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Ending Well!

How to close out your project with confidence.

Project Closure or Phase Closure: The process of finalizing all activities to formally complete a project, or a phase of a project.

Finishing a project well goes a long way toward creating a favourable impression of your project and of you as a Professional Project Manager. Click the button to see some other benefits of a successful project closure, then come back here.

It has been said that the most difficult part about a project is getting it started; and that the next most difficult part is getting it stopped. Why is this? Well, for those who live in a northern climate it is a little bit like getting a snowball to roll down hill. Just like that snowball you had to put a lot of time and energy into getting your project started. You had to pack the snow and making sure the conditions were right you had to give it a big push to get it starting to move. Sometimes it stopped and you had to push it again to get it started. Eventually, just like your project, it took on a life of its own and began to go down the hill faster and faster getting bigger and bigger. Now, as it gets to the end, you have to stop it. This is the time to clean up, close the files, and say "Good Bye."

Question: 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 The essential Support is withdrawn from the project.

A few special obstacles face us as we reach the end of a project’s Life Cycle. Have you ever encountered any of these?

i) The picture is so big that people lose focus on the small amount of work

remaining to be done.

ii) Team members lose motivation because most of the challenge is gone

iii) Team members “drag on” the work because they don’t want the project to


iv) Your project has become the “slush fund” against which everyone charges

their miscellaneous time and expenses.

v ) Everyone wants to be involved; especially those who were never on the


vi) You try to close out the project only to find that the Client says you’re not


vii) The client wants to run the plant (or other project deliverable) on your project costs.

viii) You built it but no one knows how to use it.

ix) You’re getting pressure from your boss to start another large project.

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.

CLICK this button to see the 7 steps of mini-project

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