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Closing Process

Closing Process

Author: Sophia Tutorial

This lesson introduces the steps involved in the process of closing a project.

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What's Covered

This lesson introduces the steps involved in the process of closing a process and covers the following topic:

  1. Steps in the closing process


Even though this phase is called the “closing process”, it is still part of the project, so it should be included in the schedule and the budget.

1. Determine if the Project is Ready to Close

The first step in the closing process will be the project manager determining if the project is ready to be closed. All deliverables must be ready and approved by those with sign-off authority. All work must be marked as complete, and all material resources necessary to place a deliverable into operation must be purchased.

2. Close Out Any Contracts

Once the deliverables are ready, then all contracts related to the project must be closed out. This would include any contracts with vendors, consultants, or any external resources. Any contracts related to non-person resources, such as equipment or software rental or leasing, should also be concluded.  

3. Complete Required Documentation

Final modifications to all project documents must be made as described in the project governance. Project documents won't be considered complete until all final project approvals are granted.   As with phase approvals, the project manager will need to facilitate an approval meeting and project sign-off from the sponsor and key stakeholders.


Be aware that additional work might be required, which results in changes to the schedule or budget.

4. Complete Lessons Learned

This document will help project managers with future projects. It describes the issues, approaches, and successes of the project and outlines how event was managed so the knowledge and experience can be retained and used.

5. Warehouse Records

All records are warehoused. The final project documentation is safely stored so that it can be accessed in the future. This includes scope, schedule, and budget documents, risk and decision logs and any meeting agendas and notes, as well as any documentation created during the project closing process, such as the Lessons Learned.

6. Transfer Ownership

Most project deliverables will be moved into operations. The project manager will transfer ownership of the project to a hand-off person. This is often a project stakeholder or someone closely engaged with the project. If no transfer is needed, then a project closing meeting may be held to notify the team that the project is completing.

7. Evaluate & Release Team

The team as a whole should be assessed against project expectations and against any organizational standards. Details about individual team members' performance, since this is often used in annual performance reviews, should also be documented. Team members are then released to other work.


Team members may be needed during the closing process, especially when transferring ownership, so the project manager should be aware not to release members too early.

8. Close Project

Once these steps are complete, the project is officially closed. At this time, or perhaps before team members are released, a celebration meeting might be held so the project manager can make one final communication to the team about the success and challenges of the project.


Not all organization’s follow the exact order of these steps. Some organization’s release members over the course of the project as work is completed.

Step by Step

1. Determine if the project is ready to close
2. Close out any contracts
3. Complete required documentation 
4. Project approval
5. Complete Lessons Learned
6. Warehouse records
7. Transfer ownership
8. Evaluate & Release team


This lesson introduced you to the steps of the closing process of a project.  Remember, items such as contracts must be closed out as well, and elements or materials may be handed off to operations.  While all steps should be included for every project, some organizations vary the specific details on how each handled, such as evaluating and releasing members as his or her work is completed along the way.

Good luck!

Source: This work adapted from Sophia Author Jeff Carroll.