The paper focuses on the “closure phase” of the project, which is considered as the last phase of the project life cycle. According to Verzuh (2015), project closure mainly involves in handling over the various deliverables to the customers, passing appropriate documentation, releasing both staff as well as equipment and informing different stakeholders about the closure phase of the project.
The assignment mainly elaborates the methods that are helpful in closing or terminating a project. The paper also discusses as well as evaluates the practices that must be utilized by companies for ending a project. The assignment reflects on the steps that make project closure difficult and helps in providing proper recommendation for mitigating the difficulties
2. Description of the different methods for closing or terminating a project
The methods that are utilized by organization for closing or terminating a project include:
Collect contract documentation: The contract manager of the project generally starts the task of closing out the contract appropriately. In order to close the contract properly, it is quite significant to collect all the important documentation for review (Kerzner, 2013). This generally comprises of the original contracts as well as supporting documentation including performance reports, schedules as well as contract changes.
Complete contractor final review: The contract manager generally performs the review of the final contractor, which mainly include a completion review of various requirements as well as deliverables (Walker, 2015). The project generally reviews all the contracts and then helps in verifying all the requirements as well as deliverables that are specified within each of the contract is met. It is identified that any changes within the contract requirements or deliverables are generally documented, approved as well as completed.
Formal acceptance: The project manager helps in drafting the formal acceptance letter only after various types of contractual obligations are met as well as verified (Verzuh, 2015). The formal acceptance letter helps in providing the contracted organization or company with a formal written notice that the contract, which is prepared is complete. It is identified that an original contract generally contains standard language for acceptance as well as closure.
Administrative Closure: The project manager generally begins with the administrative closure procedure by preparing proper documentation for the closure of the project, proper deliverables for the users as well as taking appropriate administrative actions in order to ensure that both the project as its associated assets are redistributed.
Financial closure and audit: The financial analyst generally starts the financial closure procedure by completing as well as terminating both the financial as well as budgetary phase of the project. The procedure of closure generally includes both the internal as well as external contract closure (Heagney, 2016). It is identified that financial audit is generally conducted at project closure by performing appropriate examination of various projects including a proper as well as effective detail of the project’s financial budgets, records as well as procedures.
Archiving: It is ensured by the project manager that the documentation, which is mainly related with the project, has been archived including both soft as well as hard copies. A summary report helps in recording information about all archived project. It is identified that the collected information generally includes project description, organizational chart, actual cost, budget as well as actual schedule.
Personnel and Facilities: It is the task of the project manager to handle the process with the reassignment of both equipment and reallocation of various types of agency personnel, which are generally utilized during the project (Mir & Pinnington, 2014).
Closeout Phase: The project manager mainly holds a session of lessons learned that is considered as one of the valuable closure as well as release procedure for the project team members. It mainly assists in providing an exchange of observation so that the project can achieve success that will further help future projects that are of same type.
Celebrate Project Success: It is considered as one of the important procedure for recognizing teams that generally helps in meeting all the goals that are associated with the project (Turner, 2016). When the success related with the project is achieved the in helps in providing some recognition to the various team. It is identified that informal recognition as well as superior accomplishment awards are generally done.
Complete PIER: It is analyzed that along with the team members, the project manager generally completes the PIER document (Heldman, 2015). The document is mainly created at the completion stage of the project that mainly includes completion costs, completion dates,, lessons learned as well as corrective actions for the various types of objectives that are generally not achieved. It is identified that the format of the PIER is generally dictated with the help of OCIO
3. Describe and evaluate the practices that must be utilize by companies for ending a project
The project close out practice mainly assists in finalizing different types of activities of the project that are mainly executed during the various phases in order to close out the project in order to complete as well as transfer the completed as well as cancelled project that is quite very much appropriate. It is identified that the closeout project helps in accessing the project for ensuring completion in order derives appropriate lessons as well as best practices that can be generally applied in the future projects (Hwang & Ng, 2013). However, in different project multi-phase, it is identified that the various practices of project closeout are generally applied on different stages after completion of the deliverable phase as well as after iteration completion that are generally designated during project life cycle. It is identified that various types of closeout practices that are generally applied assists in closing the entire project scope as well as other activities that are associated with the project which are generally applicable in other portion.(Lock, 2014). The companies mainly utilize practices that are helpful in ending a project and the practices include:
Administrative Closure: The procedure of administrative closure helps in defining various types of activities, interactions as well as various related roles as well as responsibilities of various project team members as well as stakeholders that generally engage in executing various procedure of administrative closure of the project (Teller, Kock & Gemünden, 2014). It is identified that in order to perform various administrative closure procedure, it is very much necessary to integrate activities that include collecting appropriate project records, analyzing success as well as failure of the project, gathering appropriate lessons learned, transferring various types of project services as products. The administrative closure mainly includes:
- Confirmation of the project further helps in meeting the requirements of various sponsor, customers as well as stakeholder requirements.
