The following article is part of the self-preparation for the modern BVOP® Project Management Certification program.
Closing projects is a classic, standard, and needed phase in the project management area that usually includes major activities like:
- Assurance that all the work has been completed.
- Assurance that all agreements are met.
- Agreements between each involved and interested parties that the project is completed.
- Reviewing contracts.
- Validating the completion of the defined goals, objectives, and benefits defined at initial project phases.
- Maintaining lessons learned.
- Dismissing internal or external resources and involved parties.
- Delivering the project outcomes to internal or external customers or other operational teams.
Some of the activities are formal, administrative, or legal, and can’t usually be skipped when different parties are involved in a project.
BVOP suggests additional activities that provide more business value for all project participants. Such activities may include:
- Sharing and discussing lessons learned
- Creating plans for improvements
- Actual improvement
Sharing and discussing lessons learned
Learned lessons usually relate to collecting information about the well carried out aspects of the project, and the dissatisfactory outcomes with suggestions for their future improvement.
Lessons learned in real-world situations are often ignored or barely noted. If they are prepared carefully in detail and contain useful information, they may be a very valuable resource for organizations and teams involved in the projects.
Creating plans for improvements
Based on information from the lessons learned, organizational offices, departments, and teams discuss and plan improvements of practices and processes, steps for their implementation, and the eventually needed resources.
The improvement plans for the lessons learned are shared with other offices and get scheduled for execution.
Executing may include training, skills improvement, environmental improvements, or acquiring tools.
The following issues related to chapter "Closing projects" are included in the certification exam. The sequence of questions is presented in the table.
The data is current as of May 27, 2023, 1:42 am
|0||Actual improvement||60 sec||PM, PDM|
|1||Creating plans for improvements||60 sec||PM, PDM|
|2||Sharing and discussing lessons learned||60 sec||PM, PDM|
Comments from the BVOP™ community on “Closing projects”
The administrative part of the closure of the projects is standard and classical. You can not finish a project without arranging questions about contracts, quality and the actual state of the project. This is standard practice, especially when working with external clients.
The new approach that BVOP teaches us is to pay attention to our internal processes in the organization and the teams. Most companies close project after project without analyzing their work and the problems they have undergone. In this way, companies do not develop and learn from their mistakes or their victories.
Sharing experience with all teams and participants in the project brings business value to your organization. When you analyze your problems, you can avoid them in the future. I strongly support this practice that BVOP offers in the process of closing projects. Do not miss these opportunities for development and prosperity.
Closing a project is a necessary phase in project management. It involves activities such as reviewing contracts, ensuring the completion of goals and objectives, and delivering outcomes to customers. Some activities are formal or legal and cannot be skipped. BVOP recommends additional activities like sharing lessons learned and creating plans for improvements to provide more business value.
Lessons learned are important for improving future projects. However, they are often overlooked or not detailed enough. If prepared carefully, they can be a valuable resource for organizations. Based on the lessons learned, improvements can be planned and executed, which may include training or acquiring new tools.
Closing a project involves addressing questions about contracts, quality, and the project's actual state. This is standard practice, especially with external clients. However, BVOP teaches us to pay attention to our internal processes and teams. Many companies close projects without analyzing their work and problems, hindering development and learning. Sharing experiences with all teams and participants brings business value and helps avoid future problems. BVOP's approach to closing projects is valuable for development and prosperity.
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I want to draw attention to the lessons learned practice, which is often overlooked today.
Lessons learned are commonly used in projects of any scale and complexity. Documenting valuable experience gained in projects creates a knowledge base for future similar projects. They also store data on variances in schedule, scope, cost management and project risk. Also, the analysis of these deviations helps to implement corrective and preventive actions.
By applying lessons learned, we can reduce project duration and improve cost estimates and risk mitigation planning. This process, if properly implemented, allows organizations to apply knowledge from previous projects to new initiatives. Business profitability is improving. This therefore leads to significant cost and time savings.
Although its importance in project management is obvious, project teams sometimes fail to implement this important practice. The project manager should review previous knowledge and apply it at the beginning of a new project or phase. However, some experienced project managers and team members avoid documenting important project lessons. The profitability of future projects suffers from the lack of such a knowledge base.
As a result, organizations suffer because they cannot learn from their past mistakes. In some projects, the documentation of such events and knowledge is mandatory, but on the other hand they do not have a well-defined process or cannot apply the documented knowledge in new projects.
Training on specific project management practices is important for improving business processes and best practices. It is also good practice to document knowledge while closing a project or even a phase.
Basically, the process of learning project management lessons allows organizations to create a culture of knowledge sharing.