The Project Management Professional (PMP) is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Introduction

Project management can be overwhelming sometimes. However, following these steps can help you to manage your team effectively in complex tasks.

The final domain of PMP®️ is number five, Closing. A project is said to be closed when the team(s) hand over the final project to the customer and communicates to the stakeholders about the completion and releases resources.

Allowing the team to evaluate and maintain a document before moving on to the next step is an important step in every project life cycle. This prevents the team from repeating previous mistakes and helps to make robust processes and effective teams. Project closure is generally the stage of formal completion of all deliverables and, later, the transfer of those same deliverables to the internal or external customers.

Tasks

In this section, we will look into the tasks used in the PMP “Closing” domain. The PMP certification progress is responsible for the measurement of these tasks:

Closing – 7%
Task 1 Obtain final acceptance of the project deliverables from relevant stakeholders in order to confirm that project scope and deliverables were achieved.
Task 2 Transfer the ownership of deliverables to the assigned stakeholders in accordance with the project plan in order to facilitate project closure.
Task 3 Obtain financial, legal and administrative closure using generally-accepted practices and policies in order to communicate formal project closure and ensure transfer of liability.
Task 4 Prepare and share the final project report according to the communications management plan in order to document and convey project performance and assist in project evaluation.
Task 5 Collate lessons learned that were documented throughout the project and conduct a comprehensive project review in order to update the organization’s knowledge base.
Task 6 Archive project documents and materials using generally-accepted practices in order to comply with statutory requirements and for potential use in future projects and audits.
Task 7 Obtain feedback from relevant stakeholders using appropriate tools and techniques and based on the stakeholder management plan in order to evaluate their satisfaction.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Archiving practices and statutes
  • Compliance (statute/organization)
  • Contract closure requirements
  • Closeout procedures
  • Feedback techniques
  • Performance measurement techniques (KPI and key success factors)
  • Project review techniques
  • Transition planning technique

The Closing Process Group Core Tasks

  • Final Acceptance: Administrative closure is also a phase in this process. It includes activities like termination, project documentation completion and contract sign-off. Before formally closing the project, the project manager will review all data from previous closures to make sure that deliverables are complete, payments are done and objectives are met.
  • Ownership Transfer: The most important task in the closing phase is delivering the final product and receiving acceptance of the same from the customer. Each member of the team comes together to share their skills and experience which they can utilize in a project. Per the project requirements, the team members are selected and every project is distinct from the other.
    This process applies to both internal and external people hired. The external resources may be more certain than the internal ones, as you might have signed a contract with them before onboarding and it has a duration. Therefore, whenever it gets over, ensure that resources are paid in full so that they can take a sign-off from the project. Whereas in the case of internal resources, you need to bear in mind that they have limited time on the project and if they are not released on time, it might cause a block on other projects.
  • Closure: Once the final sign-off is received from the customer, it’s time for procedures and paperwork before formal project closure. Every document needs to be signed as the legitimate evidence of the conclusion of the documents. This closes contracts signed with internal and external partners and vendors. You need to ensure all payments have been made, such as commissions, bonuses, outstanding invoices and other fees.
  • Final Project Report: In the final report, one must ensure to provide the complete view of success and failures faced during the project. Your report may include such topics as: evaluation of project, challenges faced, goals, project accomplishments, project changes and their effect and feedback. The performance of every team member should also be reported before closing the project. This helps while making decisions on promotions, salary increases and so forth.
  • Lesson Learned/Project Review: Once the stakeholder’s inputs are gathered, the next step is a project review. This finalized document will be archived by the organization as part of the assets of the firm. After receiving the formal sign-off from the customer, you should document the lessons learned in the project so that they can be used as a future reference in other projects. This is considered a significant document, so it’s advisable to include stakeholders in the process. You may include a few other areas in the document, such as: reasons for change requests, history of schedule control, cost control and more.  
  • Project Archiving: Organizations prefer documentation of the project that can be archived for easy referral in case a similar project is launched in the future. Documents are collated and stored on the project server. An organized project closure makes sure that the project has a controlled end.
  • Feedback: Preparing and distributing a questionnaire is an effective way to get feedback. Ensure that you do it 2-3 weeks prior to project closure so there is time for respondents to create a thorough document. The next step is to collect and analyze the responses. You may replace the questionnaire with interviews, if required.

Areas to Study

The Closing Process group includes all the processes that support the closing of the project; receive sign-off, and hand over the documents. This process group includes two processes: Close Project/Phase and Close Procurement.

1. Close Project/ Phase: Considering all the phases of the project and analyzing them before the project completion is an essential task. Project managers are responsible for ensuring that no task is left undone. In the course of this phase, the project manager communicates with team leaders and closes work orders associated with each team.

Areas to cover in this section are:

  • Client Closeout
  • Organizational Closeout
  • Subcontractor Closeout
  • Risk Assessment
  • Make Final Report
  • Team Closeout

2. Close Procurements: During the budget adjustments in the project, ensure that each detail associated with the procurement process is accurately documented. Some common changes may occur during the project, such as changes in goods and services, budgetary changes and substitutions, but it is important that they be documented. Nevertheless, closing invoices and submitting the final report on time may bring more opportunities.

Areas to cover in this section are:

  • Product Verification
  • Financial Settlements
  • Conduct Audit
  • Update Records
  • Final Performance Reporting
  • Lesson Learned
  • Procurement Filing

Conclusion

Each task in the process group needs time, expertise, energy, knowledge and skills. For that reason, any project that has expert personnel handling it refers to these people as Project Managers. A project manager is responsible for professionally managing all the changes happening throughout the project in order to achieve greater results and success.

 

Sources

Project Management Professional (PMP) Examination Content Outline, PMI

Ending Your Project: the Closing Process Group, Bright Hub Project Management

Project Closing, PMI

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