- Verification of all the deliverables, which have been delivered as well as accepted
- Validating exit criteria, this must be met properly.
Contract Closure: It generally includes activities as well as interactions, which are required for settling as well as closing any contract related agreement, that is mainly established within a project as well as those activities that are generally associated in order to support different types of formal administrative closure (Beringer, Jonas & Kock, 2013). Contract closure generally involves verification of all the work, which have been completed appropriately by updating all the records of the contract in order to reflect the result in order to archive information for future use. Among other types of activities, project closure generally includes:
- Confirmation of the project for addressing various conditions as well as terms related with the project.
- Confirmation of the exit criteria of completion for various contract closure
- Formally assists in closing different types of contract that are associated with the project that is completed.
4. Description of the steps that make project closure difficult
The project mainly faces number of challenges during the closure of the project. It is identified by Bresnen (2016) that even the smoothest project will face number of risks while they generally move toward closeout. The various types of challenges that helps in making the project closure difficult include:
Technical challenges: As the project ends and the stakeholders of the project mainly engages in various other activities to start a new project. The project managers generally face number of difficulties that are related with the start up problems, which are generally associated with the design, as well as implementation of the new project. They also face number of technical problems that are mainly associated with the agreement as well as identification of the other deliverables that are mainly related with the project (Jiang & Klein, 2014). It is identified that in order to complete the project, the team members as well as project managers lose control on the charges of the project and complete the project by damaging the entire budget of the project. It is identified that various types of problems as well as challenges that are associated with tech support is also faced by the project.
Project team challenges: The project team members faces number of risks as well as challenges that helps in making the project closeout difficult. It is identified that during project closeout, some of the members or stakeholders does not have appropriate tasks as they have completed their tasks earlier. It generally relates loss of team functionality, as many team members are not working for the project. The stakeholder of the project also does not help in paying much attention so that project closure can be done appropriately (Fewings, 2013). This is because when they get appropriate information about the project closure, they make themselves engage in various other activities in order to start a new project. The project team members generally lose their interest in the project including various types of administrative as well as documentation work as there is no fear of future work.
Customer challenges: The project also faces difficulty during the closeout and this difficulty arises due to the customers. The customers make appropriate agreement on various types of outstanding commitments that generally exist. The project close out also faces challenges due to absence of clear hand off strategy, change in responsible personnel, due to the unavailability of key personnel as well as difficulty in agreeing on sign off on various types of remaining punch list issues as well as challenges.
4.1 Recommendation for mitigating the difficulties
The project closeout faces number of difficulties, which can be mitigated appropriately by following some significant methods that include:
Making project team members involve: The project manager along with the team members get involved in other activities of the project in the close out phase for starting a new project (Turner, 2016). This creates number of challenges associated with the close out phase. Therefore, in order to resolve this challenge, it is quite important to make the project team members involved in the project.
Formal sign off from the customers: A formal sign off from the customers must be taken in order to resolve the challenges that generally occur from customers end during the close out phase of the project (Verzuh, 2015). The problems related due to absence of clear hand off strategy, change in responsible personnel, due to the unavailability of key personnel as well as difficulty in agreeing on sign off will be solved and as a result, the project can be closed appropriately.
Lessons learned documentation: Proper documentation about the lessons learned must be provided in order to minimize the challenges that occur due to absence of inappropriate documents (Heagney, 2016). It does not helps in minimizing challenges but also helps in providing appropriate information as well as knowledge about the development of the project.
It can be concluded from the entire assignment that project phase lot of difficulty during the closeout phase, which must be resolved appropriately in order to make the procedure of project closure successful. It is identified that the assignment helps in elaborating different methods for closing or terminating a project, which helps in making the project closure successful. It is analyzed that there are number of practices are utilized by the companies in order to end the project appropriately. The risks as well as challenges that are associated with the project can be mitigated properly by following some of the important techniques.
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