (to either production or Operations team) is the primary output of this project management activity, along with updates to organizational process assets as we saw above.

Remaining material assignments or returns are taken care of. All team members are assigned to other projects, or returned to their Functions, or assigned to common pool of availability.

All the project lessons learned are updated, knowledge management activities are completed, and necessary project documents are submitted to PMO (if there is one in the organization) or archived. Any pending audit reports are submitted.

All contractual terms and conditions are verified to have been met. Contracts with vendors, any open ones, are closed formally. Any open claims are settled. Vendor contract closure sign off are done. Necessary lessons learned are logged, and documents archived.

Most importantly, stakeholders’ satisfaction is measured during this exercise.

With this behind us now, let us learn about managing scope on the project.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Kylisa Harris October 2, 2019, 6:55 pm

    I’ve attended 2 boot camps, took an online course through another party (which was actually pretty good). However, there was always something missing, a more practical “this is what this looks like in action” from all of the presentations. This is by far the best presentation of material and is exactly what I needed. If I had had this before my first attempt, there’s no doubt I would have passed! I go back in a couple of days and this is exactly what I needed! Thanks. I will refer others to your program. Wish I had seen you first!

    • Shiv Shenoy October 7, 2019, 2:22 pm

      Hi Kylisa, I’m glad that you have found this blog to help with your exam prep.
      Please feel free to reach me for any help you may need – either with prep planning or with PMP topic.
      Also, I’d suggesting joining these support groups for daily help with your prep –

      Best wishes,
      Shiv Shenoy, PMP

  • Momen Ahmed May 5, 2013, 10:07 pm

    nice explanation
    thanks a lot..

    • Shivshanker Shenoy July 15, 2013, 8:01 am

      Momen Ahmed, glad to see you are finding this useful.

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