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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: 

          a)  records

          b)  drawings, specifications

          c)  procedures

          d)  manuals

                             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

       project Scope 

5.  Ensure there is a procedure to handle final bills or charges that may come in

     after the client accepts project completion. Close procurements


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 an 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 records you are archiving


9. Publish your project.  Advertise its success.


10. Give credit to your team, in your publication and just in your verbal  

      communications, too.

                - 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!



You can sample 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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