Closing Software Development Projects
The most difficult part of a project is project closure. This is due to the fact that it requires a deep understanding of all aspects of the project and also because it is the least action-oriented phase of the project lifecycle. It is a combination of documentation, meetings, and sign offs. It is similar to the project initiation phase, except that there is no project work for you to look forward to or be excited about. There may be differences of opinion about what constitutes a project closing, especially for software development projects that have been subject to frequent change requests.
Here are some tips for closing software development projects
Gather all signoffs and discuss each deliverable with your team. Ensure that all work is completed according to the contract, scope, requirements document, functional specifications, etc.
Start a discovery if you don’t have the sign-off for an item or it isn’t completed. To determine if the missing item is in the project documentation, or if it hasn’t been finished, map the website or software. If it hasn’t been completed, you can go through emails and minutes to discover why.
Worst case scenario: there is no documentation to support the missing works. Schedule a meeting with your client and lay out all items. Ask them to choose the best course of action. There is a good chance that the client doesn’t want them. This is why everyone forgot. Have a discussion about these items. First, internally with client and then externally.
Email communication is a common method of communication, and project managers can save considerable time. An email sent does not mean that it has been received and read by the recipient. It is important that all emails include a statement that states that the email will be accepted by the recipient after “n” days. This is an important point and should be included in emails that you don’t expect to receive a counter argument, but you still need confirmation from the recipient.
Thank the project team for their hard work and highlight any areas where there were mistakes.
Document lessons learned. It will be useful for the next project manager or team member assigned to similar projects, as well as others who work with the same client.
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