The Ultimate Guide to Project Closeout using Free Checklist

Jawad Ahmad


Jawad Ahmad

The Ultimate Guide to Project Closeout using Free Checklist

Table of Contents

Project closure is the final phase of project management. It is equally important for all the stakeholders. Thus, the project closure checklist provides a step by step guideline to project managers for the project closeout process.

It ensures that the project manager has double checked everything before sending the closure report for the client’s approval and effective closing for the construction firm.

The overall project closeout process flows works as follow due to use of project closeout checklist template:

  1. Project Deliverables Report
  2. Client’s Approval
  3. Close All Open Contract with the Client
  4. Project Closing Notes
  5. Project Archives
Project Closure Checklist Template

Free Download Project Closure Checklist Template

There are many project closure checklist pdf files that are readily available on the internet. One can simply free download any one of those and customize it as per the nature of the project.

However, a few project closure checklist example reports are provided free for the reference.

Related Article: Free Construction Progress Report Template [XLS] | Project Reports

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Project Closeout Checklist

What is a Construction Project Closure Checklist?

A project weather its construction or any other isn’t one step action to closeout.

Further, the construction projects are much more complex to manage during the life cycle and thus the construction project closeout process.

As the project closeout plan needs to check every box and makes sure that the site is ready as per the scope and objective of the project.

Also, a brief report on project ups and downs for future reference of the construction firm and client is a requirement.

Thus, the project managers make use of the project closeout template for managing the closure activity. However, there are several types of project closeout templates.

The basic and necessary ones for the construction project closeout are:

  1. Construction Project Closeout Plan Template
  2. Construction Project Closeout Document Template
  3. Project Closure Checklist Excel
  4. Project Closeout Report Template

Almost all of the above project closeout templates are important to use for any construction project. However, some small and short-term projects focus on using a simple project closeout report template.

In our opinion, the most important and integral template for project closeout is a checklist for project closure.

Related Article: Free 2 Week Look Ahead Schedule Template XLS | Construction Schedule

Steps to Project Closure Process

The project closure checklist template enlist all the important aspects of the project to recheck. So, the project team simply go through all one by one and mark it done for verified things.

It is the responsibility of the project manager to make sure that the project has fulfilled all the work stated in the lump sum contract of a construction project.

So, the following are the key step to formally close a project using the closure checklist template.

  1. Review and Verify the Project Specifications with the Actual Deliverables
  2. Present Project Closeout Report to Client, Listen and Fix the Concerns.
  3. Get the Client’s approval and Take Over Certificate (TOC)
  4. Settle Payments and Close all open Contracts
  5. Identify and document the Lesson Learned for Future Projects
  6. Archive the Project documents with an Executive Summary Page.
  7. Release Project Resources

Project Deliverables’ Report

Although the project deliverables are presented to the client in the weekly construction progress report. However, it’s important to summarize the overall details in the closeout report of the project.

A simple comparison of project deliverables with the project specifications given in the project outline document is enough.

It’s like tracking things back on the document for the closing purpose for example the summary of project simple KPIs in light of project plan and reality.

Initially, the comparative view of the project schedule and construction project cash flow is enough.

However, the ultimate purpose is to show off that every requirement of the project has been fulfilled and no work is pending. Further, one can include a clean issue tracking spreadsheet as well.

Moreover, now the main focus is to look for any change requirements or requests from the client and verifying the completion of all work using the project closure checklist template.

In short, the process flow of project closeout plan is as below:

  1. Ensure all Work is Done.
  2. Change orders are implemented.
  3. All legal requirements are fulfilled.
  4. Obtain Taking Over Certificate (TOC)
Project Deliverable Closure Flow

Client’s Approval

The ultimate goal of a construction firm during the project closeout process is to get clients’ approval and take over certificate (TOC). Once the closeout report is submitted to the client.

The client reviews the work details considering the project outline and construction lump-sum agreement. It is the most crucial stage to define the relationship between the client and the construction firm.

The base of this step is set during the project planning stage. So, the project team must ensure the understanding of each project deliverable and specification required to the customer.

Further, if there are some questions, those should be discussed during the planning phase for smooth client approval at closure.

Now if all the project team has completed all the work as per customer requirement. The client approval process brings positive effects on the relationship between both parties.

Thus, it is the golden time to listen to client feedback and address the client’s concern immediately.

The client approval part is a bit formal and may involve personal meetings with stakeholders and continuous follow up emails.

Related Article: Lump Sum Contract in Construction | The Ultimate Guide for Everyone

Settle Payments and Close All Open Contracts

The clients’ approval and issuance of taking over certificate ahead toward closing all legal contracts between the client and construction firm.

The contract management team of the project looks into the details. It ensures that all the participants of the contract have fully met all the requirements of contracts.

This team provides a contract status report to the project manager to see what contract is still open and how to close those contracts. If the client’s approval process is smooth and all concerns of the client are fixed.

There should be no open contract. However, sometimes it takes time to resolve client concerns and closure of legal contract also get delay. Anyhow, the project closeout process moves on if project deliverables are met.

As the construction firms hire a lot of sub-contractors to perform work at the site. So, the management of subcontractors’ contracts is also important.

The contract management team must verify their work completion and quality standard before closing subcontracts.

The project closure checklist template also includes a separate section for the evaluation of subcontractors’ work.

Project Final Notes or Lessons Learned

The project closeout process is the base of success for the next project for a construction firm. If the company maintains good notes of lessons learned in one project and take care of those things in the other project.

Many projects won’t face the same issues again and again and project success rate gets manifold. So, it is important to take final closing notes of the construction project from the key people.

Thus, to figure out what information needs to record and from whom is the key to take effective notes.

This document captures the experience of people in terms of what they have faced during the project and how they come out of issues.

So, they share valuable feedback on how to avoid the same issues and challenges in future projects. The purpose of the final project notes isn’t just a formal requirement of the contract.

It is what a company needs to review regularly before starting any new project. So, to ensure the easy accessibility of project lessons learned is the responsible project manager.

The best practice is to organize internal presentations of different project closing notes to educate company project managers and teams.

So, they can learn and evaluate the project’s success or failure factors to implement in their projects to ensure success.

Project Archives

The construction firm maintains its project archives with easy accessibility for future reference. However, the professionals’ practice is to add an executive summary as the cover page of the project file.

So, it makes easy for project managers to navigate through the valuable experience of a specific project.

This summary may include information on the project team, a list of key activities, a summary of uniques challenges, and project final notes.

So, the summary makes the project archive helpful to get an insight into project hefty details. A summary of the newcomers may include the following chunks of the project.

  1. Project Feasibility Study Analysis
  2. The usefulness of Project Management Templates
  3. Project Scheduling
  4. Important of Project Management KPIs
  5. Project Tracking Process
  6. Project Risk Management Planning
  7. Construction Project Progress Reporting and Closing

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many questions in the FAQ list of project closeout checklist. However, the basic ones are:

What is a Project Closure Checklist?

A project closure checklist document provides a list of actions to check, verify, and mark done to smoothly go through the closeout process of any project.

What is the importance of Project Closure?

The project closure is the last phase of project management. It is important for relationship management between parties.
Also, the project team to review project deliverables, get client approval, close all open contracts, and jot down the final lessons learned.

What are the Reasons for Project Closure?

The project closure leads the project team to the next project. Also, it ensures the delivery of all project specifications and closing of project contracts. So, the payments are released, and client issues a taken over certificate.

What are Project Closure Lessons Learned?

The project closure lessons learned are the final notes written to record the valuable experience of project managers and teams.
It takes notes of all actions that prove helpful for the project.
Also, all challenges faced during the project to avoid similar mistakes in future projects.

What is Project Closure Meeting?

A project closure meeting is a final settlement between the client and the project team. The project team presents the closeout report, listens, and fixes the client’s concerns.
Finally, the client’s approval led to the closing of all open contracts and the completion of the project.

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