Project Management

Closing—The Forgotten Activity

"Failure is not fatal. But failure to change might be."
—John Wooden

Across the project management profession, there is a vast body of materials to help us execute and plan and track our projects. But there is one activity that is often overlooked: project closing. In this article, we hope to focus a little attention on this forgotten activity and remind ourselves of the value that might be gained in those final days of our projects.

Breaking large activities into different phases is a management technique as old as the pyramids. It is natural for the human mind to see different phases in any challenge, and over many years of refining project management techniques, we arrive at the five Process Groups of PMI’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide): Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, Closing.

Each of these Process Groups carries its own challenges and risks, and throughout our projects, a lot of effort and consideration goes into how we might perform them better. Much is written about how projects can be planned better, and software tools are constantly being developed and improved to enhance Monitoring and Controlling. But I believe there is one activity that is overdue for some consideration. It is often overlooked, usually rushed, seldom done well, and yet it has a …

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