How Project Managers close projects
One of the strongest features of PRINCE2 methodology is that it drives projects through a definitive beginning, middle and close with management by stages. Project closing brings all previous work to a conclusion, enabling stakeholders to accept the project as closed, and defined or modified objectives to have been met.
Without project closure, success cannot be measured, lessons cannot be learned, and project work could continue needlessly. Here are seven of the most common questions asked about closing a project in PRINCE2.
1. Why is project closing so important?
Closing a project in a predefined way enables the customer and users to verify their acceptance of the project’s products, and to review performance, learn lessons, and deal with any outstanding risks or other issues.
2. When is project closing planned?
PRINCE2 is a framework under which the project is managed by stages, and the Project Manager will extensively plan these stages before the project starts. Closure of the project should be planned as part of the stage plan for the ultimate management stage.
3. What must be done to close a project in PRINCE2?
In order to close a project, the Project Manager will need to prepare closure, prepare a pre-close, conduct a products handover, conduct project evaluation, and recommend closure.
4. What specific work does the Project Manager undertake to close a project?
The Project Manager must ensure that the product’s expected outcomes are delivered. In this regard, the Project Manager should update the project plan in the final stage, confirm that acceptance criteria have been met, and record products to be delivered and delivery dates.
Handover can be phased or done in a single operation, but the Project Manager will:
- Prepare follow-on actions
- Check that expected benefits are met
- Recommend post-project reviews to measure post-project benefits
5. What must be considered during the handover process?
The list of factors that a Project Manager must consider during handover is long, but two of the most important is to get legal sign-off if it is required or sign-off from suppliers and other stakeholders.
6. How is a project’s success evaluated?
Evaluation of a PRINCE2 project includes referring actual products delivered against those originally intended, reviewing approved changes, and completing an end project report to review performance of the project teams, team managers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
In this way, the Project Manager can review lessons learned, gain better understanding of what went well and what didn’t, and take these lessons forward to subsequent projects to help avoid failure and improve success going forward.
7. How is project closure recommended?
The Project Manager will confirm if the project can be closed, with the recommendation for closing presented to the project board. The Project Manager will need to inform other stakeholders that the project is closing, and ensure that all logs, registers and records are complete.
To discover how focused project management using PRINCE2 methodology can help your project be successful, contact Your Project Manager: