Closing Your First Project
By now you should be feeling pretty good; you and your team have successfully released the project deliverables and the project is practically over. All that remains to do is the closure activities, so hang on for a few more checklist items, which once completed, will allow you to pull an Elvis . . . and leave the building! There’s actually not much work to be done during Closing, but the work there is needs to be done in a timely manner. To properly close the project, you and your team need to review the team’s performance and identify areas of improvement for future projects. You will do that by facilitating a project retrospective. You also need to ensure that your team cleans house by disposing of leftover material, publishing any collateral that may still be outstanding, and making sure that all of the project work is appropriately archived. As part of closing down the project, you will also need to create a project summary and review it with your key stakeholders to ensure that each one agrees that all of the committed project work is complete. Finally, you need to take care of your team by formally recognizing their accomplishments and celebrating the successful release. Note that unlike the other project lifecycle phases, much of the closing work is done simultaneously and is quick to complete. Depending on how complicated your project is, you should expect to spend 1 to 2 weeks closing out the project. Getting this work done before the team is fully involved in another project is the hardest challenge for this phase of the project, so you will need to execute the Closing work as quickly as possible. Let’s break down what you need to do.