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Topics: Earned Value Management
Actual End date in closeout report
For those who do formal project closeout reports - what do you consider ACTUAL END DATE of the project? Is it the date of the last deliverable? Is it the date when your Project Sponsor signed off on the closeout report? and if the latter - how do you reflect ACTUAL END DATE in the same closeout report? #projectmanagement #projectcontrols
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Dmitri -

Does a project ever really end :-) - some continue to shamble on like zombies in The Walking Dead!

This decision might be provided by your organization's method or framework as to what triggers denote official project end. To avoid the circular reference you are providing with regards to the closeout report, you should only present it for approval once it is confirmed that the sponsor is ready to sign off so it is more of a formality at that point. If so, then you can pre-determine the actual end date.

In some companies, we've tied it to the last permitted billing timeframe for staff against the project code. Since timesheets are often done weekly - tie it to the Friday of the final week.

As usual, it depends...

Kiron
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1 reply by Dmitri Kozlovski
Apr 07, 2020 1:05 PM
Dmitri Kozlovski
...
Kiron - I am in the process of making this decision for our organization's method or framework. :)
We do not (currently) have timesheets on any of our projects, so it is not easy to establish that option.
We have ran into situations when other "priorities take precedence" and sponsors took too long to sign off, so we established a 30 day window from when the report was submitted. If sponsor has not signed during these 30 days, we automatically consider projects approved and move them into administrative closeout. These 30 days are built into project schedules with an end date - thus one consideration was using that date as ACTUAL END DATE.
Or the last deliverable completion date and consider entire closeout phase to be outside of the project scope. I.e., we still have to do it, but are not reporting on it.
Dimitri

In our projects, the formal close out day, is the date we finalize and close all accounts for subcontractors and trades and submit our final summary report to the client.

RK
Apr 07, 2020 12:27 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Dmitri -

Does a project ever really end :-) - some continue to shamble on like zombies in The Walking Dead!

This decision might be provided by your organization's method or framework as to what triggers denote official project end. To avoid the circular reference you are providing with regards to the closeout report, you should only present it for approval once it is confirmed that the sponsor is ready to sign off so it is more of a formality at that point. If so, then you can pre-determine the actual end date.

In some companies, we've tied it to the last permitted billing timeframe for staff against the project code. Since timesheets are often done weekly - tie it to the Friday of the final week.

As usual, it depends...

Kiron
Kiron - I am in the process of making this decision for our organization's method or framework. :)
We do not (currently) have timesheets on any of our projects, so it is not easy to establish that option.
We have ran into situations when other "priorities take precedence" and sponsors took too long to sign off, so we established a 30 day window from when the report was submitted. If sponsor has not signed during these 30 days, we automatically consider projects approved and move them into administrative closeout. These 30 days are built into project schedules with an end date - thus one consideration was using that date as ACTUAL END DATE.
Or the last deliverable completion date and consider entire closeout phase to be outside of the project scope. I.e., we still have to do it, but are not reporting on it.
" If sponsor has not signed during these 30 days, we automatically consider projects approved and move them into administrative closeout." - I love this one.

I will ask: what's the purpose of your project closeout?
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1 reply by Dmitri Kozlovski
Apr 07, 2020 2:17 PM
Dmitri Kozlovski
...
To formally get the project of our books and free PM as a resource to go on to next project.

Do you have any other helpful suggestions as far as my inquiry?
Apr 07, 2020 2:09 PM
Replying to Andrew Soswa
...
" If sponsor has not signed during these 30 days, we automatically consider projects approved and move them into administrative closeout." - I love this one.

I will ask: what's the purpose of your project closeout?
To formally get the project of our books and free PM as a resource to go on to next project.

Do you have any other helpful suggestions as far as my inquiry?
...
1 reply by Andrew Soswa
Apr 07, 2020 2:35 PM
Andrew Soswa
...
To formally get the project of our books... implies the need of PMs not to be bothered with post-project cleanup, or need to close the financials (so that PM and the team do not bill to the project), etc, etc...
The answer depends on your org structure. If you run lean dept where PM fits BA, PM, QA, DBA, etc, etc roles depending on the project AND moreover, when PM is invloved and learn the product/service better than anyone else - then there is no escape for PM than to always be as SME for questions.
Unless, the PM is high-level, PMO-style, and manages by directing resources and without learning about developed product/service - then you can have a clear cut over and no one will ever both this PM again.
I love this because...
At the end of the project, when all the WIPs are completed and contracts with vendors closed, I have final meeting with major stakeholders, and then I send them email that says what you said:
'If you have any other questions, please let me know. Otherwise, I will close the project on x date and the support will move on operational phase."
People will look at you in a different light after you do this because sometime you have to tell it to CEO, CIO, VPs, Directors, and many vendors all at once - pressing your directing rights over the project.
But overall it's good b/c it shows strenghts and guts of the PM.
...because I frequently do the same.
Apr 07, 2020 2:17 PM
Replying to Dmitri Kozlovski
...
To formally get the project of our books and free PM as a resource to go on to next project.

