All good things must come to an end. When the project is complete the project manager needs to close out the project.
The purpose of this project management document is to guide and direct the project closing process.
The process to close a project or phase is to finalize all project activities and to formally complete the project or phase.
So much can be learned from previous projects or initiatives so it is important that the project manager take the time to formally close out a project. By archiving project documents and project plans, you will be capturing lessons learned.
Lessons could be about something good that changed the course of the project or mistakes to avoid. A lesson could be about project team member’s skills and how those members made decisions which helped avoid big mistakes. Lessons learned could be about the schedule and how ordering material from a vendor helped reach important deadlines. Lessons could be simple as an ad hoc meeting which occurs weekly to ensure strong communication.
Whatever the lessons might be, it is important to record them, so lessons can be shared with future projects. Without a record of the lessons learned then future project managers and project team members will not be able to learn from past decisions. Most importantly, without a record for future projects, then mistakes will be repeated.