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Module 8: Project Closeout

Topic 1: The importance of closing out

It is important to bring research projects to a proper completion. This is important from an institutional perspective, as future funding is often dependent on track record, not only of research success but also of fully meeting contractual obligations. In addition, the lessons that can be learned from an effective closeout provide valuable insights into managing projects better in the future.

This topic explains the importance of closing a project, including who is responsible for doing it, how the information is used, the benefits of doing a proper project closeout and the possible consequences of not meeting requirements.

Learning outcomes

After completing this module you should be able to:

  • Describe the benefits of undertaking an effective project closeout process
  • List some of the services and support available from your own organisation to assist with project closeout
  • Describe some of the consequences of not undertaking an effective closeout process.

Topic content

Read the following notes.

1.1 Benefits of effective project closeout

1.2 Implications of ineffective project closeout

1.3 Project closeout and the Project Capability Maturity Model

1.4 Project management & project closeout support

Pursuing the topic further

Project closeout is a concept developed within the field of project management. If you wish to look further into project closeout in particular, or project management more broadly, you may find the following references useful. Note that these are optional supplementary references, and not a necessary part of your preparation for the workshop.

Hanisch, Bastian & Waid, Andreas (2011) A project management research framework integrating multiple theoretical perspectives and influencing factors. Project Management Journal, 42:3 pp4-22.

Meredith, Jack R. & Mantel, Samuel J. (2011) Project Management: A Managerial Approach. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Payne, Janet M, France, Katherine, Henley, Nadine, D'Antoine, Heather A, Bartu, Anne E, Elliott, Elizabeth E. & Bower, Carol (2011)  Researchers' experience with project management in health and medical research: Results from a post-project review. BMC Publich Health, 11. Available at:

Pearce, Meryl, Clarke, Beverley & Gannaway, Deanne (2007) Developing informal project management skills in a collaborative learning environment. Geographical Education, 20 2007: 48-57.
Project Management Institute (2008) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) - Fourth Edition. Available at:

Singer, Susan L. (2010) Project Management in the Research Environment. Available at:

Wikipedia (2012) Project Management. This is a useful short article which gives a brief overview of a range of  project management approaches.

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