There are four phases within the Project Lifecycle. They are (click on the link to read the article):
The funny thing about the Closeout Phase is that most of the time, this phase gets the least amount of attention.
And, for that very reason, it tends to be one of the most loathed phases - no body wants to be in charge of closeout.
The takeaway here is this:
"If the first three phases of the lifecycle were executed properly and adequately staffed, the closeout phase is a piece of cake. If the first three phases didn't get the appropriate attention or effort, this final phase is brutal."
Construction Lifecycle; Closeout Phase
The closeout phase is the culmination of everything that was prepared in the Startup & Planning phases and kept up-to-date in the Execution phase. It's where we put a bow on things and walk away from the completed project.
Typically, this means we're taking care of things like warranties, spare part turnover, training, and final invoicing.
Depending on your company's processes, you may be performing a post-mortem study. Meaning, you're reconciling project quantities, labor hours and dollars spent. Then, taking all those numbers and putting them in a safe place for future reference. If you're NOT doing something like this, you might consider it. Capturing information like this at the end of a project can be instrumental in winning new, similar projects.
Who's doing what?
At this point, Primes are closing material contracts and subcontracts. That means final, contract-required paperwork, final billings including any retainage, and getting signoffs from the Quality Manager, Safety Manager and PM.
Owners are in a totally different mode. They're prepping for opening day! Picture things like press releases, local events and coordination meetings. All that ON TOP OF reviewing everything the Prime is sending in for approval. This is one of the busiest parts of a project for an Owner.
Why is this phase important?
Like I mentioned above, the ease or success of this phase in the lifecycle is wholly dependent on the first three stages and if they got the appropriate attention & effort.
In the Better Builder online course, we talk about how neglecting earlier phases of the lifecycle is incredibly easy; and it's incredibly detrimental to the follow-on phases.
Think of this as your finish carpentry. If the floor is flat and the walls are square, the finish work is simple. If the walls are mostly square and the floor is mostly flat, the finish work is MUCH more time-consuming.
Same principle. Make sure, in each phase, you're setting up the follow-on phases for success.
Nothing! We're done!
Just kidding - we're never done!
If there are maintenance periods or something similar, you may find your team back in one of the earlier phases, getting that work started.
We made it the end end of this cycle, so it's time to jump right into the Startup Phase of the next project.
Luckily, you know what's up. And what's required. Go get em!