Thanking and finishing
Not only is the successful and inspiring launch of a project important, but so is the well-managed completion of it. You should familiarise yourself with the project’s completion procedures that are expected by the finance provider well in advance, and find out which is the most reasonable method for carrying out these procedures. The well-managed completion of a project often requires the contribution of several people in different phases, all of which should be noted during a sufficiently early phase of the project. It would also be a good idea to be aware that the majority of projects end at the turn of the year, which is a busy time for everyone, but especially in terms of financial administration.
It would be good to organise the final project team meeting at a stage at which the official completion procedures have been handled satisfactorily. The final meeting will review any central issues that are related to the execution of the project, and any possible further measures.
Distributing results, and post-completion marketing
Utilise the steering group and other parties who are involved in the execution of the project to communicate and market the results post-completion. Publications and articles – both scientific and those intended for the larger audience – are an excellent means of making your work seen and for communicating the results. Participate in seminars, webinars and other meetings. An arena for the distribution of the results can also be found among the competitions or joint subject publications that are organised by the finance provider.
Learning from successes and failures
The project plan is compiled carefully and its execution is documented meticulously as well. There is always a lot to learn both from the planning and execution. The discrepancies between the plan and the execution, however, usually receive rather minimal attention and utilisation. It is recommended that deviations during the execution phase of the project be documented, in which case you can return to them at the end of the project. Deviations together with their causes can be reviewed at the final project meeting, when the procedures for communicating and utilising any lessons that have been learned in team meetings, meetings involving the RDI personnel of schools, and over the intranet could be agreed upon.
Feedback from RDI customers
In order to improve customer cooperation in JAMK, at the end of the project we arrange centrally-collected customer feedback about all the national RDI projects that we have administrated.
The processing of RDI customer feedback is carried out as follows:
- The query is sent electronically around one or two months before the end of the project to all cooperation partners involved in the project.
- The RDI services collect lists of cooperation partners from projects that are ending from Reportronic and sends the lists to the Project Manager for checking.
- A summary is prepared of the results, and is sent to the Project Manager and the R&D Manager. The summary may be added to the final project report.
- Respondents can be identified from the results, allowing the Project Manager to contact the provider of feedback when needed, to agree about further measures.
- A summary of all the results is reviewed in every three months by the JAMK management team.
Customer feedback contains the questions below that can all, except for the final question, be graded in the scale ‘Extremely well’, ‘Well’, ‘Satisfactorily’, ‘Poorly’. Where poor feedback is received, the Project Manager will contact the customer.
- How were the set targets achieved?
- How can you utilise the achieved results in the operations of your organisation?
- How were the measures implemented?
- How well did the cooperation with the JAMK experts progress in your opinion?
- How well did the competence of the JAMK experts meet your expectations?
- What can we do to operate even better in the future?
Almost without exception, projects require the preparation of a final report. Finance providers often have their own final report form in a specific format, which is something that you should familiarise yourself with during the start of the project. It is recommended that you follow this form in the follow-up and reporting during the project. At the end of the project you will have the final report ready, except for the final update, and you will no longer need to draw up it separately. The final report often describes the following issues:
- A description of the results achieved
- Deviations in the execution of the plan
- A description of the distribution and utilisation of project output
- Good practice in the execution of the project
- Problems in the execution of the project
- Recommendations for further measures