should be let go at different times, as the relevant parts of the project
complete. Also, any money you have not spent from your Project Budget
needs to be given back to your customer.
If you are never going to run a project again perhaps you can stop now.
However, if you think you might run projects in future, it is worth
reviewing this whole software development project – what did you do
really well, and what could have been done better? If you know what to
do better and what was done well, when you start to develop your next
piece of software you should do it even more successfully.
If the project was a success and your customer was happy with the soft-
ware you developed, it may be worth having a small celebration. You
deserve it, after all you have completed a project!
Introduction to completing your project
If you have followed steps 1 to 4 in this book, you should now have a
successfully running project. However, one of the things that really
differentiates the average project manager from the outstanding one
who is always in demand, is the way the manager ends a project. Success
in projects is not simply about producing deliverables, it is about
producing deliverables and giving them over to your customer in the
best way possible and making sure they can be used to meet the ‘why’
defined in your Project Definition.
The way you need to complete your project does vary considerably,
depending on the nature of the project and the deliverables. There are
many factors to consider when ending a project, most of which you will
be aware of simply through common sense. However, there are some
critical steps for some projects, which are regularly forgotten:
1. Test the deliverables. Do they work, and do they work as expected?
This does not apply to all deliverables. But deliverables like
computer software, a new telephone system, a new machine and so
on should be tested to ensure they work properly.
2. Help the customer to use the deliverables. Some deliverables need
to be explained to people, or implemented for them. On some
occasions people need to be trained in how to use the deliverable.
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Again, this does not apply to all deliverables. For example, if your
deliverable is a report, then customers usually don’t need to be
shown how to use it. However, some deliverables are not so
obvious to use – so if you have a new computer system, people
need to be trained in it. A new office layout may need to be
explained to the staff moving into it. New ways of working, such as
revised processes and procedures, may require you not only to
train people in how to use them, but also to convince them that
the new processes are an improvement. If your deliverable is a new
business policy or set of rules, you will need to educate staff on the
new policy, and you may also need to explain the implications of
the rules or policy and how they impact all aspects of their work. A
new machine in a factory will require the operators to be trained.
Whatever your deliverables, you must consider what help the final
users and customers may need to gain the full benefit from it.
3. Support the customer whilst they get used to the deliverables, and
for a short period when they find out if they are working properly.
Some deliverables require support even if a customer has been
trained how to use them. This may be because they are particularly
complicated or because some problems do not immediately show
up. So for example, with new computer software, it is usual for
customers to find bugs after it has been implemented which the
developers have to fix. Similarly if some building work is done for
a customer, it is common for them to pull together ‘snagging’ lists
of all the small things that are not quite right with the building.
The nature of the tasks you need to carry out in step 5 of the project will
vary, depending on the type of project and the nature of the deliverables.
So this section is less a list of specific instructions and more a set of
questions to ask yourself. By asking the questions in this chapter you
should be able to derive the tasks you need to do relevant to the specific
situation. (There is also some more detailed supporting information in
the Appendix.)
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