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PRINCE2 - Directing a Project (DP) part 6

Confirming Project Closure (DP5)

Fundamental principles

There must be a formal handover of responsibility and ownership of the project’s products to the ultimate user(s).

Every effort should be made to pass on any lessons that have been learned from the project.


This sub-process is triggered by the Project Manager carrying out the activities and producing the management products of Closing a Project (CP).
It is the last work done by the Project Board prior to its disbandment.

Process description

The project needs to be closed down in an orderly manner.

The objectives are:

  • The needs a clearly defined end and organised handover of responsibility to the group(s) who will use, support and sustain the products
  • Release the resources to the project
  • Gain formal acceptance from the customer that the Acceptance Criteria set down at the outset have been met adequately
  • Direct any changes that have not been implemented to an appropriate authority for attention and any lessons learned to the people who best benefit from them
  • Establish a future method for verifying that the project has produced the desired benefits
  • Notify all interested parties of the closure of the project

They will be achieved by taking particular steps:

  • Ensure that all completed products have been approved by the customer or are covered by approved concessions (if there have been any concessions, these may also be covered in Follow-on Action Recommendations
  • Ensure that where appropriate the resulting changes in the business are supported
  • Make sure that any Follow-on Action Recommendations are recorded accurately and personnel are assigned to implement and monitor them.

These may include:

  1. Project Issues that the Project Board classified as pending
  2. Any proposals for new work emanating from the project

These must be directed to the appropriate bodies, for example, support teams or programme management, or a strategy group for consideration as projects in their own right.

  • Hand over the products and configuration management method to the appropriate support group as necessary.
  • Approve the Lessons Learned Report for distribution. This will cover the strengths and weaknesses of the processes, procedures, techniques and tools used, when they were used and by whom. The Project Board can pass on any useful information to other interested parties or projects if this is within the remit of the corporate body.
  • Approve the contents of the End Stage Report for distribution to any interested parties, such as, corporate or programme management
  • Prepare a project closure notification. Those who have provided the support infrastructure and resources for the project will be advised by the Project Board that these can now be withdrawn. This should indicate a closing date that costs should be charged to the project.
  • Publish and distribute the plans for the post-project review


The Project Board is responsible for this sub-process supported by those with Project Assurance responsibilities.

The Executive will make sure the a person is identified to conduct the post-project review and that they are properly briefed and that accountability is passed to that person.

If the project is part of a programme then it may be necessary to obtain their approval for project closure.
Programme management may wish to direct the handover of any follow-on work.

Information needs
Management informationUsageExplanation
Project Initiation DocumentInputUsed as the baseline against which to assess how far the project deviated from its initial basis. Also contributes some of the information against which to judge the success of the project.
Communication PlanInputUsed to identify all recipients of information on project closure.
Operation and maintenance acceptanceInputConfirmation that the final product(s) can be used and supported.
Customer acceptanceInputConfirmation that the customer accepts the products.
Project closure recommendationInputAssurance from the Project Manager that facilities, support and resources can be withdrawn.
End Project ReportApprovalMore information on which to judge the success of the project. Approved for distribution to all interested parties.
Follow-on Action RecommendationsApprovalRecommendations for all Project Issues classified as pending and other future actions
Post-Project Review PlanApprovalSuggested plan for assessing the achievement of project benefits. Ratified by the Project Board to be passed on the people responsible for carrying it out.
Lessons Learned ReportApprovalProject lessons that have been learned that might be useful to pass on to other projects.
Project closure notification OutputNotification to all interested parties that facilities, support and resources can be withdrawn.

These are given in tabular form in the file ‘DP5 confirming project closure.doc’ in the product package.

Key criteria

  • Have the results and products of the project been accepted and are they no longer dependent on work that is part of this project?
  • Is the business ready to support, sustain and further develop the environment and products delivered?
  • Are the customers content with the results and products?
  • Have any necessary programme management requirements been met?

Make sure that you recognise the achievements of individuals and team for project success.

It is useful to gain written confirmation of acceptance from those who will be responsible for the operation and maintenance support of the delivered product.

This product contains EVERYTHING in the publications:

Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 - 2005 edition
Managing successful Projects with PRINCE2 – 2009 edition
Directing Projects with PRINCE2.
The Complete Project Management package.

And much more besides - at a fantastic price.