- Published: October 31, 2021
- Updated: October 31, 2021
- University / College: University of Bradford
- Level: High School
- Language: English
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Project Closing and Termination Project Closure According to PMBOK , “Close Project or Phase is the process of finalizing all the Project Management Groups to formally complete the project of phase”. Major benefits of project closing include formal completion of the project work, lessons learned and release of project resources for next assignment or reallocation. During the project closure, project manager reviews all phases of the project ensuring that all the project work is completed and the project has accomplished its objectives. During this process, it is essential to review the scope baseline to ensure project completion since the project scope is measured against the project management plan.
Project Closing involves all necessary activities planned for administrative closure of the project including
Activities that satisfy the exist criteria or completion of the project
Activities required to transfer or handover the project deliverables or product of the project to the production or operations.
Activities for project records collection. Project auditing to measure success of failure, gathering lessons learned and archiving project information for future use.
1.1Types of Project Closure
The project closing is the final stage / logical phase of the project management which marks the end of the project lifecycle. There are two main types of project closing
Closing.The project work has been completed within schedule, budget and performance parameters identified during the planning phase and the project has met its end objectives. This is also unknown as Natural Closure.
Termination.The project ends prematurely due to one or more adverse reasons restricting the completion of the project and meeting the project end objectives. It is also known as Unnatural Closure.
1.2Key Elements of Project Closure
There are five key elements to closing a project. The level of details for each element largely depends on the complexity and size of the project. These elements include:
Identification of lessons learned
Reviewing and documentation
Archiving of records
Recognition of outstanding achievements
Release and reallocation of project resources
2. Project Termination
A project may end prematurely because either it has not met its end objectives or is expected to fail. Another reason for closing the project could be that it is no longer aligned with corporate strategy.
2.1Types of Project Termination
There are four main ways that determine the termination of the project. These include
Termination by Extinction.The project ends prematurely because it did not meet its end objectives or was expected to fail. Another special case is referred to as “termination by murder” where the project ends suddenly due to political or accidental reasons.
Termination by Addition.In this case, if the project is successful then it can be added to operations of parent organization as new division.
Termination by Integration.This is the most common and most complex method of dealing with successful projects. In this case, the output and resources of the project are distributed among the existing units of the parent organization.
Termination by Starvation.This is termination of the project through budget decrements. There may be several reasons from perspective of senior management, political implications to obsolescence of the project output that may cause reduction in project budget.
2.2Issues Related to Terminating a Project
There are certain issues related to the termination of the project. These issues can be categorized as internal and external and are listed below:
Identification of remaining project deliverables
Requirements for certification
Identification of commitment that are still outstanding
Identification of uncompleted tasks that are no more required
Closing of work orders and work packages for activities under process for project completion
Identification of physical infrastructure assign to project as project property
Identification of human resource and other material resources
Redistribution and reassignment of human resources and project materials
Reaching an agreement with customer on remaining project deliverables
Obtaining required regulatory and statutory certification for clearing out
Agreement with suppliers on outstanding commitment
Communication of project closure
Closing of project resources and physical infrastructure
Determining client’s requirements
Post termination project audit
2.3Role of Project Manager in Project Termination
While terminating the project, the duties of the project manager include
Ensure completion of the project work
Informing client on the extent of completion achieved
Ensure completion of documentation including evaluation report and final project report
Clearing of all project liabilities
Reallocation and reassignment of project resources
Seeking regulatory or statutory clearances
Archiving of the project documents, records and lessons learned
Ascertaining any requirements for the product support
Closing of the project books
2.4Checklist for Project Termination
Procedure for closing a terminated project is similar to that of closing a successful project as it follows the same administrative closure procedure and contract closure procedure. Archibald (2003) suggest checklists as a preferred tool for terminating the project. Kerzner and Thamhain (1986) advocated listing of activities for contract administration, marketing and finance management to review process for project closing. Below is a sample check list proposed by Meredith and Mantel (1995) for terminating a project.
Figure 1 : A Sample Checklist for Project Termination (Source : Meredith and Mantel 1995)
2.5Procedure for Project Closure
Project closure refers to completion of all the activities across the project. This involves the procedures for verifying and documenting the project deliverables. The information of what the project was planned for and what it has achieved is an obvious input to project closing process. According to PMBOK (2013), the process for project closing is illustrated in figure below:
Figure 2 below shows the process flow diagram for the project closure (PMBOK 2013).
2.5.1Input to the Project Closing Process
To close a project, a list of project deliverables is required to meet the acceptance criteria defined in project management plan. The obvious inputs to project closing procedure include
Project Management Plan.The project management plan contains all the information on how to close the project. It provides information in verifying and accepting the project deliverables.
Accepted Deliverables.Accepted deliverables are those that have been verified through Scope Verification and has met the scope requirements. This also includes the deliverables from the procurement closure process.
Organizational Process Assets.Organizational process assets include the guidelines and procedures for validation of project deliverables, their acceptance criteria, project audits and evaluation reports. Further, organizational assets include historical information on what kind of records or documents are required for project closing and reviewing of lessons learned for previous projects.
2.5.2Output to the Project Closing Process
The project closing procedure accomplished three main objectives that include completion of all closing procedures for the project, final acceptance of the project deliverables, formal handing off of the project deliverables to the clients and archiving of all lessons learned and project records and documentations (Mulcahy 2013).
Final Product, Service or Result Transition.This involves formal handing off or delivering of the project output to the appropriate client party. This includes formal acceptance of the product by the client and receipt that the project met its objectives and all terms of the contract.
Organizational Process Assets (Updates).This output includes adding or archiving the following documents to the organizational process assets.
Acceptance documentation confirming the project objectives have been met.
Project Closure documentation including the project closing procedure and handing off the project deliverables.
Project Files Archives that include the documents created during the project’s lifecycle such as project management plan, risk management plan and baselines for triple constraints.
Lessons Learned Database should also update the organization process assets so that similar future projects may refer back and take benefit from these lessons learned.
For closing the project formally, two procedures administrative closure and contract closure are followed PMBOK (2008) which are discussed below
2.5.3Administrative Closure Procedure
Administrative Closure Procedure includes “all activities, interaction and related roles and responsibilities of project team members and project stakeholders involved in administrative project closure” (PMBOK 2008). This procedure includes activities required for collection of project records, analysis of project success or failure, gathering of lessons learned and archiving the project information for use in future projects.
2.5.4Contract Closure Procedure
According to PMBOK (2008), Contract Closure “includes all activities and interactions needed to settle and close any contract agreement established for the project, as well as define those related activities supporting the formal administrative closure of the project”. This includes verification of all the project work completed as planned and review of administrative closure procedure. Further, the terms and conditions in the contract are also reviewed to ensure if the project has met its end objectives. Early termination of a contract is a special case that follows when decision for terminating the project has formally been made.
According to Mulcahy (2011), the difference between the administrative closure procedure and contract closure procedure is focus, frequency and level of formality. The focus of administrative closure is closing of project and that of contract closure is closing of contract which is part of the project.
Archibald, R. 2003. Managing High-Technology Programs and Projects. 3rd ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Kerzner, H. and Thamhain, H. 1986. Project Management Operating Guidelines. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Meredith, J. and Mantel, S. 2013. Project Management: A Managerial Approach. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Mulcahy, R. 2011. PMP Exam Prep. 7th ed. Burnsville: RMC Publications.
Project Management Institute. 2008. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute.
Project Management Institute. 2013. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute.