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Managing Projects (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series) by Harvard Business Review

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Bringing Your Project to a Successful Conclusion

The final stage in the life cycle of a project is the phaseout, during which your team completes its work. If all went as planned—the tasks fulfilled, the problems solved, the stakeholders satisfied—then congratulate yourself and your team. It’s a time for celebration.

If, as is more likely, you hit some rough spots along the way—the project took longer than expected, the result was less than hoped for, or costs exceeded estimates—it’s still important to recognize the team’s efforts and accomplishments.

In either case, before the team moves on to other projects or breaks up and parts company, debrief and document the process together so that the full benefit of lessons learned can be shared.

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