Close Project or phase

June 17, 2010
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Introduction
Closing of a project or a particular phase involves final sets of activities
that formally close the project or that particular phase. Activities specified
in this process are the final set of activities across the project groups. When
it is closing of the final phase of the project, the project manager must
consider the information from all the previous phases have been completed as
planned and there are no loose ends. Project scope as documented and updated
through the project life time, is taken from the project management plan. The
project manager must determine that all the outcomes have been delivered and
all the planned actions are completed. In case of multi-phase projects, the
manager must review all the earlier phase closures and ensure the completeness
applies to all the phases of the project.
In case some phase has been terminated prematurely, this process must establish
processes for investigation of the reasons thereof.
Close Project or a phase process
The process as defined in the PMBOK model uses inputs that include the project
management plan, accepted deliverables and organizational process assets. The
outputs of the process are the final product, service or the result transition
and organizational process updates. The tools and techniques used to process
the set of inputs is the expert judgment.
Main outputof the process is the final product transition refers to the activities in
delivering the product, service or the result as a outcomes of the project.
Obtaining acceptance of the deliverables completes the transition. If it is a
phase closure the transition will be about delivery of intermediate product,
service or result from the project. This is the formal part of the transition.
The closure process would start with a list of accepted products anyway.
Updating of the organizational process assets is a very important aspect of a
project closure; particularly when the organization continues to do business in
the same knowledge area. The update of the organizational process assets will
attempt to capture all the lessons learnt from the execution of the project.
While these assets continue to be updated during the execution phase, the
updates at this final stage must ensure everything worth noting has been
noted.
Project files need updates. These are the documents related to the project and
updated through the execution phase. Project management plan, cost , schedule,
project calendars, risk register, documents related to change management
actions and risk management actions, etc. project closure documents are another
set of documents that are delivered as output of the closure phase. Formal
documentation must record the transfer of the results to customer, another
organization or a group within the organization. It ay also be the transition
from one phase to another. The manager needs to ensure a complete closure of
the phase or the total project. Historical information that needs updates is
the knowledge update part of the exercise. Historical data and lessons learned
are included into the knowledge base so that use can be made of the same in
future projects.
The inputs of the process ah already mentioned earlier are the accepted deliverables, the project management plan and the organizational
process assets. The project management plan is the master reference against
which everything in the project are measured. This then provides the reference
to what exactly were required of the project. The scope and requirements as
updated through all the work performance reporting and integrated change
control procedures are the records of what are the outcomes expected of the
project. Accepted deliverables is the documented record of items which have
been verified to have been acceptable. The verify scope process specified in
the project management plan produces this confirmation.
The project management plan with its baselines of schedule, cost estimate and
performance contains the reference of what was expected of the project. These
get modified during the execution phase to reflect the real life changes that
were necessary and were accepted. The baselines represent just how the project
should have performed. The management plans include details of the deliverables
and other aspects of the project. What would be of main interest in the closure
stage will be the final status of the scope and the requirements as they
evolved through the project life time. Thus the scope and requirements
management plans and the quality and process improvement plans would define
completely what deliverables were expected out of the project and at what
quality levels. Personnel release activities of the HR management plan will be
triggered by the formal closure activity.
Expert judgment is the only tools and technique that could be used at this
process. The administrative activities need to b carried out as per the
organizations standards and of standards expected by the customer (if a
customer is involved). The experts provide the necessary inputs to the way the
closure activity is to be completed and the standards and formats to be adhered
to.

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