Project Termination (aka "project close-out" and "project finalization") is a situation when a given project is supposed to be closed or finalized because there’s no more need or sense for further continuation. Project termination is managed under a respective procedure that requires the management team to examine current state of the project work, review progress of goals and objectives, evaluate the project against success criteria, and check status of deliverables.
The procedure of terminating a project is usually carried out in 8 steps, including:
- Close outstanding agreements with suppliers
- Transfer any responsibilities (if necessary)
- Dismiss or re-assign the team
- Release all remaining resources
- Close the project book (resolve all accounting and finance issues)
- Document lessons learned
- Accept (reject) the product
- Install and use the product.
Failure and Success are two basic reasons for terminating projects. In order to determine which of the reason is relevant to a project, first the team needs to understand criteria for success and failure and then evaluate the project against those criteria. Here’re some tips on this point:
- Success: a project reaches success when its goals and objectives are accomplished on time and under budget, deliverables are produced as expected by stakeholders, and the final product is accepted by and handed over to the customer (end-user).
- Failure: a project is regarded as failed when its requirements are not met; the customer refuses accepting the product; there’re some technical issues that can’t be resolved by using existing tools and technologies; there’s an unanticipated loss or lack of human, funding and other valuable resources; the project effort becomes counter-productive because initial goals and objectives are unmet.