BUS402 Study Guide

Unit 6: Project Implementation and Closure

6a. Describe the close-down process

  • Define the close-down process.
  • Why do many projects not go through the close-down process?
  • What can be learned from the close-down process?

Project close down or project closure is the final phase of project management and the last process covered in the PMBOK. Project closure is much shorter than the other phases we have reviewed and can usually be accomplished in just a few days.

Here are the steps to project closure:

  1. Transition deliverable to business: project ownership is transferred from the project team to the client or project owner.
  2. Final acceptance: the client or project owner accepts the deliverable as having met the requirements. The contract is closed, final payments to vendors are made, and borrowed materials are returned.
  3. Lessons learned: the project team evaluates the project to determine what went well and what did not, so they can replicate positive processes and avoid making the same mistakes on future projects.
  4. Archive project artifacts: the project team should maintain a repository of artifacts created for the project, such as plans, budgets, and the work breakdown structure, to respond to future questions about the project execution.
  5. Celebrate: the manager should congratulate the team for a completed job and release staff to work on other projects.

Unfortunately, project closure is usually done poorly, if at all. The project manager and team are often so relieved the project is finally finished that they simply want to move on to the next undertaking. They miss out on important processes that can protect the business when questions arise after the project is completed and help them succeed in future projects.

To review, see Project Closeout and Project Closure.

 

6b. Describe implementation activities

  • Describe implementation activities.
  • When would implementation activities take place?

Implementation engenders elements of the execution and close-down phases of project management. While implementation and execution are often used interchangeably, think of implementation as the pretest of the deliverable. Implementation activities ensure the product created during the execution phase actually performs as intended.

The implementation phase includes:

  1. Acceptance testing: Testing the product or deliverable in the environment where it will be used. The team may need to make adjustments to the product.
  2. Release control: Giving the project owner control over the product or deliverable so they can make sure it does what they had intended.
  3. Positive perception: Soliciting positive feedback for future projects once the product shows it can do what it was designed to do.
  4. Maintenance and upgrades: For some products and deliverables, such as hardware or software, the project manager may need to provide scheduled maintenance or the opportunity for the product owner to make improvements. This work may, or may not, be part of the original project contract.
  5. Support: The project team is often charged with repairing products or deliverables that malfunction because they have the most intimate knowledge of the product. This work may, or may not, be part of the original project contract.

To review, see the section on implementation in A Project Management Primer on page 39 and Project Execution.

 

6c. Define post-mortem meeting

  • Define a post-mortem meeting.
  • What should the outcomes be of a post-mortem meeting?
  • Who will benefit from the results of a post-mortem report?

One of the final steps of project management is developing a list of lessons learned during the planning and execution process. The project team should discuss what went well and where they can make improvements if they are asked to conduct a similar project in the future. The participants should create a project post mortem report during this post-mortem meeting to share and discuss with other project managers in the organization.

To review, see Project Closure.

 

6d. Explain the project acceptance process

  • What should a project manager do before presenting the final deliverable to the client?
  • Whose acceptance is important to close out the project?
  • What happens if a client does not accept the final product?

Final acceptance is an important part of the project close-out phase. Before presenting the completed deliverable to the client or project owner, project managers should update the project records that detail the final results of the work on the project rather than present the original contract for work.

This final report should reflect any adjustments made during the execution phase, so the client or project owner knows exactly what they are accepting.

On receiving the deliverable and final report, the client or project owner should give the project developer (vendor or seller) a formal written notice stating whether they have accepted or rejected the deliverable. If they accept the deliverable, the contract is officially closed. However, if they reject the deliverable because it does not meet the client or project owner's criteria, the project development team needs to make changes until the client or project owner accepts the deliverable or agrees the contract is fulfilled.

To review, see Project Closeout.

 

6e. Explain global project management

  • What is global project management?
  • How does cultural competency increase the likelihood of project success?
  • What is a major challenge to global project management?

Let's consider global project management, an application of project management where the project initiator, team members, or work is conducted across different countries and cultures. In learning outcome 3e, we considered how to create effective teams, which is a critical component of global project management is creating teams that reside in different geographical regions.

For example, since team members are spread across the globe, located in different time zones, it may be difficult to meet daily, which means only part of the team may be able to meet each day.

Cultural competency is a key skill for all team members since they must communicate and work with people from different cultural backgrounds.

To review, see Culture and Project Management and Communication Planning.

 

6f. Identify the coverage of PMP certificate exam based on PMBOK (2008) the fourth edition

  • Identify the five project management processes assessed on the PMP certificate exam.
  • Are the project management processes assessed on the PMP certificate exam self-contained?

As we reviewed in learning outcome 1c, the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) defines five project management processes:

  1. Initiation
  2. Planning
  3. Execution
  4. Monitoring and controlling
  5. Closeout

You should thoroughly understand each of these processes to successfully complete the PMP (project management professional) certification exam. While we have covered each of the processes as a standalone or self-contained process throughout this course, you have probably noticed that these processes do not work in a vacuum. The results of one process play a large role in the development of the next process.

For example, you will use the plans devised during the planning phase throughout the execution and implementation processes; the deliverable you create in the execution process is vitally important in the closeout phase. You will use the standards and criteria you developed in the initiation and planning processes during the execution and monitoring and controlling processes. The phases depend on one another.

To review, see Introduction to Project Management, Introduction to the Project Management Knowledge Areas, Project Phases and Organization, and Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification Study Guide.

 

Unit 6 Vocabulary

  • Acceptance testing
  • Archive project artifacts
  • Celebrate
  • Close down
  • Cultural competency
  • Final acceptance
  • Formal notice
  • Global project management
  • Implementation
  • Lessons learned
  • Maintenance and upgrades
  • Organizational improvement
  • PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge)
  • PMP (project management professional)
  • Positive perception
  • Post-mortem meeting
  • Pretest
  • Project closure
  • Project post-mortem report
  • Release control
  • Support
  • Transition deliverable
  • Update project records