Why did I write this book?
It seems to me that a lot of money is wasted in projects that are not well concluded and
inadequately handed over to production. Mistakes during the whole project are causing
this. Lack of project methodologies, under trained associates and “hidden agendas” are
other typical factors. To give an analogy, an airplane flight doesn’t just end for all those
on board with the landing. Some of the staff will have additional tasks and duties while
others just leave the plane. This has to be kept in mind.
Project money is not monopoly money either. It’s not your own money, but you have to
treat it as if you have been working for it very hard.
It’s not my intention to give you clear instructions on how to avoid these and other
issues. So this is neither a cook book nor a clear working guide to follow, except
perhaps the included checklists and form examples. My intention is to show some
situations every project is at some time faced with and some ideas on how to avoid
I’m well aware that there is no perfect project closure phase. Several circumstances,
like shift of scope, staff rotation in the project or in the line management organization
etc., can lead to a bad result in project closure, and which eventually cause problems in
production. My belief is that an ambitious project manager should try to excel at each
task in project management, each time this task has to be performed. So the motto is
“Keep on trying!” or “Get a higher level of maturity”. You should follow the “principle of
structure”, as one can see on page 66.
You might or might not have a clear project management methodology (e.g. CSC
Catalyst, RUP, PRINCE I, II or some other) in your company to follow already. The bad
news is that even if you have one, this is no guarantee that you will not be faced with
one of these phenomena early or later in your career. Almost all project management
methodologies foresee actions to close a project in one way or another. For sure you
will not pay to much attention to these tasks in the launch phase of the project.
Purpose and scope
You might then say “Another thing to care about during the hectic times”. Well this
statement is true for the first project where you try to implement positive extracts of this
book, but hopefully your next one will be easier.
In all following projects closure issues can become daily business for you.
Organizations are very limited in their ability to learn, but you can. If you are a
trained/certified project manager handling this task better increases your excellence and
your reputation. But being certified does not mean that you yourself are a good project
manager. Being certified assures that your project manager back pack has been initially
filled with the essential knowledge in that area.
“Dreamland Corporation” is a chapter of fantasy, describing what I would expect in a
perfect environment. It just describes my expectations and not what the consequences
would be if I would get what I was wishing for. So I have just described the layer that I’d
be acting in.
Golden rules can be printed and pinned on your office wall. Golden rules are also
“golden questions” you should ask yourself from time to time.