Why Project Closure Meeting?
Updated: Jan 20, 2019
Why Project Closure Meeting?
According to the PMBOK guide and standard, project is broken up into 5 phases; 'Initiation', 'Planning', 'Execution', 'Monitoring' and 'Closure'. From my experience however, 'Closure' is very often neglected due to many different reasons. It is important to remember that 'Closure' is an important last milestone in any projects. It signifies the official completion to transit to the operations team for day 2 operations, or it may mark the official start of the next project phase. After the closure meeting, any outstanding signatures, approvals, payment should be cleared and resources for the project would be officially released.
In short, members from the Project team, Steering community team, operations team who is taking over the project, should participate in the project closure meeting.
Agenda Project Closure
Agenda of the project closure meeting may include the follows:
1. Project Scope of work and Deliverables
I usually start off the closure meeting by first going through the scope of work and deliverables of the project. Although this would have been covered during the project kickoff, many people may have forgotten it, especially when the project duration is very long. In addition, there may have been changes in the scope during the project. It is always good to summarise during the closure meeting on what has been done.
2. Project Objective and Business Outcome
Company invests in projects for a reason - to solve a business problem. During the project closure, it is important to emphasise the original objectives and values which the project brings to the business. Completing the cycle of the IT Value Model by matching 'Business Problem' -> 'IT Problem' -> 'IT Capability' -> 'Business Outcome'.
3. Final Project Schedule and milestones
Throughout the duration of the project, there are bound to be deviations from the original plan. It is important to recap the assumptions made when the project was originally planned, and the main reasons resulting in the changes to the project schedule. And this makes a nice transition into the next agenda, which discuss about challenges and lesson learned.
4. Challenges and Lesson Learned
Managing a project should not be restricted to just the final outcome or deliverable. One of the key objective of the closure meeting is for the team to share the experience and knowledge gained throughout the project. Gathering the team members prior to the closure meeting to gather their feedbacks, documenting the mistakes and successes of the project. There is always a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from projects which everyone can benefit from it.
5. Future enhancement or project phases
This may have been planned for at the beginning, or identified during the project but due to constraint of budget or schedule, could not be included in the current project scope. It is important to highlight what is the future plan for the project.
6. Project Sign-off
At the end of the closure, it marks the completion of the project. All documentations, are to be signed off by the stakeholders. This acts as a legal evidence that the project is officially concluded. Any outstanding cost and invoice can then be paid to relevant vendors and project resources formally be released from the project.
A few more things
Documentations. All document deliverables are to be updated prior to project closure meeting. Archived and handed over to the operations team for future reference.
Celebrate Success. It is important to reward the team for a job well done. This may sound like common sense, but throughout my experience, so often neglected. Giving credits to team members when credit is due and boosting the morale of the team. It is important to build loyalty and motivate the team to work harder for future projects.
"What do you think?"
Let me know if you think there is any important/useful details I have missed in the above write up.