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Using the 7 STEPS of a mini-project to  CLOSE

The KEY to closing your project, or phase, successfully is to  start a mini-project of

the few remaining things to be done, and close the original main project as much as possible.


Creating a mini-project of the  few things remaining to be done,  lets us focus in on that much smaller scope.

To manage your mini-project well, there are 7 simple steps to follow. They are:

          1. Make a deficiencies list. This is the mini-project's Scope

          2. List the goals to be completed

          3. Make plans for the mini-project's Scope and Time

          4. Set a budget for the mini-project

          5. Plan the Human and Physical Resources needed for the mini-project

          6. Monitor and Control the outcome of the mini-project

          7. Get a sign-off of completion of the mini-project.

Follow these steps and you will end your project with confidence.

                    Instructions for these 7 steps are shown below:

Step 1.  Make a Deficiencies List (sometimes called a “Punch List”) to identify the

            Perceived Needs of the remaining work. This list of work that remains to be                done becomes the "What" (Scope) of your mini-project. Be sure to include                Key Stakeholders and get their input for this step. Get a signed agreement                from your sponsor that this will be the end! Period!

                 a) Be cautious at this step not to invite scope creep.  The original project                       scope is still the approved mandate. Zero-in on what was originally                             agreed to. Clearly identify what is included and what is not included in                       your mini-project.

                 b) Be sure to define a clear cut-off to the end of your mini-project. Be                             able to say, "When these things are done, our whole project is                                   finished."

Step 2.  List the Goals for the completion of your mini-project. From Step 1 (above)               you already have "What" to do (the Scope), so now list "When" you want                   this finished (the time) and "How Much" it is to cost (the Cost). Remember                 to make your goals SMARTWAM (Click Here to download what this means)

Step 3.  Make the Scope and Time Plan for your mini-project. The planning will be                 similar to your original project plan but can now be more detailed and                         accurate based upon how much more you now know about this specific                     project. Write out the Scope and Time plans for your mini-project, which will               contain:

                   -the remaining work to be done

                   -training plans (if applicable)

                   -requirements for manuals and other documentation (if applicable)

                   -a schedule of the remaining work to be done. Set a final end date

                   -verifications needed

                   -start-up procedures

                   -performance parameters, quality measurables

                   -methods to be used for measurements

                   -steps for turning over the project to the owner, or sponsor, or client

Step 4.  Set a budget for this mini-project. Ensure that the funds are allocated and                   you have approval to spend.

Step 5.  Plan the Human and Physical Resources needed for your mini-project                       project. Select the team for getting this mini-project done. Sometimes this                 means new people on the team or a whole new team. On a construction                   project there may be an entire new team that does commissioning and                       start-up, for example. Confirm that the needed resources are available.                     Then plan for disposition of un-required resources.

         Human Resources:  Remember to arrange for the disposition of un-required                                              team members. Help displaced team members to find                                                other work.  If they cannot be useful on one of your                                                    projects, talk to other Project Managers about their good                                            performance. If their performance was not good, release                                            them as fast as your project allows. This simple act helps                                            build your reputation as a Professional Project Manager                                              and motivates other people to want to be on one of your                                              teams.

         Physical Resources: For physical resources remember to dispose of un-                                                    required tools, supplies, and equipment. Rentals can be                                              very expensive, so return them if not required. Tools and                                             supplies may be useable for another project so return                                                 them for others to use.

Step 6.   Monitor and Control the execution of your mini-project just like any other                    project. This smaller project will be much simpler to control than the larger                original project you started with. Put control mechanisms in place such as                  new procedures if required. Develop and use monitoring and controlling                    tools that are 'right sized' to your new mini-project, such as:

                   - Logs

                   - Field Reports

                   - an Organizational Chart

                   - a Project Charter

Step 7.  Get a sign – off of completion. Also, assertively advocate for a sign off of                    partial completion whenever you can. This way you can concentrate on an                ever smaller scope to be completed. Remember:

                   - Anyone who has the power to accept or reject the deliverables must                           be required to examine and approve them after they are built.

                   - If it is not appropriate for the client to give you a sign off, then you                               send to them a confirmation letter or memo. When you send it,                                   assume the “default position” that it is completed.

                         A WORD ABOUT SCHEDULES


QUESTION: What type of schedule would you use at the closure phase of your                             project ?

ANSWER: Probably a Gantt Chart of the remaining things to be done (your mini-                        project).


QUESTION: Why would a Gantt Chart be the appropriate tool at this phase ?


                  a) A Gantt Chart is probably sufficient for the low remaining level of                                complexity.

                  b) Gantt is an easy schedule to produce with minimum effort

                  c) With only a few items remaining in the Scope of your mini-project,                              a Gantt chart might fit on one page

                  d) It is very easy to track progress on a Gantt chart


In your Gantt chart for your mini-project REMEMBER to include:

                        - milestones as control points

                        - the final closure date

                        - time allowed to write reports such as:

                                    a) an “end of project” report

                                    b) a “lessons learned” report


Your mini-project is now complete and so is your whole (main) project. Do you see how the mini-project approach solves the obstacles you can encounter in closure? Let's review these obstacles and solutions:  CLICK HERE.



       CLEAN UP

            The very last thing you will do in your project is the Clean Up.

                 Click on the CLEAN UP BUTTON to see that page.

Project Steps

Click on any photo to get to a project step

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