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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...
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.
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?
Do you have any other helpful suggestions as far as my inquiry?
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.
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.
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. 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
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