The Importance of Performing Close Out Activities Before Closing the Project and the Business Risks Associated with Skipping These Activities

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The importance of performing close out activities before closing the project and the business risks associated with skipping these activities

John Constance
MSc in Project Management, University of Liverpool
Week 5 Discussion Question

Most projects are initiated, planned, executed and monitored and controlled with the full cognizant of executives and clients. However, once the project has been considered an overall success, a part from preparing and conducting opening event with ribbon cutting and extensive speeches, little attention is paid to formal close out documentation. This often leads to incomplete information for use by facility operations and maintenance team or the next project team to implement a similar project. According to Ed Naughton, Director General, Institute of Project Management Ireland (, 2011) “without a project close out plan it will is difficult to know if the project was completed as planned, and how this information can assist the team in the next project as there will be no information on lessons learned therefore providing no assurance that past mistakes will not be repeated in another future project”. Introduction

In my nine years of project management I have learned that to start a project is difficult; but to close a project is both difficult and at times seemingly impossible. In order to close a project smoothly without undergoing stress even at celebration ceremonies, it is very important a plan is initiated during the planning phase. The key activities, processes and procedures, and acceptance conditions and documentation must be agreed and documented and this plan tracked and updated during execution and executed during closure, meeting not only the project team expectation but also the acceptance of the client. If this does not happen the project runs the risk of not being completed on schedule, within budget and targeted quality, also making future operations and...
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