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Case Study: Phase 4

Case Study: Phase 4

Author: Sophia Tutorial

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What's Covered

This tutorial will demonstrate a case study for a real world project by focusing on:

  1. Phase 4: Closing the Project


The case study used today is the development and construction of an energy efficient house for a couple. Once all scheduled tasks are complete and the deliverable (the home for the couple) has been created, the managing phase is complete. It’s then time for the project manager to close the project.


You are the project manager on a team designed to develop and construct and energy efficient home for a couple.

a. Decision to Close: The first step in the closing process is verifying that the project is ready to close. As project manager, this means facilitating the final inspections that must occur before a house is considered ready for occupancy.Schedule walkthroughs provide the opportunity for final inspection and the project closing process can continue.

All contracts must be paid in full, and marked closed during this process. Each subcontractor must be paid, and the amounts tallied in the actual budget numbers.

The budget for the energy efficient house finished within the homeowner's target value of 15% above an average house. You complete the final documentation required by the project governance. A final status report is given to the architect and the homeowners, which details:
1). Final schedule and budget numbers. Any changes made to the house since the original plan (as noted in the final report, a tile floor was substituted for a wood floor)
2). A meeting at the home is arranged for the project to be approved by the stakeholders - the architect and homeowners. They walk through each room of the house, discussing any changes.

b. Transferring Knowledge/Ownership: The knowledge of the project, and the operation of the home are explained in full to the homeowners during this phase.

Example This house is equipped with a system to monitor all
energy usage.

The project manager thus arranges a demonstration of the various features of the system. The homeowners are pleased, the architect is satisfied, and the project is approved.In other projects, this is the stage when the operation of the deliverable is transferred to the person handling the implementation or operation of the project. In your project, the keys are handed over to the homeowners, who can then move into their place.

c. Warehousing Information: The project manager must make sure to warehouse any project information that will be helpful for future projects.

ExampleYou hope to work on more energy efficient houses in the future. Any ideas and decisions related to the house's operation are electronically saved on the company's servers.

d. Lessons Learned: Final meetings are arranged with each of the team leads and the architect to document the lessons learned on the project. Any information gained from the project that can be used to improve the quality of future projects, or aid other project managers, is documented.

ExampleYou learn from the insulation contractor about the
various issues encountered with the roofing insulation for the high
cathedral ceilings in the project. This is recorded so these issues can be avoided in the future.

As the project manager, you would then thank the team leads, and release them from the project, providing each of the team leads with a performance evaluation. Both individual and team performances are evaluated. In the case of other projects, these performance evaluations might be used in annual performance reviews.


Now that you’ve learned about all four project phases in a real world context, take a few moments to reflect:

    • You learned in an earlier lesson that certain setbacks can kill a project. During which phase should a project manager prepare for these setbacks?
    • Think about a time when you had to rely on your communication skills. How did open communication help the project? How might lack of communication hurt it?
    • Aside from their use in performance evaluations, why are individual work and teamwork equally important in a project’s life cycle?


This tutorial demonstrated a case study: phase four, closing the project to give you a real world sense of what this stage would look like in real life. Lessons learned are warehoused and individual performances are evaluated in this stage.

Good luck!

Source: this work is adapted from sophia author jeff carroll.