Maximize Learning From Closure


Our blog series – “Master Project Management” covers some of the essentials of the art and science of project management. It talks about defining true needs, building a solid team, and performing a financial analysis. It addresses how you can find the right balance points between extremes like “managing everything vs. managing nothing” and “doing work yourself vs. letting the team do everything.” This series will help develop the foundation you need to become a high performing project manager.

Maximize Learning From Closure

You and your fellow team members have worked hard, likely for months on end. As the project comes to a close, there’s a loss or energy but yet a reluctance to disband—if the project has been a good experience! Team members may feel irritable about what may be perceived as the “administrivia” required to complete all documentation, get approvals, and so on.

On top of all those team issues, there are the managerial loose ends that you need to take care of personally, such as making sure official records have the final figures, submitting final invoices (and ensuring bills are paid), and closing out accounting codes (if applicable).

Even if your energy level is low, you can’t afford to let the project simply drift to an end. To close a project successfully, think about acting in the following ways:
Complete the project work: It is your responsibility to ensure that the output from your project is being used as designed and delivering on the business targets. Since the project output is something that will live on after the project, you need to make sure that someone has responsibility for following up on all unresolved issues or new problems that arise.

Ease team member transitions: Your visibility should be greater than at any time since the beginning of the project. You need to be super-organized, keep up-to-date lists of final “to-do’s,” and remind team members of their responsibility in helping to close out those items. Make sure that team members feel a sense of closure, that they don’t just drift away wondering what the final outcome was.

Coordinate customer relationships: Your project has a customer or customers—the people who are going to use or benefit from the project. Being somewhat formal in having the customers accept the results is a good way to not only maintain strong customer relationships but also acknowledge the team’s accomplishments.

WorkOtter helps you successfully execute your program process strategy for project success. Get a demo of WorkOtter and see how we can make your program management effective.

Next Step: Transfer Your “Lessons Learned”

“Project Management: 24 Lessons to Help You Master Any Project” by Gary R. Heerkens is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. ©2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. Purchase the book on Amazon.