Defining Project Closure- With Examples & Template

February 1, 2023
4 minute read

What is Project Closure?

Project closure (often used interchangeably with project closing) is the final phase of a project, designed mainly to ensure that deliverables are verified, performance is evaluated, and appropriate transfers are performed for a smooth transition into future work. The theme in this phase is to formally complete the project, hopefully to the satisfaction of contractual obligations, as described by the Project Management Institute.


What are the Steps of Project Closure?

There are many online resources describing how the closing phase of project management works. The steps of closing a project vary greatly across industries, organizations, and even across individual projects within a single team. If you’re just getting started on building this process for your organization, this can get overwhelming.

 At the end of the day, having a solid foundation is key—the process of closing a project involves various actions, which revolve around three key themes: documentation & verification, celebration, and reallocation. A plan following the same order is recommended, particularly for reallocation; in this way, loose ends are appropriately tied up before team members become busy with future assignments.

We have created a clear project closing checklist for you to make sure each step is completed to successfully close the project.


1. Complete the sign-off sheet

A sign-off sheet (or document)  is used to verify (see what we did there?) that all applicable expectations set from the beginning of the project have been met—here’s a template you can use to start.


2. Conduct and document lessons learned

A hugely understated benefit of properly closing a project is being able to take important lessons and apply them to future work— this will make teams more efficient, allowing them to complete similar tasks faster and with fewer errors. This is where a lessons-learned document comes in.

For this, you’ll want to conduct a post-mortem/retrospective with your team (and potentially other stakeholders.) This allows for more effective knowledge transfer across projects—in an ideal scenario, teams conduct and document retrospectives throughout the entire project life cycle, so best practices are reinforced as soon as they are acquired. Learn more about this process here.

3. Celebrate!

The value of motivation and synergy within the team has been getting more of the recognition it deserves. In line with this, it is important that you acknowledge the team’s efforts and celebrate wins of any size, to give your team a positive experience to cap off the project and an outlook that can only serve to benefit their future teammates.

It’s best to organize something that matches your team’s personality, on top of aligning with your company’s values. We trust that you know your team better than any of us will!


4. Reallocate resources

Ideally, a closed project no longer consumes valuable company resources, so proper turnover is necessary. Here are some guide questions that are best answered during the project closing phase:

  • Who is still on the team?
  • What work will be assigned to them next?
  • Who is responsible for each team member on their new assignment?
  • What tools (hardware and software) need to be returned to the company?
  • Does the project require additional support after delivery?
  • Who is responsible for providing this support?


What are the Benefits of Closing Out a Project?

Frankly, the project closing process is often overlooked by teams since the volume of documentation and coordination required following the actual delivery of output can, for some, feel like a waste of time. As a result, they miss out on benefits that translate well beyond the project’s lifecycle, not just for the company, but also for team members’ individual careers.

At its core, closing up a project helps an organization tie up loose ends, ensuring that:

  • All expectations and obligations (esp. legal or contractual obligations) have been satisfied.
  • Critical knowledge is collected and preserved for the teams’ future benefit.
  • Teams enjoy the fruit of their work and taste success

As a whole, this creates a sense of continuity, as teams are able to seamlessly move from one project to another, with the likelihood that future work is done to higher standards and satisfaction, both for teams and clients.


What Happens When Projects Aren’t Closed Properly?

Critical payments to your company and, by extension, your team members may be either delayed or left unfulfilled.,

Teams are likely to encounter similar issues on future projects, and fumble with it just as much as the first time (if not worse), and

Team members and clients are left feeling uncertain or dissatisfied with outcomes.

While there is pressure to move from one project to another, it is important to invest time (as early as the planning phase of your project) into an effective project closing process. By reducing errors and capitalizing on known strengths, productivity grows exponentially.


Using a Project Closure Document Template

On top of having a solid project closure plan in place, one way to increase your success rate is to templatize. Using the principles above, compile project closure documents so that:

Your checklist provides easy access to all of the relevant steps and resources

Future closing phases can be set up faster

Changes to the process are easy to implement (as a result of #1)

Remember, much of the value in properly closing a project is to set up for future success—if you’re the one managing the team, you deserve that increased efficiency too!


How Workamajig Makes Closing a Project Easy

Project closure tasks are designed to tie up loose ends and translate lessons learned into long-term value for an organization and its team members. By effectively closing out a project, valuable resources are maximized, and appropriate focus is given to subsequent projects instead of previous issues.

At Workamajig, the premier marketing project management software, we believe that process is great, but it’s even greater when it works seamlessly and fast. The project template creator within Workamajig is one of the most powerful aspects of our all-in-one project management system. Spend less time setting up, and more time moving up, by mixing and matching components to define your team’s workflow—in this way, they can focus more on the work they do best, without being burdened by unnecessary fumbling around with processes and tools in between. With Workamajig you can easily pull reports to see all the aspects of the project so you can easily close it out without missing any important detail.

Learn more about Workamajig today and use it from project intake until project completion and have a seamless experience while seeing true project management success.  

Request a demo today to see how our robust software solution offers everything a marketing team needs to manage their projects with ease!

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