Project closure meetings are sometimes forgotten after a project ends, reasons vary from over-happiness (or rage!) by the results, to getting the resources involved in new projects or tasks. However, I consider the closure meetings are the most important meetings in the project lifecycle. They set directions for the company/department, highlight opportunities to grow in technical ways and magnify events and sources of problems that can be avoided in the future projects.

Closure meeting should be conducted whether the project ended successfully or even if it was stopped in the middle due to any circumstances.

Important aspects to discuss in the closure meetings:
1-Start by reviewing the history of the project; how things went from the beginning to the end. Passing through analysis, implementation and testing. Talk about the dates, delays if any, just put titles to refresh the gray cells of the project staff. You can also recall how important actions affected the client satisfaction(or dissatisfaction).
2-Discuss problems and issues have taken place during the project. If it is a project that wasn’t completed, discuss the reasons, and how you can avoid these issues/problems in future projects.
3-Discuss the project schedule, effort and budget, and see how you could stick to the plans (Actuals vs. Planned analysis). Analyze if the plans and estimations were accurate or stuffed, how they affected the project resources and delivery of the project.
4-Discuss process improvement for any project function (Project management, analysis, QC, QA, Development).
5-Discuss new technologies/tools that can be added to the organization portfolio.
6-Discuss lessons learned. It’ll be great if you have a lessons learned sheet accessible to all the project members during the project life cycle.
7-Recognize the team members who did excellent performance or took good decisions … So they know that their work makes a difference, that increases the motivation of the team members.

Finally, come with an Action items sheet, and EXECUTE THEM! Get any approvals you want on them and communicate their importance. The action items coming out of a project closure meeting is the most important action items list in the company, because they are the Global items whenever done, they give a push to the company/department, individual resources and process.

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