By Nick Graham

Part of Project Management Checklists For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Here’s a project management checklist to help you get organised and make sure that you don’t miss anything. There’s quite a lot to do toward the end of a project, so you’re a long way from putting your feet up, breathing a sigh of relief, and thinking it’s all over.

  • Product completion: Check to be quite sure that all project products are completed, which includes successfully passing any tests and checks. If you’re doing version control, you should check that, too, and make sure that everything has a complete status.

  • Signoffs and handovers: Check that all necessary products have been signed off as okay, and that any handovers to users have been done.

  • Handover documentation: If there should be formal handover documentation (such as legal documents), check that it’s been completed and is properly stored.

  • Acceptance criteria: Check to ensure that the project acceptance criteria (set down in the Charter) have been met. Hopefully that will be all of them, but see the tip below if not.

  • Resource release: Finalise the release of project staff back to their home departments, or perhaps on to new projects.

  • Celebration: Assuming that the project was successful, it’s time to celebrate with the project staff. Although you might think this is a light-hearted point, it’s actually a serious one. It’s important that you mark the achievement by thanking the staff for their work and celebrating the success. And don’t forget supplier staff and support staff when preparing the invitation list.

  • Physical resource release: Arrange the return of equipment and the release of accommodation, such as team rooms and perhaps even whole sites.

  • Benefit measures: Often, some benefits will already be visible at the end of the project, so they can be measured now and reported now.

  • Metrics: Calculate the final totals for financial spending, staff hours, performance, and any other figures required for the Project Completion Report.

  • Cost code: Arrange for the project cost code to be closed, unless it is to be kept open for any modification to products after project closure.

  • Assess the controls: Think back over the project and evaluate to see whether the controls worked or whether there were problems.

  • Assess the plans: Think back and assess whether the plans worked, or whether they were too detailed or not detailed enough to exercise effective project control.

  • Assemble lessons information: Prepare a statement of lessons learned during the project. Check back through your Project Log to make sure that you pick up everything relevant.

  • Project Completion Report: Prepare the Project Completion Report together with a business presentation, if this is required by the Project Steering Group (PSG).

  • Project Completion Meeting: Ensure that preparations are in hand for the completion meeting of the PSG (it’s like a final Stage Gate), such as a room booking, presentation equipment, and refreshments.