5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Memorizing the Processes (Step 4: Closing Process Group)


2. Processes in the Closing Process Group

There are only two processes in the Closing Process Group, 4.6 Close Project or Phase and 12.4 Close Procurements.





Process Description
Closing 4.6 Close Project or Phase Finalizes activities across all PM process groups and formally closes, which involves

  • validation of final product by the buyer
  • formal closure
  • financial closure
  • administrative closure.
Closing 12.4 Close Procurements Process of completing each project procurement, which involves

  • validation of deliverables by the buyer
  • financial closure (compensation)
  • legal closure
  • administrative closure.

Here’s a little more explanation of these processes.

4.6  Close Project or Phase

First of all notice the title “Close Project or Phase“.   A phase is when you subdivide a large project into several phases, each of which is treated as a project in and of itself.    Each phase therefore has to have a formal closure if it is to pass on to the next phase.   An example of this would be the development of a new automobile:  there is the design phase, the prototype and testing phase, and the manufacturing phase.

In any case, let us assume that all of the work of the project is completed and the final product or result of the project is done.   How do we close out the project?

The process of closure which is validation or acceptance of the final product by the customer and/or sponsor (this could be considered the “scope and/or quality closure”).   This typically involves payment by the customer and completion of the terms of the contract if it is an external project, or an official “sign off” of the results by the sponsor if it is an internal project.  This is the crucial step of closure, and is the “formal” closure, formal in the sense that it must be in writing.

The next phase is then financial closure, where all of the resources that went into the project are accounted for.  This is important to the organization because after financial closure, the unused resources can now be safely returned to the organization for use on other projects or operational work.

Finally if the project is closed with respect to the formal and financial closure, there is administrative closure which means archiving all of the project documents for use on future projects.

12.4  Close Procurements

This is closely tied to the only other process that is in the Closing Process Group, namely, 4.6 Close Project or Phase under the Integration Management knowledge area.   The work that the seller has done and the deliverables that the seller produces to help complete the project are validated as acceptable.  (You could think of this process as the  “quality and/or scope closure”.)  In return, the buyer pays the seller the agreed upon amount in compensation, which is the financial closure.

If the deliverables are validated by the buyer, and the seller is compensated by the agreed upon amount, this should fulfill the terms of the procurement contract, which then requires the buyer to sign off on the completion of the procurement by the buyer—this is the legal closure.

Alternatively, if there is a dispute, the dispute is taken care of through the dispute resolution process agreed upon and outlined in the Procurement Management Plan.  The final outcome of this process whether it be a claim, an arbitration, a mediation, or the judgment in a lawsuit, then becomes the legal closure for that procurement.

Finally, when the procurement is closed both financially and legally, there can be administrative closure which takes the various procurement-related documents (procurement contract, performance records, lessons learned, etc.) and puts them in the archive for reference on future projects.

In a way, a procurement is a kind of “sub-project” of the project itself from the standpoint of the buyer, and from the seller’s standpoint, it is a project in and of itself.  That is why the closure processes (formal, legal, financial, administrative) show such similarities.

This concludes a review of memorizing the processes by process group in addition to the memorization by knowledge area that we have discussed in previous posts.

Once you understand the names of the 47 processes and what their essential process description entails, you are ready to go for the major leagues in memorization of the processes:  memorization of the tools & techniques of each of the processes.  I find it easier to tackle this monumental task by reviewing the tools & techniques of the processes by knowledge area, starting with the Integration Knowledge Area, which is the subject of tomorrow’s post.


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