This is the final part of a multipart series on managing a project with the Free SharePoint Project Management Template. Catch up on the previous articles in the series on project initiation, project planning, project execution, and project tracking.
In this series about managing a project on SharePoint, we’ve covered how to initiate, plan, work, and track and re-plan your project. Now, it’s time to close the project.
By its very definition, a project has an end date. Formally finishing a project ensures the agreed deliverable is handed over to the right stakeholders, who can now derive business value from your efforts.
In addition, closing the project is an ideal way to reflect on what you and your team learned from the experience.
There are two simple ways to close your project. The first step deals with your SharePoint project site whilst the second step focuses on documenting lessons learned.
How to Close the Project in Two Quick Steps
1. Close the Project Site
During this phase, you need to review and update all project documentation including:
- The project charter
- Issue Reports
- Project Status Reports
- Task lists and timelines
- Other documents such as contract and meeting notes.
2. Document Lessons Learned
A post-mortem, review, or retrospective is a great way to gather team feedback and celebrate a successful project with the group.
A post-mortem should reveal how and why elements of the project were successful or successful. The goal is to learn from success and failure, not assign blame for mistakes.
It is also important to remember as a project manager, you were the leader of the project, but not the sole owner of its processes and tasks.
With this in mind, it is helpful to run a project post-mortem to encourage the team to reflect on the project from various angles. Make sure to include this activity in the original plan so it’s not overlooked at the end of the project.
The simplest way to run a project post-mortem is a team meeting. Use the meeting to answer three questions:
- What went well?
- What didn’t go so well?
- What should we do to improve our next project?
Here are a few tips to help you frame the discussion and answer these questions.
- Start with a recap of the project’s goals and objectives.
- Compare the desired results with the outcomes. Did you achieve your goals? Is the client or stakeholder satisfied with the project outcome?
- Review each stage of the project in terms of successes, mistakes, outputs, and learnings.
- Look at how the team worked together. Was the project site easy to use and update? Was the project plan useful to the team? Did the team communicate and collaborate together?
Review the feedback and suggestions to find actionable inputs to your next project. For example, if unassigned tasks were a roadblock, you need to use the ‘Work’ reports more frequently on future projects.
Finally, share these insights with the wider organization to help evolve project management practices across all teams.