Closing a Project

You have delivered the project’s objectives and fulfilled customer requirements. Now you can start to formally close the project. 

What if the project did not successfully deliver its objectives or is closed early? 

There are exceptional circumstances where a project is closed before full delivery of project objectives. In such cases, the Project Closure Report (including the Lessons Learned Log) must state the reason for the early project closure. The reasons may be due to: 

  • A change in the business unit’s priorities or objectives
  • The project may be merged with another project or program of work, or
  • A Primary Contractor may be unable to deliver the required component of the project.

SDZ’s Program/Project Management – Implementation workspace can be used to document the closure of your project as an alternative to the following templates.


Recommended Documentation

Lessons Learned Log

Records events and activities that did not go to plan, or suggestions of how the project could have run more smoothly. The Lessons Learned Log is a helpful resource for future projects to avoid pitfalls and improve performance. This log is key element of the Project Closure Report and Post Implementation Review.

Project Closure Report

The Project Closure Report is a key document to record the performance of your project against the agreed objectives and Project Plan, and to seek formal approval to close the project. It is normal for projects to vary from the initial Project Plan, and so any variations must be outlined in your Project Closure Report.

ICT Handover to BAU

This is the ICT Operational Acceptance document that needs to be completed to ensure the smooth transition of new and enhanced services into the Business As Usual (BAU) support teams, both within Information Technology Services (ITS) and ANU.


Steps to close a project

  1. Closure activities
    Before you can formally close the project, the Project Manager and project team will need to carry out the following key activities:

    • Verifying with the customers that the agreed products, services, or system were delivered to their expectation
    • Completing any outstanding project related work
    • Working with the operational areas to handover tasks and support, including the benefits management plan and action
    • Wrapping up any procurement and contracts and completing any financial transactions
    • Informing the stakeholders that the project will be closing and its associated process.
  2. Complete Lessons Learned Log
    The Project Manager needs to conduct a final Lessons Learned activity with key stakeholders and project team to record things that went well, did not go to plan, or where the project could have run more smoothly. This log will identify mistakes not to be repeated in future projects and how to gain efficiencies.

  3. Confirm the transition/handover to Business as Usual (BAU)
    Prepare a checklist of documents and tasks that need to handed over to the operational business unit to manage the systems, facilities or services delivered. In the case of transitioning an ICT system to BAU, the ICT Operational Acceptance document provides a checklist of all the documents produced during the project that are handed over to the business as the owners of the system and the ITS support teams.  

    The Project Manager needs to ensure appropriate documentation is provided to the business’ support areas and that they are happy with the information and training received to accept this new service into BAU.  

  4. Formally close the project
    You can now start to formally close the project. Your key stakeholders and project team should be involved in the preparation of the Closure Report, and acknowledge that the project is completed. The Closure Report records the performance of your project against the agreed Project Plan and includes reference to the: 

    • Business Case or BOSCARD
    • Project Brief or UICT Project Proposal
    • Issues Log
    • Risk Register
    • Lessons Learned log

    The Project Manager will present the Closure Report to the Sponsor and/or Project Board/Steering Committee to formally seek their approval to close out the project and release the project team, any equipment and remaining budget.

    You must ensure all project management documentation are securely stored and accessible for reference by future projects. It is also highly recommended that you conduct a Post Implementation Review to identify actions required to maximise benefits realisation.

Your project is now complete. Congratulations!