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Importance of the Closing Process Group in Project Management

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The Closing Process in project management is one of the 5 process groups recognized as an integral part of the project management body of knowledge. It comprises the following;

* Obtaining Client Acceptance of Deliverables

* Complete Installation of all Deliverables

* Ensuring Adequate Project Documentation

* Obtaining Client Sign-Off on the Final Project Report

* Conclusive Post Implementation Audit, and

* Celebrating Success

Tools, Templates, and Processes used to achieve the above, include;

* Acceptance Test Procedures (ATP)

* Implementation Strategies

* Project Documentation

* Post Implementation Audit

* Final Project Report

It is essential to note that the Closing Process does not start and end towards the conclusion of the Project Management Life Cycle(PMLC). It starts at the conception of the project. Below is a table that shows what aspects of the Closing Process to be carried out during the Project Management Life Cycle.

S/No. PMLC Process Group Closing Process Group Activity

1 Initiation/Scoping Requirements Gathering - COS

2 Planning Closing Process Documentation

3 Launching/Execution Maintenance (Update) of the Closing Process Group

4 Monitoring & Control Maintenance (Update) of the Closing Process Group

5 Closing Application of the Closing Process Group

Source: My Perception of the Closing Process Group

The Importance of the Closing Process Group

The Closing Process group activities are most critical in determining the success or failure of a project. Completing a project does not mean ending the project management process, because this does not guarantee that the organization benefits from the project outcome. In some large projects, after development and implementation, the project team may be retained for another stage - Benefits Realization.

Obtaining Client's Final Acceptance on Deliverables

It is the client that determines when a project is concluded, while the project manager is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that the deliverables meet the client's specifications. Clients acceptance can be ceremonial (informal) for small projects or formal, involving a wide acceptance and testing procedures (ATP). Once the acceptance procedure is agreed and clearly documented at the Initiation/Planning stages, either party becomes assured of what to expect at the Closing Process stage.

The process of obtaining clients final acceptance must be agreed and properly documented at the Initiation and Planning stages, maintained/updated (if the project success criteria changes)during Execution, Monitoring & Controlling stages in conjunction with the client to avoid bickering in the Closing Process.

Post Project Appraisals/Post Implementation Audits

This is an assessment process which seeks to evaluate the project goals and activity achievement against the project plan, budgeted cost & durations, client specifications and satisfaction as well as quality of deliverables. The participants are the Project Team and other project stakeholders.

The benefits associated with these reviews include prevention of weak points, development of team discipline, validation of strategies (methodologies), improvement of forecasts and proposals as well as best



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