Integration Management

Closing the Loop: Finalizing Project Integration Activities

I recall a time when I was managing a project to develop a new mobile application. As we neared the end of the project, I realized the importance of a process I had previously overlooked - the Close Project or Phase process. This process, a crucial part of project integration management, was about wrapping up all activities for the project.

The Close Project or Phase process wasn't just about ticking off tasks on a checklist. It was about ensuring that every aspect of the project, every phase, and every contract was finalized. This process was performed once or at predefined points in the project, ensuring a smooth transition to the project's conclusion.

Key benefits of the Close Project or Phase process include archiving project information, completing planned work, and releasing organizational resources for new endeavors. The project manager plays a vital role in this process, reviewing the project management plan to ensure all work is completed and objectives are met.

Administrative closure involves satisfying completion or exit criteria, updating documents and deliverables, and resolving all issues. It also includes confirming the delivery and formal acceptance of deliverables by the customer.

Financial aspects of project closure include charging all costs to the project, closing project accounts, and dealing with excess project material. Logistical aspects involve reassigning personnel and reallocating project facilities and resources.

Completing contractual agreements is another important aspect of project closure. This involves confirming the formal acceptance of the seller’s work, finalizing open claims, and updating records to reflect final results.

Archiving project information for future use is a crucial step in project closure. This ensures that valuable project data and lessons learned are preserved for future reference.

Closing a project involves a series of activities, including collecting project records, auditing project success or failure, managing knowledge sharing and transfer, and identifying lessons learned. These activities are not just administrative tasks; they are critical for evaluating the project's performance and enhancing organizational learning.

Reflecting on my experience with the mobile application project, I can see how the Close Project or Phase process played a pivotal role in our project's successful completion. It was a lesson in the importance of finalizing activities for project closure, a lesson that has since become an integral part of my project management approach.