You may well have produced your product to the correct specification, on time, within budget and to the right performance and quality criteria but is the customer happy with it?
You would hope so, but only the customer will tell you … find out by asking.
If he or she isn’t, find out why and review the issues.
It could be that there has been some serious breakdown in communication along the way.
Keep the customer informed and make sure there is no margin for ambiguity in any of the agreed documentation.
Serious problems should not arise if communication with the customer has been good and continuous.
Project closure is not just about handing over the product to the customer.
When a product is transferred there are many other aspects that must be addressed.
The product may be fine at handover but the customer will likely want support to make sure that it works in the field for a reasonable time without problems.
There may be customer staff training to consider.
There may be long term support for parts, training (less likely) and general repairs.
These aspects must be considered an allowed for.
As well as the product the project process must be wound down and finished in a controlled manner.
This would entail a project review that would cover:
It is advisable for the project management team to carry out a post mortem to try to measure the success of the project.
Assuming the products and reports are out of the way, how else do you measure success?
Customer feedback is vital for the product itself.
In addition, there will be business measures.
Has the project met all of the criteria as set out in the Business Case as for PRINCE2®?
This would include overall costs which may have been influenced by any delays.
Are there any other areas of work to complete?
This would include identifying and recording all support work.
It would also include the completion of all reports or staff issues etc.
What lessons has the project learnt?
This could cover:
Project closure is covered under PRINCE2 [see ‘The Complete Project Management plus PRINCE2’] within the process ‘Closing a Project (CP)’.
PRINCE2® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries.