12.9. Solutions Fast Track
188.8.131.52. Closing Out Project Activities
- Issues logs may still have open issues. Review issues to determine whether further project work is required. The issues in the log should each be addressed and specifically resolved or closed as unresolved.
- Review any open or pending change requests or work orders. This might indicate you still have project work to complete. Otherwise, close, cancel, or transfer all open requests or orders, as appropriate. Unfinished work orders may cause project charge backs or contractual issues.
- Bug reports should be updated to indicate which bugs were included in the release and which are still open or pending. This data should be formally transferred to a centralized system (if not already there) to be used for future revisions or releases.
184.108.40.206. Preparing Final Project Documentation
- Technical documentation should be completed. This will vary widely depending on your IT project. It may include system or configuration information, source code, versions of third-party software used, serial numbers, or specifications for equipment.
- The project plan should be updated to reflect final data. Gather all relevant data so you can analyze plan versus actual results.
- Prepare a project closure report, which recaps and summarizes the project and its results. This report is typically provided to the project sponsor, corporate executives, and in some cases, the user/customer/client (when appropriate).
220.127.116.11. Final Project Sign-Off
- Projects should be formally signed off as complete by the project sponsor or user/client/customer (as appropriate).
- The project may be signed off in one of four states: accepted, accept project with variance noted, accept project with compensation to user/customer/sponsor for omissions or variances, or continue project work until variances are addressed.
- Operational transfer generally occurs after final project sign-off. In some cases, it may begin before or long after formal sign-off.
- Operational transfer should specify a number of details including contacts for transfer, roles, responsibilities, warranties, ownership of intellectual property, support agreements, and more.
- The point of transfer is an excellent opportunity to present your project's deliverables in a positive light to the user/client/customer. Use the transfer event to increase the positive perception of the project.
18.104.22.168. Reviewing Lessons Learned
- A project audit might be conducted to analyze project results. An audit should not be conducted at the same time as a lessons learned meeting.
- Lessons learned should be gathered throughout the project lifecycle. If they're captured just at the end, many important lessons learned will probably be forgotten or overlooked.
- Your lessons learned meeting should not spiral down into blame and accusations. Keep it positive and focus on what was learned and how that information can be used in the future.
- Capturing, analyzing, and incorporating lessons learned is one important way organizations become "learning organizations" and improve their products, services, and processes over time.
22.214.171.124. Administrative Closure
- Any special permissions granted to the members of the project team, such as special building or network access, special passwords, or access to confidential files should be revoked (as appropriate) as part of the administrative closure.
- Paperwork may include gathering and filing project status or progress reports, closing out vendor and supplier contracts, finishing up billing paperwork, or completing paperwork for post-project audits.
- Regulatory requirements should have been identified during the project definition and organization phase. However, if you're not sure if there are legal or regulatory issues with your project, contact your project sponsor or legal or financial advisor.
- Failing to comply with legal or regulatory requirements (including reporting requirements) can cause huge legal and financial problems down the road. If you're unsure, ask.
- Performance reviews should include elements related to individual and team participation during the project.
- If you're unsure of how to conduct a performance evaluation, work with your project sponsor or HR department. There are legal and professional guidelines to which your reviews should conform.
- A strong IT project manager uses the performance evaluation process to help team members grow through recognizing strengths and providing coaching to improve weaknesses.
126.96.36.199. Final Team Meeting
- Create a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere to celebrate success.
- Depending on your corporate guidelines and budget, provide awards, certificates, gifts, or bonuses.
- Send your team off feeling good about the project's successes.