It's finally done (almost). The endgame was chaotic, as usual, and the release and close out have followed the typical "two steps forward, one step back" mode, but overall it was a success. Everyone agreed at the after-project meeting that there were certain things you absolutely should never agree to again. And a few things that went really well after some minor tweaks, things you want to be sure to repeat on the next go-round. "There's no way we'll ever forget that again," you vowed as you clinked glasses.
Six months later, how much of it do you really remember?
You've been around the block enough times to feel (and on some days, look) like you've been around the block a few times. But all those lessons from the school of hard knocks don't do your team much good if you just have to re-learn them again over the next project. And if you don't record them where you and others can refer to them, they don't do your colleagues on other teams any good at all.
It is possible to have an orderly project closeout, a congenial delivery, and lessons learned that stick. This bundle of closeout resources will help you and your team work through it all, document the results, and share them with everyone who needs to know -- which is usually everyone.
Long-Term Results without the Long-Term Commitment
Release the Project Deliverables
- Guidelines - Completion Criteria
Set sound criteria and explicit goals for your deliverables, or your entire project, that define "done" -- without the usual ambiguity and the squabbles that result.
- Project Deliverables Release Form
Form to release your deliverables to a wider audience. It communicates that a deliverable has reached a specific state of completion, and thus can be safely deployed to specified groups of customers or users.
Deploy To Customers
- Customer Acceptance Checklist
A checklist format for your customer to use while walking through review and test of a pre-release system (for example, before going through with a purchase). Allows the customer to record issues, indicate which must be resolved before acceptance, and ultimately sign off on accepting the new system.
Capture Project "Lessons Learned"
- Lessons Learned Survey
A survey that can be sent to team members during or after a project, to solicit their feedback on how the project was conducted.
- Lessons Learned Meeting Agenda
A sample agenda for a lessons learned meeting, to capture what did or didn't go well on a project, how to replicate success, and what to do differently in the future.
- Lessons Learned Meeting Report
Process for holding a meeting aimed at capturing project wins, challenges, and resulting lessons learned, and producing a report at the end. A great way to promote continuous improvement across all your projects.
Closing Out a Project
- End of Delivery Phase Checklist
A checklist of activities and deliverables that should be completed by the end of the Delivery Phase to ensure that the project is truly ready for official ramp down and completion.
- Project Closeout Meeting Agenda
This template provides an agenda for a Close Out Workshop, an occasion where the Program Team and others can document what worked, areas for improvement, lessons learned, and next steps, if any.
- Maintenance Planning Guidelines and Plan Outline
Guidelines for planning ahead for what comes after the project is officially done and its deliverables are in the hands of the customer.
Celebrate and Reward team members
- Project Team Rewards and Recognition Guideline
Project work is serious, but it shouldn't be drudgery. Remember to include team rewards, recognition, celebration, and general hoopla in your project planning. This guideline provides ideas, suggestions, and a detailed example from one team's reward-planning activities.
- Project Manager and Team Member Performance Appraisals
Process and forms for promoting recognition of project performance as part of someone's normal yearly performance appraisal. This template addresses both individual team members and project leaders.
Cancelling a Project
- Project Cancellation Guidelines
A comprehensive guideline for determining whether a project should be cancelled and -- once such a decision is made -- for smoothly ramping down and closing out, while taking into account the possibly wide-ranging implications for your company and customers.
We know that not everyone is ready to start out with a subscription, so this bundle provides a convenient, one-time-purchase. You get model reports and agendas, forms and checklists, and four detailed guidelines you can use to advance your team's efforts, all for a single low price, with no obligation.
Get It For Everyone!
Do you work with other teams that would like to have an productive project closeout? Better yet, do you want your whole organization to get more from the closeout process? Contact us for licensing terms.
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