Project closure procedure
How can have a project closure procedure improve future projects and benefit the organizations involved?
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According to Brown and Hyer (2010), the project closure procedure is important for handing deliverables to the customer. It enables the consumer to provide inputs and to point out weak areas that need to be improved on before the final project is fully accepted by the owner. A successfully completed project provides the desired deliverables to the customer and enables project participants to build detailed portfolios about their contributions to the project (Brown & Hyer, 2010). The project closure procedure benefits the organization at the learning stage, known as the learning curve phenomenon, which is a critical element that is assumed by many project managers (Heerkens, 2002). According to Brown and Hyer (2010), the phase is critical because organizations gain experience to improve quality, productivity, and production, which leads to accumulated project experience. Brown and Hyer (2010) assert that the procedure enables a manager to create a project management checklists for proofing mistakes that occur in the project by identifying what went wrong, why, and passing the experience to others to learn from. The learning process consists of maintaining up-to-date and accurate details and end of phase reviews to enable the project team to learn what happened and determine the best approach for solving problems that occur at any point in the project lifecycle and to enable future project-to-project learning to be effective (Heerkens, 2002).
Think back to a project with which you have been involved. What monitoring tools have you used? Were they appropriate for the project? Explain your answer.
The first project monitoring tool we used was the Critical Path Analysis (CPA) (Brown & Hyer, 2010). The CPA was appropriate because it provided a logical and effective method for planning different project tasks and sub-tasks. The CPA enabled us to show each project planning and development phase in a flow chart with project activities connected in a linear flow diagram. According to Lewis (2007), CPA was appropriate because it clearly illustrated each phase in the project lifecycle and the interdependencies between tasks (Brown & Hyer, 2010). The tool enabled us to schedule each activity according to the available time scale and budget. The second tool we used was the Gantt chart. The Gantt chart was used for budgeting and scheduling project tasks and sub-tasks. According to Westland (2006), the chart proved valuable for communicating project progress and plans quickly and easily. The Gantt chart enabled us to develop a detailed project plan with realistically set time frames for high-level tasks and helped us to keep track of the tasks in the project schedule. The Gantt chart enabled us to establish review points, determine the required deliverables, and milestones, enabling the project manager to avoid oversights (Westland, 2006).
Dimensions of Project Closure
What are the dimensions of project closure? Do you feel any of these factors play a bigger role in an enclosure? Explain your answer.
According to Levine (2002), the first dimension of project closure is project analysis which enables the project manager, the team, and the organization to acquire knowledge on the best methods for continuous project improvement. The second dimension is the procurement audit and record management which is used to inform the project manager on the procurement challenges. That information should be easily archived and retrieved. According to Richman (2000), the next dimension is contract closure which involves internal and external closeout, administrative closeout, and handing over of the project to the owners. Project analysis is another dimension that involves analyzing the tasks and activities done including collecting details of each activity, the resources consumed by each activity, mistakes done in the project, and the best approach to avoid repeating such mistakes (Kerzner, 2009). According to Kerzner (2009), the last dimension is important for the project manager to create updates for organizational process assets, identify administratively and contract closure procedures, develop a customer acceptance form, create a lesson learned report, and make a strong project transition document (Brown & Hyer, 2010). The above dimensions are critical learning points and dimensions for users of the project, the customers, and the owner (Kerzner, 2009).
Importance of Project Closure
Why is it important to have a project closure plan? What impact does this have on a project?
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According to Brown and Hyer (2010), the project closure plan is important because it enables the management and the project steering committee to make a formal declaration of closing the project. It provides a formal confirmation that the project has ended according to the project objectives and the need for follow-up work to be done on the project. The plan provides the top-level management and stakeholders the framework for reviewing project outputs, outstanding issues, recommendations, and tasks that were undertaken to close the project (Brown & Hyer, 2010). It provides the basis for informing future projects so that the success or failure of the current project could serve as learning points for future projects. It enables the project manager and stakeholders to perform closeouts, which include administrative closeout and post-implementation reviews (Lewis, 2006). That is in addition to creating a list of roles for the customer, project sponsor, and project manager. The feedback from users and other stakeholders enable the project manager and stakeholders to write a project assessment report and a post-implementation review. The project closure enables the project manager to update the skills inventory and to provide effective performance reviews (Brown & Hyer, 2010).
Brown, K. A., & Hyer, N. L. (2010). Managing projects: A team-based approach. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Heerkens, G. (2002). Project Management. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Kerzner, H. (2009). Project Management: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling. New York: Wiley & Sons.
Levine, H. A. (2002). Practical Project Management: Tips, Tactics, and Tools. New York: McGraw-Hill
Lewis, J. (2006). The Project Manager’s Desk Reference. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Lewis, J. P. (2007). Fundamentals of Project Management. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Richman, L. (2000). Improving Your Project Management Skills. New York: Wiley & Sons.
Westland, J. (2006). The Project Management Life Cycle: A Complete Step-By-Step Methodology for initiating, planning, executing & closing a project successfully. New York: Wiley & Sons.