Chapter 5 – Project Life Cycle, Scope, Charters, Proposals

5.6. Project Closure

Phase 4: Closing Processes

At the end of our project, or the entire project, we must get final approval from the customer, archive our records from the project, compile the lessons learned, and pay any outstanding bills. These and several other activities make up the closing processes. Closing processes include:

  • Paying bills
  • Releasing team members
  • Closing accounts
  • Shutting down facilities
  • Writing final reports
  • Seek approval from the customer
  • Prepare an audit on the success of the project through retrospectives (lessons learned)
  • Evaluation of team performance and Project Manager’s management of the project

There are many tasks involved in closing out a project. The responsibility of closure lies with the Project Manager and the team. HR can be involved with the team with specific activities.

Human Resources and Closure of Projects

Human Resources may assist with several elements of the closure of projects. Through Lessons Learned and Performance Evaluations, the wisdom from the project is transferred back to the organization to help improve future projects.

Lessons Learned

Retrospectives are lessons learned on projects. Human Resources would work with the team (as an outside facilitator). They would act as a guide to lead the team through a workshop and process to identify what went well in the project, what they could have improved upon, and what type of follow-up action plan they could develop with goals and accountability. Human Resources, to perform this activity, needs to remain unbiased.

The Human Resources Specialist would design a workshop or purchase one that uses questionnaires. It focuses on the operation of the project and how the culture of the organization impacted the results.  The team members also review mistakes made and failures within the project. This is important information for future projects. A review of successes is also documented. Each team member and the Project Manager participate equally, with no judgment. Each item addressed could be assigned to a team member who witnessed the success or failure and expands on the success or failure. This person may serve as a contact person for future projects as a consultant.

The person may also communicate the report to other employees in the organization. These Lessons Learned would be documented by the HR Specialist, distributed to the appropriate stakeholders, and archived for future use. These archived documents will serve as tools for future team members to avoid the mistakes made and how successes were achieved. Retrospectives were almost non-existent until recently. They are becoming more important in organizations, therefore, involving Human Resources more in project management.