Finishing Strong: Understanding the Project Close-Out Report

December 14, 2015

As we continue our focus on project management documents, we explain this month the Project Close-Out Report. As the name implies, this report allows you to document the reasons for closing the project, as well as the steps taken to do it properly. You could be faced with a host of loose ends, including the following:


1: Validate Completion Criteria

Before you take action to close the project, it needs to be determined whether all of the project closure criteria have been fully satisfied. For example:

  • Have all the project objectives been completed?

  • Has the project resulted in the stated benefits?

  • Have all of the deliverables been produced?

You will need to perform a review of the project to determine whether these criteria have been met.


2: Close Outstanding Items

If you're confident that the project has met all of the completion criteria, then the next step is to list any outstanding items. These are typically activities listed as incomplete on the Project Plan. However, they may also be issues, punch-list items or general items that are outstanding and require attention. As you list each outstanding item, also identify the actions that are needed to fully resolve them.


3: Complete Closure Actions

After determining that the project is ready for closure and after listing the outstanding items, you can now detail the actions needed to close the project. These actions may include:

  • Handing over the final deliverables to the customer to include all warranties and operational manuals, etc.

  • Collating and filing all project documentation

  • Terminating all supplier contracts and contractors

  • Releasing project staff, equipment and materials

  • Communicating the closure of the project to the entire team

Once you have finished all of the above, you're ready to complete a Project Closure Report. After completion, the report is presented to your customer for signoff. 









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