CRM Closing

Brad Egeland is an IT/project management consultant and author with over 25 years of software development, management and project management experience leading initiatives in manufacturing, government contracting, gaming and hospitality, retail operations, aviation and airline, pharmaceutical, start-ups, healthcare, higher education, not-for-profit, high-tech, engineering and general IT.

What you are trying to ensure at the end of the project is really two things: the customer has what they want and you have what you want. The customer wants a workable solution for the agreed-upon price. You want the system delivered and you want the customer to pay for it. The last thing you want at the end of a long project engagement is outstanding bills with disputes lingering over quality, delivery, content or functionality.

I’m interested in hearing everyone’s take here. For me, I’ve narrowed the list of key closeout steps--basically an informal checklist--to five major items. Of course each of these has subtasks when you look at them on the overall project schedule. But each of these items--in some form or another--needs to be on that project schedule near, during or after deployment (depending on the activity).

Verify all deliverable signoffs
You produced all deliverables in a timely fashion, reviewed them with your team and handed them off to the customer. You should be doing this throughout the engagement with each deliverable--but now is the time to go back through those deliverables and make sure that you have proper customer approval and signoff on each one of them. If any remain that do not have documented signoff, get it as quickly as possible. You don’t want any loose ends out there after the project is delivered (just in …

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