The Project Wrap-Up: An Important Step to Conclude Any Assignment

By Sandra Rota, Vice President and Chief Merger Communications Officer

What does it mean to do a thorough and complete job? It’s an interesting question which would likely garner varied results depending on who you ask. In our work in bank marketing communications, the notion of a completed job or project always includes what we call a “project wrap up.” This is when we revisit the entire project from beginning to end with an eye towards what went well and what could be done better the next time. It’s an opportunity for a meaningful debriefing, analysis and review—and a chance to further improve our process and work product with each successive completed project.

It's no surprise that project wrap-ups occur upon the completion of projects. After all, it is only after projects are over that we have the benefit of hindsight for review and analysis. But what exactly do we do in a project wrap-up and why?

The topics typically covered in a project wrap-up center on whether the goals for the project were accomplished, whether we met the milestones established in our timelines, whether we went over, or under, the budget (and why), whether the client was satisfied, whether the project a success and why (or why not) and whether issues arose. We also explore subjects to do with whether the team had the right support and tools for the project, whether they had the appropriate time to do the project and what workflow processes could/should be improved. Our practice is to document project wrap-up discussions and save them for reference when planning future projects.

But why do it at all? Why not just move on to the next thing?

The main object of the project wrap-up is to review and record what we learned to help guide future endeavors. Being able to consult lessons learned helps us identify areas for improvement and find better ways to approach specific tasks. The result is that we can continuously improve our internal workflow and enhance our collaborative skills and structures. Moreover, these “post-mortems” allow us to identify our best practices and replicate them in future projects. Lastly, the project wrap-up offers a natural opportunity to recap results, highlight successes and accomplishments and recognize team members for their contributions and hard work.

MKP communications inc. is a New York City-based communications company specializing in financial services marketing and merger/change communication.