By Ramiro Rodrigues
A great deal of effort is often put into a project kick-off meeting—so why isn’t that visibility just as important on the other end of the project?
What is a project closing party?
A project closing party is an event that intends to provide visibility and recognition to the main professionals involved in a completed project. Obviously, there is no sense in celebrating a project that got aborted or that didn’t reach its main goals and targets. So, we are talking about those projects that managed to get to end with the best combination of its intended results.
Within this proposal, it is reasonable to say that what will drive the size of the closing event will be the size (and budget) of the specific project, since it is necessary to achieve coherence between these variables.
What are the benefits?
I see two arguments for hosting these events at the end of a project—one strategic and one motivational.
On the strategic side, a closing party brings visibility to the executing organization (and, if applicable, the hiring organization) that the project has reached its predicted goals. It will help to reinforce to those at the strategic level of the organization that the team is capable and reliable.
From a motivational standpoint, these events will help recognize the efforts of the project team.
How should they be executed?
If you think a closing event could benefit your project efforts, here are some tips to abide by:
- Forecast the closing event in your project planning. It will allow you to make the proper arrangements of budget, time and resources.
- Manage expectations: Don’t hide the event, but also don’t overestimate what is forecasted in the plan.
- Honor the forecast: You can’t skimp on the event if it’s forecasted from the beginning—it will only leave a negative impression on the people involved.
- Gather people and acknowledge the merit: Just like in the kick off meeting, you should identify and invite the right stakeholders to witness the recognition of that specific team who performed great work.
Done well, events like a project closing party can have positive repercussions on your next projects.
Do you regularly host or attend closing events at the end of your projects? I’d love to hear your thoughts!