The successful completion of a project is certainly good reason to celebrate. This means that you have reached the project goal. You have implemented something new; a business, a process, a product or a service. Or you have improved an existing business, process, product or service. This has increased the social impact on society.
However, not all projects are successful (see the additional reading and look at the section on ‘Know When to Say When’), nevertheless a project by its very nature, has a beginning and an end, and must be closed off and thus finished. The module so far clearly suggests the likelihood of success is increased through implementation of a proactive and structured approach. For instance, in the previous Project Management module sessions, we have introduced the need for identifying the purpose of the project and presenting in a project brief document an outline that clearly communicates the end in mind. Secondly, the module presented that adequate project scheduling should be provided in the next phase of the project and tasks implemented through adopting the PDCA cycle. Albeit, PDCA being an iterative process, it still must end somewhere and the project must therefore come to an end.
Whether successful or not, there are going to be many lessons learned from the project and there are going to be some things that have been positive and added value and thus created a positive social impact. Presenting the best practices to peers is a way of helping the project team move on and is a method for other project teams and your next project to learn from previous successes and mistakes.
The desired output of a good project close out is to produce a clear and shared understanding of the achievements of project activities and a review of the project outcomes.