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Describe 5 Things That Take Place During Handover/Closeout

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 28th February 2012

Hi Paul, Would welcome your feedback.

At the handover and closeout phase of the project, there are some distinct activities that must take place. Specifically at handover these include:




Acceptance: This is the formal procedure that says to the sponsor and the users that the project has discharged its obligations and delivered everything required of it. This is normally managed within an acceptance procedure that documents the criteria for products in the contract from the outset. If there are no criteria defined within the contract, acceptance criteria are usually defined within the Project Management Plan. It is normal for the sponsor and / or users to sign an acceptance certificate, confirming that the products delivered meet the criteria.




Commissioning: This is where users take on the products and become familiar with how to operate them. The products are transformed from a “raw” product into an operational asset. Commissioning can vary hugely in time. For a large war ship, for example, commissioning can last several months, for a software programme, commissioning may require less time. For example, once the IT Technicians are trained in the programme’s use, the software can be used within the organisation.




Transfer of responsibility: Is where users take over formal ownership of the products. For this to happen, users must ensure they have everything in place to not continually refer back to the project team.




Once handover is complete, the project team move to the closeout phase. Here a number of activities must take place. These include:




Team dissolution: Where the project team will need to be disbanded and redeployed in a co-ordinated and controlled manner. Most projects seek to disband the team in a gradual way, rather than all members leave the project at once.




Disposal of project facilities and assets: This requires all office facilities, computers, coffee machines etc to be returned to their owners, sold or disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. All documents must be carefully indexed and archived for future use.