This is part five of a series on how to manage a project.

This is a multi-page article. I pasted the summary and action steps below. Download the whole article as a PDF here.

Summary

You’ve reached the end of the project! Hurrah. Now is the time to do a clean handover to the operational teams managing the project deliverables going forward and carry out the formal project closure.

In this guide, we’ll look at:

  • Who you are handing over to
  • What materials make up a ‘handover’
  • A specific look at what matters if you are handing over anything to an IT service team
  • 10 things to do on your project’s last day
  • What questions to ask at project closure
  • What goes in a project closure document
  • What to do if you are handing over to yourself!

Project closure done badly means you are supporting the project forever and a day. If you should be picking up new projects, you need to make sure this project is completely closed off and everyone is comfortable that your work (and the work of your team) stops.

Involve operational teams early so they know what is coming their way.

Plan with the end in mind so you’re creating documents and other information that can be handed over.

Write a project closure document that formally signs off the work as complete.

 

Action Steps

  • Plan adequate time in your project schedule now so that you don’t rush closure.
  • Think about the teams you will be handing over to. Are they adequately involved already? If not, how are you going to bring them on board?
  • Draft your project closure template (yes, you can do that now). Look at what areas you don’t currently have answers for and work out how you are going to get the answers.

 

Next month: Part 6: Lessons Learned