The way you approach the very end of a project can have long-lasting implications for your business; a poor closeout can even derail a project that has otherwise been running smoothly. All the work you did to engage with the client and build a relationship can be destroyed in this final phase. No matter how well the final stage looks, the job is not complete until all steps of the closeout have been completed and everyone goes home satisfied.
7 Steps for Construction Project Closeout
Implementing a comprehensive, step by step approach to project closeout and using technology to aid the process can boost efficiency and ensure you are handing over a completed work you are truly proud of. The right approach at this stage can also ward off problems and ensure the client ends up happy with the experience and final results.
Step 1: Project Closeout
During this step, the project or site manager will confirm that all project requirements have been satisfied, all work has been completed and all promises have been kept. This is the time to review any change requests, view all work and go over your initial documentation to ensure that you have fulfilled your obligations to your client. Software that tracks every package and part of the project can streamline this process considerably and shorten the amount of time you spend tracking down paper and employees on the jobsite.
You’ll need to:
- Finalize all commissioning and punchlist items. Using tools like Forms to create digital checklists you can use from your mobile device or Assets to track installation completion of materials or equipment can greatly help with this
- Document that all work has been completed as outlined in the original contract or order; if something is missing, incomplete or not done correctly, document and take steps to correct.
- Review legal requirements and ensure that all terms have been met.
- Meet with any code or inspection authorities and obtain COE and other documentation
- Review any change orders to ensure that these have been completed prior to client closeout.
- Review client notes to ensure that any requests have been attended to and that the site is truly ready to be handed over.
Step 2: Client Closeout
Client closeout is your chance to not only ensure that the client is satisfied with the deliverables but also to verify their acceptance and even solidify your relationship. If everything has been done correctly and you’ve completed the work, this part should be a positive experience for you both. In fact, it’s a great opportunity to really improve client satisfaction by getting your closeout clean, organized, and swiftly in the hands of the owner. One way to help simplify this process is by using data organizational features like the As Built Export which helps you source and package relevant as-built documents to easily handover to owners or other project stakeholders.
Providing a seamless data handover is critical to a successful project closeout with your client. For owners, data handover saves significant time and provides an in-depth understanding of changes made to the building as far back as during the design process. Furthermore, with this information at their fingertips, contractors can help owners move into operations faster without having to waste time tracking down disorganized asset and equipment information.
Closeout is your last chance to impress your clients by listening to their feedback and addressing any concerns immediately before they become too far gone to fix.
In addition to models and a record of project changes, providing owners with asset, equipment, and commissioning data empowers them to manage their building more efficiently and reduce lifecycle costs. For example, by using asset equipment tracking software, an owner will be able to scan a piece of equipment, get a historical record of when it was installed and by whom, have immediate access to warranty documentation, and know when maintenance needs to be scheduled.
In addition to a data handover, closeout is your last chance to impress your clients by listening to their feedback and addressing any concerns immediately before they become too far gone to fix. Now is the time to tap into your mobile cloud collaboration software to track issues and manage punchlists directly from the field so you can assure your clients that their needs are met.
Finally, make sure you get feedback. Whether it’s formal in person interviews, a customer satisfaction survey, or even follow up emails, feedback allows you to not only serve this particular customer better but boosts your performance for other clients as well.
Step 3: Organizational Closeout
This step demobilizes your company, employees, and equipment from the work site and project in a reasonable manner. Start by notifying any subs or other parties of the last date you’ll be working on the site.
Release any borrowed or rented equipment as you close out the relevant portions of the project. Include an inventory and notes and take photos or video of any pieces you need to. Once again, equipment tracking software can help your team streamline this part of closeout, allowing all moveable equipment like forklifts, excavators, and concrete buckets to be accounted for. Everything from big equipment to lavatory facilities and your construction trailers will need to be removed from the site; the job isn’t done until all signs of your team’s presence are gone.
Facilitating communication in this way helps the in-office team work with the on-site team and can foster healthy working relationships.
Reconcile the budget, comparing the money you spent with the money you budgeted and paying outstanding invoices. Interfacing with the in-office accounting team is essential; the records won’t be truly complete until Finance signs off. If you’re already generating field reports and using construction software, this process will be considerably easier than tracking down paper daily reports.
Don’t forget the “thanks”: As a project manager, a quick note of thanks to your stakeholders and the teams that contributed to the process can help close out the project. Let key players know the project is ending, thank them for their contribution and let them know any results that are relevant to their concerns or departments. Facilitating communication in this way helps the in-office team work with the on-site team and can foster healthy working relationships.
Step 4: Subcontractor Closeout
Any subcontractors for work performed on the site need to be properly closed out as well. Verify that all work has been completed and that it meets your quality standards. You’ll also need to confirm that any change orders have been completed before you release your subcontractors. Track these changes with your construction software and you can pull up everything you need to know in an instant. Then, at closeout time, all you have to do is verify the information is correct instead of wasting time searching for missing records.
This is also the time to take note of subcontractors you’d like to work with again and note any issues that should be addressed with individual subs or providers.
Once you verify the work was done, you can reconcile payment amounts and invoices and submit to your finance department as needed. You should also draft a note to each subcontractor thanking them for their contribution and providing any feedback you have for the job. This is also the time to take note of subcontractors you’d like to work with again and note any issues that should be addressed with individual subs or providers.
Step 5: Risk Assessment
Are there any threats or concerns you need to think about at the end of the project? This step is deceptively minor; it doesn’t take a lot of time, but if you uncover a risk, it can derail your progress entirely. Review the project to identify any risks or potential liabilities and to create a strategy to mitigate any problems or issues you identify. Legal risks, political issues, cash flow, worker training, transferring the deliverables, and other risks should be carefully assessed to ensure the final handover is easy and efficient.
To take risk assessment to the next level, look into leveraging machine learning technology. Tools like Construction IQ can help teams quickly understand what areas of their projects carry the potential risk prior to closeout, especially as it relates to overall project quality.
Step 6: Team Closeout
Your final walkthrough with the team that did the on-site work allows you to preserve any lessons learned from this specific project. It also helps bridge the communication gap between design team members, contractors, and subcontractors.
This is the ideal chance to connect with and show your appreciation for those team members and managers who made the project work.
Another way to ease this final team closeout is to leverage data federation tools like Bridge. Whether you use Bridge from the start of a project to automate and share information throughout construction or just at the end to make sure each team has the information they need, it is an easy way to save time while ensuring that each member of the team has a historical record saved in their own accounts.
This is the ideal chance to connect with and show your appreciation for those team members and managers who made the project work; this step not only shows your thanks but makes these key performers eager to work with you in the future. Celebrate a job well done with a wrap-up party or other gathering; for the cost of a few pizzas and beers, you can ensure that your team feels appreciated and that interest in your next project will be high.