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Session 10

Project Closure &


Learning Objectives
Explain the importance of developing and following
good procedures for closing projects.
Understand how the project evaluation works.

Project Closure
Since, by definition, projects always have an end,
termination is an important part of the project
management process.

Varieties of Project Closure

A project closes when activity slows to the point
where no meaningful work is taking place. This may
be because resources have been redeployed, the
project is indefinitely delayed, or the work is done.
There are four different ways a project can terminate:

4 Ways of Terminating a Project

Extinction The project stops or is stopped.
The halt may be because the project successfully
completes its tasks or because senior management
loses interest and stops further work.
While work on the substance of the project can be
halted suddenly, there still will be tasks to
complete to put the project to its final rest. (A
subset of this is Termination by Murder. This is
termination suddenly and without warning, usually
for a cause not related to the projects purpose.)

4 Ways of Terminating a Project (Cont.)

Addition The project stops, but its work and often
its people are transformed into a new part of the
organization. This new organization then becomes
part of the day-to-day operation of the organization,
with all its attendant policies, procedures and rules.
Integration The project stops, but its work is
integrated into ongoing processes or products within
the organization. This is most common for an internal
process improvement project, where the results
contribute to the improvement of day-to-day

4 Ways of Terminating a Project (Cont.)

Starvation The project winds down to nothing
because resources are taken away. Often the
resources are cut incrementally because a project has
lost favor, but for political reasons, the project is not
overtly murdered.

When to Terminate a Project

The decision to terminate a project early, by whatever
method, is difficult
Questions that could be used to determine if a project
should be terminated:
Is the project still consistent with organizational
Has the project lost its key person or champion?
Can the results be purchased more efficiently from
outside the company?

The Termination Process

The process has two elements:
The decision to terminate
The implementation of the termination

Decision Process
The Decision Process There are two types of
decision models that can be used to aid the decision
those that measure against standard success factors
those that measure against the projects specific
In either case, the bottom line decision, at any point
in the projects life cycle, comes down to whether the
organization is willing to invest the time and
resources necessary to complete the project.

Termination Process
The termination process, whether large or small, can
be summarized in the following nine tasks:
1. Ensure completion of the projects work.
2. Notify the client of project completion.
3. Ensure that documentation is complete.
4. Ensure that the final invoice is sent to the client.
5. Redistribute project resources.

Termination Process (Cont.)

1. Clear the project with legal counsel.
2. Determine what records to keep and arrange for
appropriate storage.
3. Determine any long-term product support
4. Oversee the closing of the projects books.

Final Report
Future projects will benefit from a well-written
history of completed ones.
The goal of the report is to discuss process
improvements that will benefit future projects.

Elements of Final Report

The final report should include descriptions and
analysis of the following:
Project Performance
Administrative Performance
Organizational Structure
Project and Administrative Teams
Techniques of Project Management

Project Auditing
Project auditing: a formal inquiry into any aspect of
the project chosen by management.
The audit process is a thorough examination of the
management of the project and includes a formal
Studying the project also fulfills the spirit of TQM in
that it produces a set of recommendations that can be
applied to future projects.

Purpose of Evaluation
One major element typically evaluated in an audit is
the projects success.
Success often has four dimensions with regards to a
Efficiency a measure of the projects success at
meeting cost and schedule goals.
Customer impact/satisfaction a measure of how
well the project met the customers needs.

Purpose of Evaluation
Business/direct success a measure of the
commercial success of the project. For projects
that create a product, this might be a measure of its
market share. For internal projects, this could be
measures of process improvements or quality.
Future potential a measure of how well the
project developed new technology or opened a new

Auditing Ancillary Project Goals

In addition to the obvious goals identified in the
project Statement of Work, typically there are many
ancillary goals. Eg: training future project managers
Discovering, let alone evaluating, the projects
ancillary goals can be difficult for several reasons:
It is difficult (impossible?) to measure performance
against an unknown goal.

Auditing Ancillary Project Goals (Cont.)

The ancillary goals may be unique and personal to
the projects cast of players. They may be
reluctant to reveal them because they may not
directly relate to the objectives of the organization.
The project team may not trust the
auditor/evaluator enough to reveal the ancillary
The priorities team members place on the ancillary
goals may be very different and keeping them
hidden allows the team to avoid conflict.