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Project Closure Phase: 8 Steps of Closing a Project

By January 13, 2023No Comments

All projects have a beginning, middle, and end. Each of these phases contributes to the project life cycle, which is also referred to as the “project management process groups.” Each process group has its own motive which contributes to the final deliverable. However, a project doesn’t end once the final deliverable is handed over to the customer. At the final stage of the project life cycle, every step of the close project process must be evaluated to ensure it has met the quality control standards and expectations set by the project manager and client.

In this article, we will explore the necessary steps in closing a project. If you are interested in learning more about the project management process, PMP or CAPM exam training is a great next step to ensure you fully understand all of the process groups.

What is the objective?

When a project is completed according to the expectations and requirements set by the project manager and client, this indicates that all closure activities have been done successfully. Close project process activities make sure that the project has been recorded properly, all final payments have been made, and all resources used have been accounted for. Every time you complete a new project, you will be able to better understand what makes a project successful versus a failure. Even when a project is completed, the documentation process must be done in order to confirm all bases have been covered.

You should make sure to complete closing process group activities to finish strong. There are eight steps to this process:

What are the 8 Steps of the Close Project Process?

Ready to close a project? Make sure you’ve worked through these 8 steps in order to thoroughly do the job.

Project Closure Step #1: Confirm work is done and meets the project requirements

When the project lifecycle comes to an end, every deliverable must be completed and handed over to the client for final approval. Before you close, you must ensure that as the project manager, you get formal acceptance from the client approving of the work completed.

Project Closure Step #2: Complete the procurement closure

Next, you must ensure that all parties have been paid and all materials are accounted for. Don’t forget distant partners or suppliers! In this stage, procurement steps are also finished.

Project Closure Step #3: Obtain formal acceptance that the project is completed

The client is the only one who can formally accept the project deliverables defined at the early stages of the project planning process. The project manager can present the client with an email or physical document which states the scope of the project, and then require the signature of the customer for final approval.

Project Closure Step #4: Finish final performance reporting

Once the final deliverable is completed, it must be tested for performance reporting. Quality, schedule, and cost performance are all evaluated. It is important to note whether or not the project was completed over budget, and if not, how much leftover funding remains.

Project Closure Step #5: Index records and archive records

All documentation is now archived in company records and kept for safekeeping in case they need to be revisited at a later date. This happens after all documentation is collected and signatures are finalized.

Project Closure Step #6: Update any lessons learned

Once the project is completed, the project team must update lessons learned. Lessons are collected and gathered from stakeholders of the project, and lessons are stored in an organized asset collection for the company.

Step #7: Hand Off the completed product

After the project is finalized, the deliverables are handed over to the customer. This trade-off may require proper documentation detailing how to use the product properly.

Step #8: Release the resources

Once the project is completed, every assignment of the project resources must be closed and lessons learned collected. Then, these assets are released to the client and stored by the project management team.

The project closure stage is just as important as every other process. We hope these tips help you better understand the project closure phase and all 8 steps in closing a project!

Understanding the information in this article is an essential part of project management and a vital part of the PMP exam. Improve your project management skills or prepare for the PMP Certification exam by taking a quality online PMP exam prep course.

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