Smooth Project Closure Process
Develop Closure Strategy from the Start
The planning for a smooth project transition at closure should be completed during the planning process, and be included in the project management plan. These plans should be a baseline for the project closure. Project completion is only achieved when all the deliverables defined in the project management plan have been handed over to the customer.
Creation and maintenance of effective and frequent interaction during the project life cycle can assist to ensure a smooth project closure process. The status of the project, including its expected completion, and other issues related to the project should be communicated on a regular basis. Such interaction will prevent surprises at the project closure process. A vital element for successful closing is the establishment and maintenance of open communication lines with the correct stakeholders. Communications are started in the initial stages of project initiation, when the project charters are being developed. Software is available to track the project status for communicating to the stakeholders, including Primavera project management software.
The customer should be involved in the project activities throughout the project life cycle. However, interaction during the project closure process should be more frequent, like training, documentation, inspection, and release of the deliverables. Such dealings will facilitate a smooth closure.
Propose Continual Assistance
The customer is normally concerned about the functional capability of the project, and their detailed inspections do not eliminate these apprehensions totally. By offering ongoing support, confidence of the end users is increased, and delays at the project closure are avoided.
Suitable testing should be arranged during the execution phase of the project so that errors are not noticed at the project closure. Testing may involve inspections and use of test equipment. In a software project, testing is important all through the build. However, it is most vital during the closing process. Regular testing addresses the errors from early stages, and ensures timely delivery at project closure.
Customer Incentive To Finish
Incentive should be provided to the customer to complete the project closure at the earliest, as is the desire of the project team. Establishment of mutually agreed deadlines for this purpose may assist completion in accordance with schedule. A closing ceremony may be scheduled, and the customer will be inclined to finish accordingly.
Continue to Page 3 for concluding tips to ensure a smooth project closure process.