Closing Out a Project
This article explores considerations when closing out a project.
When the project results have been delivered, there are a number of functions to perform for project closeout, some involving ResourceFirst and some involving manual steps.
Items to consider are:
Clear future labor values – Go to the Assignments tab on the Project Workspace and clear all future labor values.
Deactivate labor assignments – Change the Active flag on all the project’s assignments to Inactive (i.e., uncheck the Active flag). If you don’t deactivate the resource assignments, then even if the project gets deactivated the team members will still see the project assignments listed on their personal dashboard.
Clear future financial assignments – Go to the Financials tab on the Project Workspace and clear all future financial values.
Changing the Project State to Completed – Project States are configured in Administration > Lists > Project States.
Most organizations will have states such as: Proposed, Approved, Active, On-Hold, Canceled, Completed, Closed. A best practice is to set the project to “Complete” when the project results have been delivered, but not mark it “Closed” until some predefined time period for benefits follow-up has passed, if applicable. See Administering Lists for more on the Project State list.
Recording lessons learned – It is a best practice to capture lessons learned. This is ideally done at each stage gate of the project while lessons are fresh in everyone’s memory, and finalized at the end of the project.
Lessons can be captured in a document or spreadsheet, but is best captured in an online format that is searchable and can be shared for review at the beginning of other projects. Otherwise, it is simply lessons recorded, not lessons learned. If captured on a document or spreadsheet, the file can be uploaded to the project by going to the Project Workspace to the Documents tab. See Project Documents for more.
Measuring customer satisfaction – It is a best practice to assess customer satisfaction at the end of a project. Additionally, quick customer satisfaction assessments can be done at each stage gate to allow time for course-correction if needed.
Customer satisfaction can be capture via a survey tool or via a document. Satisfaction results are best stored in a system where they can be analyzed in terms of trends and summarized scores by topic. If captured on a document or spreadsheet, the file can be uploaded to the project by going to the Project Workspace to the Documents tab. See Project Documents for more.
Closing out Events (e.g., Risks and Issues) – Go to the Events tab on the Project Workspace and be sure to close out any open issues, risks, or other event items.
Locking assignments and actuals – Go to Projects > Data and for the project in question, check the Lock Actual and Lock Forecast checkboxes. For more, see Adding and Editing Projects in the Lock Data for Projects section.
Formally transitioning the delivered product or service to support or operations (as applicable) – It is a best practice to formally transition the product or service to the organization responsible for its ongoing upkeep (e.g., support, operations, etc.) before considering the project complete. This may involve a signoff, or may be as simple as a checklist that all closure items have been done and notifying the project sponsor and stakeholders.
Changing the Project State to “Closed” – As mentioned above, some organizations leave the project in “Completed” state for a predefined time period (generally two weeks to 30 days) while benefits can be tracked and assessed by the product owner. Once the results are captured (which can be uploaded to the Project Workspace documents), the Project State can be set to “Closed.”
Making the project inactive – We recommend making closed projects inactive instead of deleting them. Deleting a project removes all status history and related data such as Assignments with their Actuals and Baselines.
To make the project inactive, go to Projects > Data and for the project in question, uncheck the Active field. If the field is not visible on the Project Data page, use the Edit Views dialog to add them to an existing view or to create a new custom view that includes them. See User Defined Views for more.
If you do wish to delete a project and lose its history, see Deleting Projects.