When you are managing a long-running project, your sponsoring business partners may start to feel you are a permanent part of their team. Since many projects have enhancements to make after the initial project is done, it is easy to get endlessly drawn into managing these enhancements as if they were part of the original project.
Your defense against this is to define the conditions of project close in your Project Management Plan. Here is a sample list of typical conditions:
- The Project Objectives from the Project Charter have all been met
- Contracts have been fulfilled and closed.
- Lessons Learned have been documented and reviewed
- Project Documents have all been stored in the project document repository
- There are no critical open issues (there will always be some issues left over; as long as they are not critical, these can be handled by your post-implementation Support Model)
Be sure to include this section in your Project Management Plan and that your Project Sponsor is aware of and agrees to these conditions in advance.