Most people don’t see a lot of value in closing a project beyond lessons learned. It’s a stage most people skip and feels more like an obligation than an actual step to a project’s lifecycle. But skipping this step means missing out on what it provides later on down the line. In an article for Project Times, Andrea Brockmeier gives some ways that closing a project can be beneficial:
- Retrieval of project communications
- Captures thoughts while people still have them
- Retains context for project decisions
Coming to a Close
Having a record of all project communications can benefit you in a number of ways. You can track back through different conversations that may have pertinent information for future projects. Some organizations have a retention policy for their emails, which would make it harder to track through old threads. However, project closings would have all of these listed so the information is then at your disposal.
This registry of information doesn’t just apply to communication though. Closing is a pivotal time when all the information is still fresh in people’s minds, so you need to capitalize on it when you can. These team members will know what was offered as a solution, tested, chosen, and so on. If this is done months later, you may not be able to have the same results as if you did it just as the project was ending.
Brockmeier also says it allows for anyone looking over the project again to be able to place the project into a larger context:
People are often inclined to archive information, especially communications, for defensive purposes. But this is not about archiving simply to have a record or paper trail as proof of something (which suggests a lack of trust). Project information and data that is likely to be helpful in the future often goes beyond the thoughts and reflections captured as part of a lessons learned exercise. Without some intention around gathering that data, communications, records, etc., there is a missed opportunity to easily go back to refresh memories on what happened in order to answer questions or get input into new decisions.
You can view the original article here: https://www.projecttimes.com/articles/the-benefits-of-closing-projects-beyond-lessons-learned.html