PMbasics: Project completion

Project completion is more than the last milestone in the life cycle of the project. Project completion is a process that has its deliverables and the goal of this process is  to fully finish and conclude the project. Each process in the project ends with some documents and process of closing the project has two important documents which prove that the project is completed: 1) The final report of the project and 2) Lessons learned. The final report should include a comparison of planned and actual results (money, time limit, quality …) and display only information and topics related to the project. Lessons learned should provide information on what has been learned in this project and it can be done in a way that all relevant participants of the project team specify things they learned, problems they encountered and way to solve such problems.

It is important to communicate with all project stakeholders that the project is entering its final stage and timely, in collaboration with them, conclude all outstanding issues. After all the activities is completed and all issues have been resolved, it is necessary to disband the team and ensure that the project data is systematically documented and available for review.

Here is an example. 🙂

The process of project completion is necessary to do systematic and of high quality, which means that it is necessary to plan this process. Planning the project completion activities can be done in the following way:

  • Project objectives should be clearly and precisely defined and it is necessary to define the specifications and measures for these objectives
  • Make a list of activities that we have to make in the process of closing, for example. complete all project deliverables, complete all unfinished activities, conclude all agreements in the project
  • include these activities in the project plan (in the WBS) – the project plan should define these activities and indicate when it will be accomplished and how.

It is important that all project completion activities are actually made, and they need to be formalized in the form of documents that we mentioned in the introductory text. To create a final report, it is necessary to collect all relevant information, in cooperation with team revise project finance and ultimately archive all this information in one place. During gathering and documenting lessons learned, it is useful to prepare a questionnaire with questions about the things learned in the project, the problems that have arisen and many other things. These questionnaires should be distributed to project stakeholders and based on their feedback lessons learned should be stated.

What must not be neglected is a celebration of the completion of the project with the project team because successful project is crown of the joint work of the project team.