Closing contracts – OPEN

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Topic 12.3: Closing contracts

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As a project manager, you will often commission a set of mini-projects to be performed as contracts by third parties.

In those cases, you are the one receiving the project deliverable; and the suitability of that deliverable for your purpose – your acceptance criteria – will determine (among other things) how your project proceeds, and whether or not you pay the producer!

So having already looked at the processes of contract acquisition, monitoring and control, now we will review the various ways contracts can end and their implications for your projects.

The remedies discussed in this topic are the main ones – several others of varying obscurity also exist.

This is because these remedies are not legislated by parliament; they are ‘historical’ precedents agreed on and determined by the courts.


This is the basis for legal systems in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand and other countries that operate under a system of common law.

Other countries, especially in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, have similar remedies, but these are available in civil law, or through legislation.

For that reason, you should look to your specific region or jurisdiction to find the legal options available at any given time, and obviously seek advice if in doubt!

Either way, though, you should only bring a contract to a premature conclusion after careful consideration and only after all other avenues have been considered.

It should always be the last resort!

As we have stated throughout, proper planning before entering into the contract, regular monitoring and control of performance, and a willingness to address risks before they become issues (and molehills before they become mountains) should see contracts end satisfactorily (by performance) 99% of the time.

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