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Best Practice - Closing Out Project Activities and Tasks

Summary

During project execution, project team members work on various activities and tasks, and closing those items out as they are completed is vital. This best practice stresses the importance of ensuring that project resources close out activities and tasks as they are completed, and offers advice and considerations around task and project closure.

Activity and Task Closure

As work progresses, the project team members (aka contributors) need to inform the project manager or work owner that they're finished with their assigned activities. While this can be done verbally (for instance, if a project manager is manually checking off activities as complete on the project schedule), typically, this is updated by the user by marking tasks as complete on their timesheet. Of course, if the task isn't yet complete, the end user can also update the remaining effort on the activity or task.

What if there are other resources assigned to the same task, and the task itself is not complete, but your portion is? In this case, a contributor should still communicate the completion of their part of the work. This is especially important if the contributor finishes the task earlier or later than scheduled.  This is because once the contributor marks their portion of the task as complete, it may be necessary for the project manager to adjust the schedule and prepare the next piece of work in the sequence for that contributor. Or the contributor could be leveraged for other work or projects. In any case, it's important for a project manager  to be up to date on who's completed what.

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