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Closing Process Map (pdf 95kb)

Closing is the process of completing a major activity, phase, or the project itself. The Transition and Closure plan (doc 47kb) outlines the points in the project when transition and closure activities take place, the requirements and the process steps to accomplish an efficient and effective transition or closure.

Although transition and closure is identified as a separate step in the WSDOT project management process, managing it effectively requires the application of other steps within the WSDOT project management process:

  • Plan the Work - Development of the transition and closure plan
  • Endorse the Plan - Acceptance and approval of the plan
  • Work the Plan - Tracking and managing transition and closure activities

The resulting transition and closure plan is an integral part of the Project Management Plan. Activities such as lessons learned and rewards and recognition occur continuously throughout the project. Other transition activities are timed to effectively coincide with the acceptance of completed work, archiving or the demobilization of staff, resources and facilities, etc.

Identification of transition points can be aided by using the Deliverable Expectation Matrix which provides a range of project development deliverables and the general order in which they will occur.

What gets measured gets done - tracking and managing transition and closure activities requires careful planning, budgeting and scheduling. Include transition and closure activities as discrete work elements in project schedules and budgets.

All transition and closure activities must be completed before the activity, phase, or project is deemed "complete" and the project manager is released from responsibility for the project.


  • Endorsed Project Management Plan
    • Project performance baseline - project deliverables, schedule and budget
    • Project performance plans:
    • transition and closure plan
    • Risk management plan
    • Change management plan
    • Communication plan
    • Quality plan
  • Completed work products



  1. Implement the Transition and Closure Plan:

    Use the project performance baseline and PMRS budget tracking tools to maintain performance visibility of all transition and closure activities.

    Acceptance of Work - Plan for and implement specific procedures for the acceptance of the work. Review the quality plan acceptance criteria and establish detailed scheduling of all acceptance activities, including review and acceptance of quality reports.

    Acceptance acknowledges the transfer of responsibility. Establish a date, the requirements and procedures for acknowledgement of the acceptance of the work.

    Demobilization - Plan for and implement specific procedures for staff reassignment; the return of resources and equipment; and the termination of facilities and services no longer needed for the project. In all cases, keep communication with affected staff members clear, and provide appropriate advance notice of changes to those affected.

    Financial Closure - Review the requirements and specific procedures for the financial closure of the activity, phase, or project with region or organization and program management.

  2. Lessons Learned

    Reviewing and documenting lessons learned is a continuous improvement process that occurs during each phase of the project. WSDOT's Lessons Learned System provides the ability to store, search and retrieve project information and lessons learned quickly and easily. The system is a tool to support the sharing and communicating of what works and what does not for the purpose of improved project delivery.

    Review the transition and closure plan which establishes project team activities and responsibilities to document and report lessons learned throughout the life of the project. Prepare final lessons learned submittal during the transition or closure event.

    Documenting lessons learned contributes to constantly improving the management of WSDOT projects.

  3. Rewards and Recognition

    Maintaining positive energy and focus within the project team is a critical element of successful project delivery. Positive reinforcement through a project-specific rewards and recognition program is one way to develop and maintain the team's "esprit de corps" during the project. Recognition of team and individual contributions to project success at completion enhances the sense of team accomplishment and encourages positive team behavior on future projects.

    Based on performance measures established in the transition and closure plan; recognize and reward individuals and the team for exemplary performance during and at completion of the phase or project.

    Never underestimate the power of a simple and sincere handwritten note.

  4. Archiving

    Take steps to organize files and prepare them for archiving during the course of the project. Follow WSDOT archiving, Electronic Content Management (ECM) system (pdf 703kb) and the project transition and closure plan for collecting, organizing, and storing the phase or final project records.

    • Collect all project materials, files, and records (e.g., project reports, historical documentation, drawings, contract documents, manuals, electronic data, and photographs) from the project team.
    • Prepare files and documents for archiving as areas of the work are completed. Follow any region or organization guidelines for archiving all documents, including electronic files such as PMRS, MicroStation and InRoads project files.
    • Create an inventory of all files and their contents; perform a quality check of the files; then package and transport them to the appropriate storage area.
    • Follow WSDOT policy and procedures for retention and destruction of documents.

Major activity, phase or project complete