Saturday, September 4, 2010

Formally Close Out your Projects

In too many organizations, projects never really end; they simply "fizzle out". All too often this leads to confusion in both the user community and the support organization.
  • Is the system in production or is the migration still happening?
  • How are people added to the system?
  • Are there any approvals required for change?
This in turn results in the project team immediately being consumed by the support requirements. In a small organization, this doesn't have too detrimental of an effect as the project team and the support team are often one and the same. Even in smaller organizations, failing to formally close out projects causes you to miss out on a significant opportunity to gain intelligence into what works within your organization. This is because often what is perceived as successful or working well by one group, may not be perceived well by another. Items to make sure to collect at the end of your projects:
  • What went well?
  • What could have been done better?
  • Was the support group training sufficient?
  • Was the end-user training sufficient?
  • Was the communications level sufficient?
  • Was the schedule too aggressive, too lax, or on target?
When collecting this information, try to get everyone involved to "check the egos at the door". These efforts are important for everyone on the team to grow and improve.
Another major factor to consider when coming to the end of a project is that the end-user community often attributes minor problems to the project execution, whether they are related or not. In some organizations I have seen the end-user community to simply begin to not report minor issues to the Helpdesk as they assume that whatever project activity that is going on will address their issues. Formally closing out the projects causes everyone to realize that the "effort is over" and whatever inconveniences or issues that are still out there need to be reported through "normal" channels. If your organization is like this, you may want to plan for a small "bump" in support call volume immediately following project efforts.

No comments:

Post a Comment