Do you have any other helpful suggestions as far as my inquiry?
To formally get the project of our books... implies the need of PMs not to be bothered with post-project cleanup, or need to close the financials (so that PM and the team do not bill to the project), etc, etc...
The answer depends on your org structure. If you run lean dept where PM fits BA, PM, QA, DBA, etc, etc roles depending on the project AND moreover, when PM is invloved and learn the product/service better than anyone else - then there is no escape for PM than to always be as SME for questions.
Unless, the PM is high-level, PMO-style, and manages by directing resources and without learning about developed product/service - then you can have a clear cut over and no one will ever both this PM again.
...
1 reply by Dmitri Kozlovski
Apr 07, 2020 2:58 PM
Dmitri Kozlovski
...
yes - it's the latter - originally conceived as the PMO and our PMs do not do "work" - we insist on having Business Leads from other organizational units/sponsoring organizations to be involved hands-on.
The idea is that a PM can't be an SME on everything and will rely on those experts to identify the work to be done and then do it.
Guess, there is a benefit to being a large organization :)

But my original inquiry still stands.
Apr 07, 2020 2:35 PM
Replying to Andrew Soswa
...
To formally get the project of our books... implies the need of PMs not to be bothered with post-project cleanup, or need to close the financials (so that PM and the team do not bill to the project), etc, etc...
The answer depends on your org structure. If you run lean dept where PM fits BA, PM, QA, DBA, etc, etc roles depending on the project AND moreover, when PM is invloved and learn the product/service better than anyone else - then there is no escape for PM than to always be as SME for questions.
Unless, the PM is high-level, PMO-style, and manages by directing resources and without learning about developed product/service - then you can have a clear cut over and no one will ever both this PM again.
yes - it's the latter - originally conceived as the PMO and our PMs do not do "work" - we insist on having Business Leads from other organizational units/sponsoring organizations to be involved hands-on.
The idea is that a PM can't be an SME on everything and will rely on those experts to identify the work to be done and then do it.
Guess, there is a benefit to being a large organization :)

But my original inquiry still stands.
...
1 reply by Andrew Soswa
Apr 07, 2020 3:24 PM
Andrew Soswa
...
All right, in that instance - I would def get the sign offs:
1. All dev/QA/business development teams
2. All vendors/contractors
3. Acceptance from accepting business team / director
4. Final Project Closure meeting with major stakeholders
5. Email :)

1,2,3 might be run to completion concurrently or in diff order
Apr 07, 2020 2:58 PM
Replying to Dmitri Kozlovski
...
yes - it's the latter - originally conceived as the PMO and our PMs do not do "work" - we insist on having Business Leads from other organizational units/sponsoring organizations to be involved hands-on.
The idea is that a PM can't be an SME on everything and will rely on those experts to identify the work to be done and then do it.
Guess, there is a benefit to being a large organization :)

But my original inquiry still stands.
All right, in that instance - I would def get the sign offs:
1. All dev/QA/business development teams
2. All vendors/contractors
3. Acceptance from accepting business team / director
4. Final Project Closure meeting with major stakeholders
5. Email :)

1,2,3 might be run to completion concurrently or in diff order
...
1 reply by Dmitri Kozlovski
Apr 07, 2020 3:38 PM
Dmitri Kozlovski
...
yes and we do that.

I guess more explanation is required.

On the final closeout report we show Scope Status with any PCRs that may have been issued and Schedule Goals, which reflects START DATE, PLANNED END DATE, ACTUAL END DATE and VARIANCE in days. In my mind that gives a project sponsor a good idea on schedule performance.

My assumption when asking was that anyone who uses a formal closeout report would include all those items.

So with that - what date would you use in the final report as ACTUAL END DATE? end date of the last deliverable or the date when your Project Sponsor signed off on the closeout report?
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