Article #194 Using Construction Project Closeout Checklist to Ensure Having A Capital Project that can be Maintained and Operated by the Project Owner

Construction project closeout is a critical document to ensure an effective handover. A completed and thorough project closeout substantiates that the project has been performed according to the contract documents, all costs have been invoiced and paid, the building complies with all proper statutes and regulations and the owner can legally occupy the property without fear of encumbrance. It also ensures that the project owner is left with the knowledge and resources necessary to maintain and operate their capital project.

The project closeout should include a combination of onsite and administrative tasks that need to be completed before the project is closed out. Onsite Project Closeout would usually include completing all punch list items, demobilizing all contractors’ site offices, warehouses, and other temporary facilities and equipment, delivery of all spare parts required for roofing, tile, HVAC filters, ceiling tile, etc., ensuring that permanent utilities are installed, tested and working and all project-related services and contracts, ensure the site is completely clean and ready for occupancy, ensure all owner training of systems has been completed. The project closeout also includes project systems testing and commissioning for HVAC, plumbing, electrical, fire alarm, building envelopes, controls, building security, and other systems to achieve the owner’s project requirements as designed by the building architect and engineers.

The project closeout checklist should also include administrative closeout requirements to confirm that all contractual terms have been satisfied, closeout documents provided and payments have been made by the contractor to all the subcontractors and material suppliers. While deliverables vary with each owner’s particular needs, the goal is to provide a transparent and organized handoff of the project to the owner, including any information or documents they may need in the future for reference.

Using Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb enables the project owner to manage all project management processes needed across the complete project life cycle stages including the project closeout. Using PMWeb custom form builder, a Project Closeout Checklist will be created to identify all onsite and administrative tasks that need to be completed before the project can be closed out.

The checklist will include the different categories to ensure having a comprehensive, detailed, and complete checklist. For example, it will include the categories for contract-related tasks, project owner tasks, contractor tasks, consultant tasks, and any additional categories that could be needed.

Under each category, the list of tasks needed to be completed before a project can be closed out will be listed. For example, under the contract requirements category, the tasks could include Contractors Affidavit of Completion, Final application for payment (all contracts), Certificate of Substantial Completion, Certificate of Final Acceptance, and Consent of Surety to final payment.

For each task, there will be a planned or targeted date to complete the task and the actual date when it was completed. The planned date to complete and actual date values will be jointly updated by the contractor, consultant, and project owner team during the closeout meetings. A copy of the current Closeout Checklist will be made before it is updated. This is necessary to keep an audit trail of the completion of this checklist.

The attachment tab will be used to attach all supportive documents needed for the closeout checklist. Those supportive documents need to be uploaded and stored in their designated folder or folders. In addition, links to relevant PMWeb records and imported MS Outlook emails can be added.

The Closeout Checklist form workflow will ensure that the checklist is reviewed and approved by the right project team members. The workflow will identify all needed steps, the duration for each step, responsibility for each step, actions that can be taken for each step, and the sequence for performing those steps. The workflow steps will be aligned with the permissions set in the Closeout Checklist form to ensure that designated project team members are providing the information that they need to provide. PMWeb also allows adding conditions to the workflow steps to incorporate the approval authority levels.

About the Authorfounder

Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with more than 35-year service record providing project management and controls services to over 100 projects with a total value over the US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education, and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, Telecommunication, and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in complete project management including project management control systems, computerized project control software, claims analysis/prevention, risk analysis/management (contingency planning), design, supervision, training, and business development.

Bassam is a frequent speaker on topics relating to Project Management, Strategic Project Management, and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 years, he has lectured at more than 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America. He has written more than 250 articles on project management and information systems featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is a co-founder of the Project Management Institute- Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC) and has served on its board of directors for more than 6 years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), and Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE) and Green Project Management (GPM).

Bassam holds a Masters in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – Kuwait University, Kuwait and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, and London Business School, London, UK.


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