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Closure Phase: Managing Product Delivery and Closing a Project

 

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Any project is finite so it has a start and an end. Closure is the last, forth phase of the PRINCE2 project lifecycle to provide an understanding of how to finalize and close a PRINCE2-driven project. Its purpose is to prove that original objectives have been met, the implementation process has run its course, and operational management should now be taken over to some subsequent or parallel projects or become inputs for a large programme. The phase also provides an opportunity to ensure that all unmet objectives and unresolved issues are identified and investigated and so that can be addressed by future project initiatives.

The Closure phase includes two high-level processes, such as:

  • Managing Product Delivery (MP)
  • Closing a Project (CP)

All the processes can be divided into a range of manageable tasks that can be planned with help of VIP Task Manager. When you need to finalize your PRINCE2 project you can use this software that lets create to-do lists, share tasks and documents with multiple users, generate reports, estimate project costs, and send completed tasks to Archive. Below we will briefly review the processes within the Closure phase and describe how VIP Task Manager can be helpful.

Managing Product Delivery

This high-level process starts in the Implementation phase and continues to the Closure phase until the project is regarded as completed by the Project Board. During the Closure phase the MP process is undertaken under supervision of the Project Manager. The process ensures that the product is produced according to initial requirements and delivered to the customer who accepts or rejects it. In this context, the MP process includes two sub-processes, such as:

  • Assessing: ensuring that the completed product meets quality criteria
  • Approving: getting approval for the completed product.

The Assessing sub-process assumes that the Product Requirements Document and the Business Case are used to compare actual results (the product) of your PRINCE2 project against original expectations stated by the documents. The assessment is made by the Project Manager who verifies success of failure of the project and gets the product prepared for handover to the customer. When the product is handed over, the customer should investigate it and then send a formal confirmation of acceptance (or rejection) to the Board. Such a confirmation will be managed within the Approving sub-process. Once the confirmation of acceptance is received the Board can make a decision on starting the closing procedure.

Closing a Project

Although the CP process does not constitute a separate stage so it is not linked directly to such high-level processes as Managing Stage Boundaries and Controlling a Stage, it becomes important to successful delivery of your PRINCE2 project. The process is undertaken to prove that the product is successfully developed and handed over to the customer so there is no more need to continue project activities.

The lion's share of the work done during the process is to prepare information on the project and status of its product and present it to the Board for getting authorization that the project can be formally finished and terminated. In order to prepare such information the Manager needs to undertake the following three sub-processes:

  • Decommissioning
  • Identifying further course of action
  • Evaluating

In general, decommissioning a project means recognizing that the project comes close to its end. This sub-process involves the Manager in communicating with the customer and suppliers to come to a common understanding that the project has been completed. Other stakeholders should be notified of the completion, hence they can expect for the return of invested resources in the form of some benefit. The sub-process requires making appropriate records that are used further in post-project estimations and evaluations.

The second sub-process is to investigate current state of the project to define if there are some unresolved issues and then identify follow-on actions necessary for addressing those issues in further projects. The Issue Log with its updates and corrections made during the Implementation phase will be the input for the sub-process. The Project Board needs to review the Issue Log, define status per issue and develop an action plan and recommendations for resolving.

The third sub-process, Evaluating, is to conduct an internal evaluation of the project to find out how satisfactory or unsatisfactory it has been. Note that Evaluating is not about assessing success or failure of the end product; itís only about the project. The purpose is to make updates to the Project Plan with actual dates of termination, assess obtained results against original intentions, evaluate quality of management and indentify lessons to be learned from the project. The sub-process generates two reports: End Project report and Lessons Learned report.

Using VIP Task Manager

With help of VIP Task Manager it is possible to plan the processes by using manageable tasks and groups. For example, in Task Tree view of the software you can create hierarchical to-do lists representing the CP process as groups of simple tasks, assign resources to one or multiple tasks, set priorities per task, and track overall progress of the project. The software lets generate HTML, Excel and graph reports. Below you can see an example of tasks that can be planned for finalizing your PRINCE2 project and managing the processes.

Closure Phase

  • Managing Product Delivery
    • Assessing
      • Conduct a comparison analysis between actual results against original expectations
      • Confirm that initial requirements to the product have been met
      • Approve the product meets quality criteria
      • Prepare the product for handover
    • Approving
      • Verify successful completion of the project
      • Confirm that objectives of the Business Case are met
      • Start the closure procedure
  • Closing a Project
    • Decommissioning
      • Handover the product to the customer
      • Receive a confirmation of the productís acceptance
      • Confirm that acceptance criteria have been met (unmet)
      • Notify stakeholders of the project closure
    • Identifying further course of action
      • Make a list of unsolved issues using the Risk Log
      • Send the list to the Project Board
      • Generate follow-on action recommendations
      • Recommend a end date of the project
      • Make a schedule of post-project reviews
    • Evaluating
      • Form a group of internal experts for evaluating the project
      • Add project end date to the Project plan
      • Assess quality of management
      • Generate project end report
      • Generate lessons learn report
      • Submit the reports to the Project Board.

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