Sunday, 13 December 2015

And now, the end is near, And so I face the final curtain

"And now, the end is near, And so I face the final curtain" to quote the song "My Way". A Project is a temporary endeavour with a start and end point. So what are the things to achieve as you approach the "final curtain" with the team leaving the "stage"?

Project Closure - the final curtain

Any Remaining tasks for the team?

Check if there are any remaining tasks for the team, for example:
  • Are transition to BAU operations activities needed and if so, have they happened? If not, they need to.
  • You should have a lessons learnt session and prepare the lessons learnt output either as part of separate to the Project Closure Report
  • Are there points which need to be addressed which it is not practical to keep the Project going for? If so, owners need to be found to take these forward (see Closure Report below)

Roll-off Team

In many Projects your team cost money booked against the Project Budget so as you enter the Closure phase you may have already rolled off a number of the team (with maybe some call on their time for lessons learnt sessions etc). So you should look to finish the roll-off plan including you as Project Manager. Forecast the last week you will charge costs to the Project and thus you can finalise your Project spend against Budget. For other roll-off considerations see this post

Closure Report

The measurement of the success of the Project has two dimensions and the Closure Report is, in part, an assessment of the Project Team dimension ("Project Performance"). The sections I would expect to see in a Closure Report are:
  • Background, key objectives and summary of Business Case (links to documents with more detail).
  • Summary of Project Approach adopted.
  • Key Products delivered including purpose, version status and links to location in the Project File.
  • Team Member details (the BAU team may want to confirm a point of detail at some time in the future).
  • Performance - Time. Table showing key milestones (ideally those published in the Project Definition augmented by any added during the Project), the Baseline date and the Actual date achieved with comments as appropriate. Normally there is one or several primary milestones defined in the Project Definition objective, these should be highlighted (e.g. in IT Projects it might be Production System Release Date(s)).
  • Performance - Scope. Was the baseline Scope delivered or was some of the scope removed or potentially additional scope delivered (identified via Change Control)?
  • Performance - Quality. Quality metrics should support any statements, for example in IT Projects this might be the number of Post go live "warranty incidents" which needed resolving.
  • Performance - Costs. Comparison of actual costs spent versus the baseline in the Project Definition.
  • Performance - Benefit Case. Has the benefit case changed at all through the Project life-cycle?
  • Change Management - was what the effect of Change Requests during the Project life-cycle (link to Change Log)
  • Risk Summary - are there any open risks to be monitored by BAU Operations?
  • Issue Summary - are there any open issues to be resolved by BAU Operations?
  • Post Project activities - this is an important section stating activities which need to be completed post Project closure and who owns these actions. Ideally this list will be policed by some residual body such as a PMO. An examples might be Benefit Realisation steps / checkpoints .
  • Summary of key lessons learnt with a link to the full report

What about the Benefit Realisation?

The other dimension of Project success is reaching the target benefits and these typically are realised post closure of the Project. Hopefully it is clear who is accountable for these and when they will be reported (and who will this report go to). See my post of Benefit Realisation

Project Celebration

Hopefully you have had a successful Project and have a happy Sponsor. Ideally there is sufficient Project budget (or raid a BAU budget) to allow for a celebration event for the Project team. Discuss this with your Sponsor to agree the format, formal or informal, does the Sponsor want to make a speech etc? 

If you are appropriately skilled (or find someone on the Project team) why not have a Project Song which everyone can sing at the celebration event! I play the piano and have done this a few times now. One of my best attempts at this was for the celebration of the Risk Reward Project (concerning optimised Energy Trading). I managed to work in some key names from the Project team, operational teams affected (with business terminology introduced such as R-R-B, the Risk Reward Band) as well as mentioning that the Sponsor, Fran├žois, was happy a few times :-) [if you want to watch, ensure you are displaying captions to get the lyrics]

Risk-Reward, Risk-Reward
Risk-Rewards' on the drawing board
Ricardo does deduction, Pete does the construction
Soon there is a system good to try

Risk-Reward, Risk-Reward
Risk-Reward has really scored
The Board are most contented
Objectives now cemented 
Francois is a really happy man

Everybody knows the R-R-B
All of Risk will smile when we keep inside it
Maybe, you can never be sure
We exceed it, then
CHPO have the cure!

Risk-Reward, Risk-Reward
Risk-Reward has really scored
The Board are most contented
Objectives now cemented 

Francois is a really happy man


Excellent key points - I will keep a copy of this

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