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No Abrupt Endings
Before the celebrations can begin, there are a few final details that need to be attended to so the project can be officially closed. That's the whole purpose of the final phase of the phases of project management - Closing.
During this phase, project managers often depend on their project management software to provide detailed summary reports of everything from missed timelines to the amount of money spent during the project and how that information matches up with the original project plan.
Using good project management software can save you a lot of time during this phase. Joe Taylor, Jr, an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, wrote a great article on the top project management software packages for under $100. You can use any of these tools or go for something bigger and more expensive. It really all depends on the types of projects you manage.
Just make sure that the software you choose allows you to create end-of-project reports. These reports will be used for a number of purposes, including:
If you've done your legwork before and during the project and kept good records, the Closing phase will probably be your shortest project phase. This assumes, of course, that you have obtained a signature sign-off from the project stakeholders.
The sign-off is probably the single most important closing document. Without a physical signature on a document that clearly states the project has reached it's completion date, your stakeholders are likely to continue to keep your number on speed dial for a myriad of changes and "enhancements" you can't even begin to predict. Getting sign-off on a formal closing document is a great way to put a stake in the ground. This doesn't mean enhancements can't still be made, but if they didn't fall under the original project scope, those enhancements are their own, unique project.
What's Involved in the Project Closing Stage?
The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) defines the five phases of Project Management.