Stage 6: Project Close
It is just as important to have a controlled close to a project as it is to have a controlled start. Closing a project gives an opportunity to assess how successful the project has been. It also helps to make sure that everything is ‘tidied up’ – that everything that you said you would do has been done and nothing has been forgotten.
Completing the Project
There is a simple checklist that you need to complete before you can consider closing the project:
- Have all the products been delivered and accepted?
- Are there any communications activities outstanding?
- Have all the invoices/bills been paid?
(note: in some projects, financial close happens after the actual project is closed)
- Are all the risk and issue actions completed or closed, or are there any further actions required ‘outside’ the project?
- Have you captured any further lessons that will help future projects?
Once you are happy that the answer to all of these questions is “yes”, you can complete the End Project Report.
End Project Report
The End Project Report is used to inform the Project or Programme Board that the project has been completed and is ready to close. It contains information on:
- How well the project performed against the baseline PID
- How well the objectives have been met
- Lessons learned
- Follow on actions and a date for a post-project review.
Follow on actions are used to highlight further work that could or should be done once the project has handed over the product to the users. This might include things like:
- Training needs
- Change requests that were rejected but still might be worth investigating
- Project issues that weren’t resolved
- Actions for any future review of the project.
Post Project Reviews
For Category A (high cost / high impact) projects (such a PFI schemes), post project reviews should be carried out a year or more after project completion to assess whether the planned benefits have been realised and outcomes achieved.