Topic 12.4: Administrative close
Administrative close refers to the internal processes of an organisation that are necessary to finalise a project.
There are several tasks that need to be completed here.
All the project documentation must be formally reviewed for outstanding action, catalogued, and archived. Also check that all relevant information has been disseminated to the stakeholders.
As well as all the initiation and planning documents described elsewhere in this course, documents for review (in all their configurations) might include:
- Meeting minutes
- Status reports
- Issue and change logs, and
- General correspondence
Resources attached to the project also need to be reassigned.
Often, a project also involves buying or renting equipment and facilities, or even using equipment supplied by the client.
All this equipment has to be accounted for and returned, while organisational resources used may need reconditioning and/or depreciating for financial purposes.
Don’t forget the people!
As far as project team members are concerned, the project manager is also responsible for either reassigning them (if he or she has that authority) or, at a minimum, making recommendations for their future role within the company.
These recommendations might be part of a formal performance review that attaches to the staff member’s human resource file, or might be a letter of reference for those moving on to other projects in other organisations.
Although conducting these performance reviews might seem an onerous chore when what you really need do is move on to the next three projects that have landed on your desk, these reviews are an essential step in every person’s career progression.
Quite often, people are ‘lost’ to projects, in that their employers do not understand or appreciate the skills they acquire in project delivery.
On returning to general duties, they may be under-utilised at best, or at worst frustrated by what may be in practice a backward step in their career.
Finalise client relationships
Actually, ‘finalising’ is the wrong word here – one of the key organisational objectives of any project should be to make clients so happy they want to come back with other projects!
At the very least, it is the time to extend a relationship that allows periodic discussions about how the deliverables are serving the customer’s needs (outcomes measurement) and whether there might be additional work for the provider organisation in the near future.
Finally, it is a mistake not to celebrate success, even if those successes were only few and far between in a failed project.
Many organisations miss out on the opportunity to properly close a project as a team and to acknowledge everyone’s hard work.
Celebrating a project’s close serves four purposes:
- It marks the official end of the project for the project team
- It provides the opportunity to acknowledge and reward everyone and their individual contributions to the success of the project
- It facilitates the lessons learned process we will discuss later in this Unit, and
- As a leader, the project manager can only gain by showing appreciation that will pay off the next time you head up a project and need a new team!