Project Clean up: The activities performed at the very end of the project
Why CLEAN UP
The idea of having a project clean up is a lot like having a clean up at the end of many other events. Think about a camping trip, a wood working project, a baking day.
“The job isn’t over till the paper-work is done”
“It isn’t over ‘till it’s over”
Do you see that after the event is done, some clean up activities remain? Cleaning up a project is just like that. To clean up a project means to leave everything in good order. For you and your team, there is a feeling of satisfaction in cleaning and putting everything away.
Many of the following items were already discussed, and agreements were made, in the Planning Stage of your project. However, we find that in the rush to complete a project these activities can be forgotten.
The CLEAN UP LIST
It is important to have a clean up check list because this close to the end of the project things can be forgotten and there is little time remaining to go back to forgotten items.
So, to put a professional finish on your projects, be sure to remember the following:
1. Physical clean up of the Project Site(s) or Project Location(s)
2. Provide the documents needed for start-up, including:
d1) Start-up manuals
d2) operations manuals
d3) maintenance manuals
d4) manufacturer’s recommended spare parts lists, with prices.
3. Perform the start up, the first run: if that is included in your project Scope
4. Do the final testing, verification, and commissioning: if that is included your
5. Ensure there is a procedure to handle final bills or charges that may come in
after the client accepts project completion.
6. Provide a list of the extra parts, left over supplies, samples etc that will be
transferred to the client. Arrange for hand over of those items
7. Meet your team for a "plusses and wishes" analysis.
-some call this "Things Gone Right and Things Gone Wrong"
-Write your “Lessons Learned” report and file it properly
8. Clean up your project files so they are useful for the next person. It might be
-The project has accumulated a lot of learning and knowledge. Make sure it
is accessible for others
- Make a list of project documents and where / how they will be kept for future
reference. Include a list of what to give to the client.
- Write some short summary notes, indexes, guiding notes, etc, to
facilitate use of the files you are archiving
9. Publish your project. Advertise its success.
10. Give credit to your team, in your publication and just in your verbal
- This is a good time for you to review the benefits of Project Management
and be sure that your team members’ motivating objectives were met
- Recognize team member development.
11. Send a “Thank-you” note or letter to each team member, and to the client.
12. Celebrate the success. Find some positive aspects of your project to celebrate.
This is really important. People remember the last thing they experience. A
celebration is what people will remember. Larry Johnson says:
- If the project was successful, throw a party
- If the project was less than successful, call it a wake!
Check out Larry Johnson at:
REVIEW Questions and Answers
1. How do you know when it’s time to close the project?
Answer: When any of these occur:
1. The project Objective has been obtained.
2. The Product being developed is saleable.
3. The System is debugged.
4. The essential Support is withdrawn from the project.
2. What is the key to managing project closure?
Answer : Treat it as a mini-project.
3. Why is it important to have a clean up check list?
Answer. Other priorities will begin to infringe upon the time and resources to
fully complete the original obligations. This close to the end of the
project things can be forgotten and there is little time remaining to
go back to forgotten items.
This is the final page of the web site. It is my sincere hope that the insights found on this site will be useful in your pursuit of Professional Project Management. Remember this, there is no such thing as the perfect project. But with the right tools and practice you will continue to get better at delivering projects that bring satisfaction to your stakeholders and to yourself. Best wishes, Ray
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