Project Closure: Party or Post-Mortem?

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

The end of a successful project is a busy time. The organization is often preparing for an operational phase. Resources that were dedicated to project work are now looking toward their next project--or possibly even looking for a job. On top of all that, there are all of the last-minute problems and issues that have to be corrected immediately (or sooner) so the project can finish.

On the other hand, if the project is not successful there will be resources jumping off the project and a great deal of work to be done in cleaning up the mess. Management will also be busy planning what needs to be done next from an organizational standpoint since the project did not finish as expected. All of these activities are distractions that can deter a project manager from performing the correct steps to close out a project.

Closing out a project, however, is one of the vital parts of project management. It does not just benefit the finished project, but it also benefits the organization and the resources that worked on the project. The organization receives information that will help it do a better job executing similar projects in the future. The resources gain more knowledge and experience not just from working on the project, but by being able to reflect upon and define what was done on the project. Through this process, they will gain a better understanding of lessons learned…

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