4.6. Close Project or Phase

"The process of finalizing all activities across all of the Project Management Process Groups to formally complete the project or phase";

The definition shown above in italics is taken from the Glossary of the Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013

Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013 Figure 4-12 Page 100 Guide)

Finalizing all activities to complete the project or phase

  • Handing over Deliverables
  • Final User/Customer Approval
  • Maintenance and Operational Arrangements
  • Notifying personnel of resource release, then releasing and returning resources
  • Closing registers/logs and closing files
  • Comparing achievement against baseline
  • Preparing and holding the Post Project Review
  • Schedule the Benefits Review (Project Sponsor responsibility)
  • Procurement Audits (Close Procurements)

PMBOK® Guide - authorising the subsequent phase is not part of formal phase completion.

Organizational Process Assets at Project Closure

- Documents at Project Closure

  • From the Customer formally recording acceptance and handover of the completed product, service or result to operations
  • Includes the reasons why the project was taken into early termination
  • Results of audits carried out at closure

- Project Files

  • Updated Project Management Plan and subordinate plans, performance management and subordinate baselines, Calendars, Registers and Logs, remaining risks and unresolved issues.

- Historical Data to help going forward

  • Must include lessons learned, transferred to lessons learned repository for use by future projects

Project Closure Checklist


  • Evaluation
  • Lessons learned
  • Hand-over
  • Celebrating our team successes

Post Project Review:

  • Held immediately at project end
  • Discuss what has happened, who, why, etc…
  • Objective is to learn from experience
  • Record for future projects
  • What could be done better

Benefits Review – Project Sponsor

Good/Best practice:

  • The management benefits from delivery progress information
  • Identify scope for further benefits
  • Compare new business with original performance
  • Assess benefits realised against anticipated benefits
  • Review benefits management processes
  • Used to demonstrate that the project has delivered value for money to the stakeholders


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