Project management goal: Close a project

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You just finished your project, and it was an unqualified success. And there were no problems along the way.

If so, you’re the only one.

When a project is complete, the smart project manager will leverage lessons learned and even the project plan itself to serve as a template for future projects. Project management is an iterative process, and an honest evaluation of project successes and failures is critical for future success.

This overview shows you the big picture of wrapping up a project. Follow the links in each step for detailed information about each process.

This article is one of many project management goals on the Project Road Map.

What do you want to do?

Review lessons learned

Publish end-of-project information

Review lessons learned

Who wants to relive the mistakes of the past? You do! Because taking a closer look at the problems you faced in your last project might help your next one go more smoothly.

Read more about reviewing lessons learned . . .

Your “lessons-learned” analysis is an examination of the project’s successes and failures, and it can be used to bring the project to a close with a final team meeting or for training on future projects.

Start by gathering your reports, discussion and meeting notes, and the project plan. Then ask the following questions:

  • Was the project mission completed?

  • Was the work done on time, within budget, and according to specifications?

  • What can we do to improve future projects?

  • Were the stakeholders satisfied?

A lessons-learned exercise also provides information for administrative closure and contract closeout.

Administrative closure includes verifying scope; archiving or maintaining project information; and producing summary information such as cost, work, and tasks. Contract closeout makes sure that the contractors' final work is completed and delivered and that billings or invoices are completed. At contract closeout, it's important to review schedules, changes, and contractor performance.

Create a new project

To make sure that the lessons-learned document is always associated with a specific project file, you can link the two.

Add a document to Project Web Access (link to come)

Upload the lessons-learned document to a project workspace site in Project Web App.

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Publish end-of-project information

Once you’ve collected the information you want to preserve, you need to make it available to help other project managers or even yourself in the future.

Archive a project

Archive a completed project with Project Server 2010.

Create final reports

Create and print basic reports, visual reports, and custom views of final project information. Whichever best captures the end-of-project information you want to share.

Compare two versions of a project (link to come)

Review differences between the final version of your project and an earlier version.

Create baseline reports

Keep project baselines to use for a lessons-learned analysis, showing why the original baseline changed

Add a document to Project Web Access (link to come)

Add final documents to a project workspace site in Project Web App.

Save a project as a template

Save a project as a template for use later as a foundation for new projects.

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