The only tool and technique of Close Project or Phase is expert judgment. When you're conducting administrative closure activities, which we'll discuss next, the subject matter experts can help assure that the process is performed according to the organization's and to project management standards.
Administrative closure procedures involve collecting all the records associated with the project, analyzing the project success (or failure), documenting and gathering lessons learned, and archiving project records. Keep in mind that when projects are performed under contract, the archiving of financial records is especially important. These records might need to be accessed if there are payment disputes, so you need to know where they are and how they were filed. Projects with large financial expenditures also require particular attention to the archiving of financial records for the same reasons. Financial information is especially useful when estimating future projects, so again, make sure to archive the information so it's easily accessible.
All of these documents should be indexed for reference and filed in a safe place. Don't forget to include electronic databases and electronic documents as part of your project archives as well. These records can be stored on a network drive or copied onto a CD that's kept with the project binder.
Administrative closure procedures also document the project team members' and stakeholders' roles and responsibilities in performing this process. According to the PMBOK® Guide, this should include the processes and methodologies for defining the following:
■ Approval requirements of the stakeholders for project deliverables and changes to deliverables.
■ Assuring and confirming that the project meets the requirements of the stakeholders, customers, and sponsor. This includes documenting necessary actions to verify that the deliverables have been accepted and exit criteria have been met.
■ Assuring and confirming that the exit criteria for the project are satisfied.
Sometimes you'll work on projects where everything just clicks. Your project team functions at the performing stage, the customers and stakeholders are happy, and things just fall into place according to plan. I often find it difficult to perform Close Project or Phases on projects that have progressed particularly well, just because I don't want them to end. Believe it or not, the majority of your projects can fall into this category if you practice good project management techniques and exercise those great communication skills. The Close Project or Phase process has the following outputs:
■ Final product, service, or result transition
■ Organizational process assets updates
We'll take a brief look at each in the following sections.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.