Everything with a beginning must have an end and a project is not quite complete until the closing stage is considered successful. (Sanghera, P.2009 p.223) Scenario one: Closing a project that has met its objective
This scenario delights the project manager and his or her team as it is the ideal end to any project. It involves closing all activities related to the project both the within and without. Here the project manager (PM) meets with the stakeholders to gain their final approval of the project, ascertain that the deliverable meets the completion standards, conclude contract arrangements with vendors, transfer responsibility of project output to other people, release people and other resources, and document lessons learned. (Sunny & Baker pp330-331).
Scenario two: Closing a project that was terminated early
In this scenario a project can be terminated for a number of reasons. From the discussion question we saw that a project can be adjudged to have failed, if it cannot meet up objective, expected to fail or are no longer in line with the objective of the company can be terminated. Bommer & Pease, 1991further provided reasons like paucity of funding, technological obsolescence, changes in consumer trends, mergers and acquisitions loss of the champion and negative cost/benefit ratio. However whatever might have being the underlying cause of the termination of a project, it is still very important that the project is closed formally.
In that regard, there is no difference between closing a project that has met its objectives and a project that was terminated early in its life. Both scenarios must undergo the close project process and the close procurement process. But the following differences can be observed: (1)In the first scenario there is a tangible project deliverable that can be transferred to other people, it may serve as inputs to another project. While in the second scenario there may be no tangible deliverable. (2)
The emotional currents observed in both scenarios are quite different, in the first scenario the PM and everyone associated with the project are elated and feels fulfilled, leading to more latent energy for future projects and commitment to the organisation. In the second case, negative emotions may be generated which can be counterproductive to future projects and the organisation. This situation can arise when senior management arbitrarily cancels a project without carrying the team along.
This is the process of formally bringing to an end all project activities. It relates to the closing process group and the integration management knowledge area. (Sanghera 2010 p377) The accepted project deliverable after its verification is compared with the project management plan and other closure guidelines and procedures before it is handed over to the customer. This action is necessary for both scenarios one and two.
This occurs when the terms of the contract have been reached or when there is a termination before the terms can be reached. The latter case usually involves compensation. In multi-phased projects contract closure can occur more than once while administrative closure occurs only once. The acceptance of the deliverable takes place during the administrative closure.
Administrative closure and contract closure both occur in closing a project that has met its objective and one that is terminated early. In the latter case care should be taken to carry the team members along in the process of project termination in order to boost their morale and productivity for future projects.