A Project Closeout We Can’t Get Enough Of

We had just recently completed a KM pilot for a client to create an information neighbourhood, albeit on paper first, for one of their strategic business areas.  Although the project was completed in early January this year, it took the team several weeks to schedule the project closeout and for good reason too…

the project team was set on ensuring that their project documentation was up to the mark so that the handover to the next team would be smooth as well as to serve as a model for future teams undertaking similar projects.

The project retrospect threw up a couple of disappointments, one of which was from a team member who wished she could have been given more to do, really, another was not getting enough members with the domain knowledge on the team, and the final one was having a smaller team. There were thankfully more successes than disappointments, among which was that the project helped them derive a common taxonomy for related information resources, created an awareness among members for good information management behaviour so much so one department started to tidy up their other stuff, brought people from across the organisation together to collaborate and build relationships, and it got them to finally document their processes for routine activities.

Since the start of the project, I felt that this team was empowered and demonstrated ownership for the project. They did not just follow instructions blindly from us. They asked valid and useful questions to reinforce their understanding. This helped us understand their constraints and environment better as well as helped us tighten our own process. They did not take quick and dirty shortcuts to reach milestones. They were aggressive in their follow-up with representatives from the various divisions and departments.

The Project Sponsor was originally to join us at the end of the closeout meeting but he showed up half and hour earlier in the middle of our discussion on offers for the next project. At the end of the retrospect, he asked me about my assessment of the project team. I was glad I was able to tell it straight for the team was certainly deserving of praise. He was also proud of their efforts and thanked us for a job well done. It was not just lip service because the next thing he did was to ask the KM Manager to arrange to have the work of the project team presented to senior management. He felt that it was a worthwhile and successful piece of work that needs to be recognized as well as taken to its next stage. This call to elevate visibility for KM rendered the last part of the close-out all the more meaningful – the symbolic handover of the project documents by the Project Manager to him, his presentation of the letters of appreciation to the team member and the final “Kodak” moment.

Bravo to you! You know who you are!

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