Before you pop the champagne cork and begin your celebration dance, you have a few more details to attend to. In this chapter, we'll look at project close-out activities. While you might think these are "throw away" activities that are optional, they're really not. Through properly closing out the project, you ensure users are satisfied and that the deployment, maintenance, and support activities are set up or in place. You also complete project documentation including updating final stats, and calculating total schedule, effort (hours expended), cost, and other project metrics. You wind down project activities and announce closure. Finally, you provide feedback to your team and an opportunity to wind down the team on a positive note.
While you might be exhausted by this time in your project, reserve just a bit more energy for properly closing out the project. Two things about project closure are absolutely true. It's a thousand times easier to do it now than in a month when your boss hounds you incessantly for the data and you can get your project team to help you close up shop so you can all go celebrate together.
As with previous chapters, let's look at the IT project management process overview and where we currently stand. This is shown in Figure 12.1 and indicates we're in the last phase of the project management process. This is important to keep in mind because close out is part of the IT PM process, not an annoying add-on.
Figure 12-1. IT Project Management Process Overview
Since we won't be introducing any new terms in this chapter, let's look at the inputs, actions, and outputs from this final phase of IT project management, shown in Figure 12.2
Figure 12-2. Inputs, Actions, and Outputs for Project Close-Out Step