22.1 PRINCE2 guidance on Closing a Project
The purpose of the Closing a Project process (see Figure 22.1) is to provide a fixed point at which acceptance for the project product is confirmed, and to recognize that objectives set out in the original project initiation documentation have been achieved (or approved changes to the objectives have been achieved), or that the project has nothing more to contribute.
One of the defining features of a PRINCE2 project is that it is finite – it has a start and an end. If the project loses this distinctiveness, it loses some of its advantages over purely operational management approaches.
A clear end to a project:
- Is always more successful than a slow drift into use as it is a recognition by all concerned that:
- The original objectives have been met (subject to any approved changes)
- The current project has run its course
- Either the operational regime must now take over the products from this project, or the products become inputs into some subsequent project or into some larger programme
- The project management team can be disbanded
- Project costs should no longer be incurred
- Provides an opportunity to ensure that all unachieved goals and objectives are identified so that they can be addressed in the future
- Transfers ownership of the products to the customer and terminates the responsibility of the project management team.
Closure activities should be planned as part of the stage plan for the final management stage. When Closing a Project, work is required to prepare input to the project board in order to obtain its authorization to close the project. Subsequently, the executive should also notify corporate or programme management that the project has closed.
It is also possible that the project board may wish to trigger a premature closure of the project under some circumstances (for example, if the business case is no longer valid). If the project is being brought to a premature close, this process will still need to be executed but may have to be tailored to the actual project situation.
A number of actions specific to the project’s products may be required after the project, and these should be documented and planned for as follow-on action recommendations. These may have different audiences and therefore may need to be issued individually. The needs of the recipient will determine the format and content – some may want a formal report, some a log entry on a system, and others a meeting.