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Project Closeout Checklist


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Project Closeout Checklist Project closeout management can be daunting if a project manager does not know what necessary activities and procedures need to be carried out and what basic documents need to be processed and signed by project participants. The following checklist describes how to close projects and what documents are necessary.

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  1. Procedures and Activities.
    • Meeting. This activity is organized by the project manager who develops a meeting agenda and collects any reference materials (e.g. project history, major milestones) and then shares this information with all attendees. The project team participates in the meeting in order to identify areas for improvement, lessons learned, and recommendations for future projects. Closeout meeting is also called "Lessons Learned Meeting" and its purpose is to:
      • Formally close out the project.
      • Identify roles for on-going maintenance and follow-on implementation of the project product.
      • Capture "lessons learned".
      • Presentation. Such a presentation is the way to show project stakeholders what results have been achieved and whether established goals have been met after project completion. Presentation is to be conducted after the closeout meeting. Its purpose is to:
        • Provide a full team forum for acknowledging success of the project.
        • Present project results to stakeholders.
        • Provide a transition of the product, from design & development to production & maintenance.
      • Project Evaluation. This critical activity allows comparing the actual results of the project with the baseline. The purpose of this closeout activity is to:
        • Examine deviations between the baseline and the actual results.
        • Review changes of the scope and measure their impact on project results.
        • Evaluate project performance
  2. Documentation.
    • Project Completion Form. This document signifies that the customer can utilize the project product for its intended purpose. After the product is produced, the project manager needs to notify the customer of this fact and then fill in and sign a sample of Project Completion Form in which the product name and completion date are indicated. The document should be submitted to the customer who will sign and approve it after reviewing the product. The document is usually issued, signed and approved by all the parties prior to the request for final payment.
    • Project Completion Certificate. Such a certificate is not necessary but in most projects it is used as the formal document that signifies the project is 100% complete and establishes the completion date. Project Completion Certificate is signed by stakeholders, project manager and project sponsor (or/and customer).
    • Application for Final Payment. After the certificate has been signed and approved, the project manager needs to submit a request for final payment. Such a request should be sent in the form of an application showing required information on payment. The customer will accept Application for Final Payment and proceed with the payment process.
    • Release of Claims. This document is to be submitted by the project manager along with Application for Final Payment. Approving Release of Claims by the customer means that the project manager has met all obligations for all furnished materials, equipment, labor and services performed and that payment has been made.
    • Post-Implementation Evaluation Report. This document is a kind of report template that contains the following information: lessons learned and project success description. The report is to be generated by project analysts and signed and approved by the project manager.
  3. Plan
    • Design a plan. When you are in charge of a project manager you need to know which basic tasks to do in order to close out your project. Here is an example for your consideration. It includes basic tasks and procedures to close out a sample project.
    • All the deliverables of your project have been accepted by the customer. If not, leave comments.
    • The project has been evaluated against performance goals listed in your project performance plan.
    • Actual cost of your project has been compared to the approved cost baseline.
    • All approved changes to the cost baseline have been identified and documented.
    • All approved changes to the scope of your project have been identified and documented.
    • The actual completion date has been compared to the approved schedule.
    • Responsibilities for operating and maintaining the product delivered by your project have been assigned.
    • Documentation relating to project maintenance and operation is available.
    • Necessary training and knowledge transfer have been completed.
    • Documentation has been archived.
    • Lessons learned have been documented.
    • The date for post-implementation review has been set.

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