What is a Project Closure Checklist?

by StarAgile

August 03, 2020
Category Project Management


The projects in the organization are very important and are a niche for getting profits. Other departments may be enabler functions or supporting functions; however, the project execution is the department that is directly related to the success and profit of the organization. The project manager has a higher role and responsibility to make the projects a success. One must remember the competition and pressure that the project manager undergoes to get the products faster to the market, less time to market, less cost, higher quality, solve the issues in each phase of products or services development, and to make higher profits. Prince2 is the certification that helps the project managers with the knowledge of how to control and manage the projects for success. 

Overview of Project checklist


The project from the project starting stage to the closure stage requires quite a lot of documentation namely Product Initiation Document (PID), Project Plan, Risk register, lessons learned doc, exception report and issue logs, etc. These are the deliverables from various stages of the project not necessarily to the customer but for the team and the management of the organization. The project closure stage is an important stage where the project is closed officially and the product is handed over to the operation teams to operate and monitor or to the customer directly. The Project checklist consists of the following,

  • Project Brief MOM
  • Project Approach
  • Risk Register
  • Business case
  • Product Descriptions
  • Quality Plans
  • Project Initiation Documents
  • Project Plan
  • Exception Plans
  • End-Stage Report
  • Stage Plans
  • Project Performance Report
  • Issue Logs
  • Change control plans
  • Lessons learned Report
  • Test Reports
  • End Project Report

Project closure framework

A project closure framework is a framework or the process that takes place when the project reaches the project closure stages. There are 5 key parameters, they are as follows,

  1. The Handing over
  2. Project Review Process
  3. Administration of the project
  4. Celebration
  5. Formal Project Closure

1) The handing over – This consists of 2 stages, they are 

  1. Confirming that the specifications and the requirements are met – This consists of 2 documentations, those are the test report and quality control doc.
  2. Transfer the project to the operations team – This can be an internal or external transfer or permanent transfer to the client. It consists of documents such as Warranty details, Follow-on actions, and Operational use reports.

2) Project Review Process – This consists of 4 types they are, 

                a. Project Review – This indicates whether the projects have met the goals and objectives

                b. Performance Review Report – To evaluate the performance of every team member.

                c. Lessons learned review – The lessons learned must be documented for future projects

                d. Post-Project Review – This talk about the profits and benefits realized after the project is closed.

3) Administration of the Project –You may be required to transfer the project to the operations team for maintenance and sustenance.

4) Celebration – Here the benefits of the projects are realized by the team members and the management. There are 4 motivators they are reward, respect, recognition, and relationship.

5) Formal Project Closure –The sign off from the stakeholders is obtained by formally closing the project. They may be project sponsors, bosses, clients, and project boards.

Importance of project closure

It may seem an unimportant step in the projects, but the right project closure provides you the following benefits.

  • First, the formal project closure helps you in transferring the responsibility of the products or services to the operations team or the clients.
  • Second, it helps you to disband the team so that there is no project cost incurred. This helps the team to prepare for other projects.
  • Third, it helps us in knowing whether the project has achieved the objectives and goals for which it was commissioned. And if there were any gaps they may be documented in lessons learned for future projects.

Project closure checklist discussed in detail 

There are 5 tasks of closing the project they are,

1) Preparing for planned closure –This task is about the project that has produced the products or services, has been delivered and accepted.

The project manager does the following,

  • Update the project plan about the success of the project
  • Prepare and ask from the team about the project status account
  • Meet the acceptance criteria; ensure that the products or services have been accepted by the team.
  • Get approval for the release of the project resources such as equipment, personnel, etc

2) Prepare for premature closure – This task is done instead of the first one as the project might have not met the budget, the acceptance criteria, the quality, the risk factors, and many other things. 

  • Make the premature closure report and the cause or the reason for doing it.
  • Update the project plan accordingly
  • Document it by asking from the members the product status account report
  • Check the status of the products or services whether it was started or semi-finished or can be used in the future.
  • Get approval from the project board whether the project can be prematurely closed and project resources can be released.

3) Handing over the products – Here the products are handed over to the operations and maintenance teams or the clients. The following things are done here,

  • Ensure that the operations and maintenance teams are ready and provide the required documents to them such as configuration reports, update reports, etc.
  • The support team is ready to support the products.
  • Set up the acceptance criteria and formal acceptance from the operations and maintenance team
  • Finally, transfer the responsibility to the operations and maintenance team

4) Evaluation of the project – Review the baseline documents such as PID and Project Plan

  • Create an end project report document by comparing from start to finish the baseline documents, the benefits achieved, how the project performed, the team performance and products, or the services done.
  • Lessons Learnt - In this report, document what was learned, were there any deviations, what went well, and what went wrong, the quality of the products or services and useful information that was gained during the phases of the project.

5) Recommending for the project closure – The following actions by the Project Manager takes place.

  • Communicate the project closure to the stakeholders and all the members of the project
  • Take action to close all the documents such as risk register, change report, daily logs, quality register, and lesson logs, etc, and make them 'read-only'.
  • Close the configuration management report
  • Provide notification to the project board.

Enumerate the need for a closure strategy and a project closeout checklist

As we have seen the project closure checklist, the project manager needs to work out a project closure strategy.

PMP Certification

    a.Deliverables – They must reach the hands of the operations team or the clients. A formal sign off is required.

    b.Recommendations for the maintenance – These are the things that are needed by the operations team or the clients.

    c.Update the following documents – These documents are beneficial to the team and organization

                  i. Configuration Item Record

                 ii. Benefits management approach

                 iii. Lessons learned report

                 iv. End project report

     d. Release – Release the resources

     e. Finance – Complete and send the remaining invoices

Conclusion

Many companies prefer the prince2 certified professional than anyone without the certification. There are 7 principles in prince2 for the project management and out of that the last principle is about the closure of the project. We have discussed the project closure and its checklist that is needed for the higher performance of the projects to meet the expectation of the customer extensively in this article to give you a brief overview.

Project management is an art and you can register with StarAgile for  prince2 certification to learn and excel in your career.