TechRepublic’s members have offered ample advice about successfully ending projects, and one mantra has been heard time and again: Document your work. As an example of solid post-project coverage, IT project management consultant Leanne Ingham sent in her company’s Client Acceptance report. She included a few notes about how the large Australian telecom she works for puts the report to use. Download the report template, along with Ingham’s advice, from TechRepublic.

Three goals of post-project reporting
To keep your client relationships from ending in tragedy, our members have advised that your post-project documentation process do three things:

  1. Wrap up any loose ends.
  2. Remind the client of all you’ve done for them.
  3. Have the client formally acknowledge that the job is complete.

Wrapping up loose ends and having the client acknowledge that your work is through may keep them from continually asking for “just one more thing.” Reminding the client of your myriad accomplishments can add a feel-good factor to both the finished project and your relationship. Those warm, fuzzy feelings might encourage the client to share good thoughts about your firm with colleagues.

How Ingham’s firm uses the client acceptance report
Ingham’s form includes sections for Project Description, Billing Arrangements, and Maintenance Arrangements to provide a thorough record of the project’s parameters and final status. Using the detailed listing of completed work, she provides an inventory of products purchased or installed.

All billing issues are reviewed so that any final payment arrangements or corrections can be made. The report includes the details of any support or maintenance the firm will be providing as agreed upon in the original contract or subsequent negotiations.

To be sure all the information is complete and correct, Ingham’s firm engages the project manager and others involved with the project in the creation of the post-project document. As it is passed among the key players, the report’s progress is tracked in a Document Control table, which details the names and dates each team member had possession of it. A separate Document Distribution table tracks the form when it moves out of house. Ingham and her fellow consultants record to whom the form was forwarded and what version they received.

Ingham presents the form to the client at a wrap-up meeting where she answers any lingering questions, solicits feedback about the project and, finally, has the client sign the document as an acknowledgement that the work is finished. The form is then filed with the original contract in the project folder.

Other samples of post-project documentation
Previously, we created some post-project forms based on member feedback and advice from consultants. Download the sample client acceptance report and the other forms and compare the two. Use the components of each to create the perfect documentation for your firm.

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