We spend a lot of time discussing project setup, having a well-thought-out business case, and all the other stuff that you need to do while the project work goes on. However, there is another important area: how to close a job.
This article will walk you through the 7 steps to closing a project. Ready? Let’s get started.

Poor project closures are a real risk
Project closure is crucial
Steps to close a job
Step 1: Handover to the users
Step 2: Handover supportHandover information for document

Step 3: Finish the procurements
Step 4: Evaluate your project
Step 5: Create the closing document. What goes in a project closing document?

Step 6: Celebrate!
Step 7: Archive your project
Project closure meetings
Next steps

Poor project closures are a real risk
You risk losing the project if you don’t finish it and give it to the operational teams.
Support and operational teams don’t know what to do with the project results.
Ineffective benefits tracking
Inadequate training and support for customers or users
Users experience steep learning curves that can affect their ability to adapt to a new environment.

The project’s benefits are the big prize. Isn’t this why you started the project? Your project customers won’t be able to understand or use the information you give them. The organization won’t get the benefits it is supposed to provide if they don’t use the information.
The project is useless if it doesn’t deliver the benefits promised.
Project closure is crucial
Are you using PRINCE2(r)? Next, read this: How to close PRINCE2(r) projects. At the end of your project, you should think about wrapping up your work and giving it to someone else. You’ll never be able to get rid of it and you’ll always be the go-to person for everything.
A project closure document is a great tool. It first outlines the objectives of your project. It then explains the success criteria that you set in order to achieve those objectives, and what you did.
Are you unsure about the success criteria? My definitive guide to project success criteria.
Steps to close a job
Let’s take a look at the 7 steps that will close a project. Scroll down to see an infographic that summarizes the steps. It can be printed if you wish and used as a reminder when the time is right.
Step 1: Handover to the users
Look at the project plan to see what you should have done for the users. You must ensure that the operational team has everything they need to make this project a success.
This includes completing any training and providing all documentation.
Tip: Make it clear that they won’t receive support from you. They will be moving on to another project, so it is not feasible or desirable for them to come back to you in the future to get advice on how to use the items you provided.
Step 2: Transfer to support
The handover to support is the next step. As we have mentioned, users need to be able to seek advice and help as they use the deliverables.
It is easiest to imagine a situation with a new IT system. They need to be able call the service desk and the person answering to learn about the system, how it works, and how to troubleshoot common (and more complex) problems. It doesn’t matter what product you offer, it’s the exact same.
Have you built a new building? You are handing the building over to the facilities team, who will manage it and take care of its maintenance. Have you made a process improvement? You will hand over the process map and documentation to the person who is responsible for it so they can train new starters.