• These are activities that are consistence with closing of the project.
  • It is ending of a project life cycle.
  • Project either casually because of excessive costs, schedule over runs or failure to accomplish their performance expectations.
  • They may also end if its expected results no longer have a strategic fit in the purpose of the enterprise.


Reasons for Terminating Projects

Projects are usually terminated for two basic reasons:-

Project failure and project success

Project failure:      this means that the project has failed to meet its cost, schedule and technical performance objectives or it does not fit in the organizations future.

Project success:     this means that the project has met its cost, schedule, objectives and has been integrated into the customers’ organization to contribute to the customer’s mission.


Other Reasons for Terminating Projects

  • If the project results have been achieve; if appropriate services and maintenance contracts can be negotiated and consummated.
  • If the project has over run its costs and schedule objectives and or is failing to make satisfactory progress towards attaining its technical performance objectives.
  • If the project owner’s strategy has changed such that the project no longer has a strategic fit in the owner organization’s future.
  • If the project objective is lost and thus putting the continued application of resources on the project in doubt.
  • Environmental changes that could emerge leading to adverse influence on the projects future.
  • If the priority of the project is not high enough to survive in competition with other higher projects.
  • Changes in the overall project goals could also lead to termination



  • Economic e.g inflation
  • Environment
  • Task team factor
  • Sponsorship
  • When the project costs exceeds business benefits

Types of Project Termination

Natural termination – This is when the project goals have been met.

Unnatural termination – This when some project constraints have been violate, performance is inadequate or the project goals are no longer relevant to some overall needs.


Emotional Issues Project Termination Include/Effects

  1. Fear of no future work
  2. Loss of interest in task remaining
  3. Loss of project driven motivation
  4. Loss of team identity
  5. Selection of personnel to be re-assigned
  6. Division of interest


The natural termination of a project is concerned with:-

  • Identification of remaining deliverables and products
  • Identification of outstanding commitments
  • Control of charges to the project
  • Screening of uncompleted task not needed
  • Closure of work orders and work packages
  • Identification of physical facilities assigned to the project
  • Identification of project personnel
  • Disposing of project materials
  • Obtaining needed certifications
  • Communicating closures
  • Closing down physical facilities
  • Agreement which clients on remaining deliverable end product


Ways of Terminating a Project

Termination by integration

  • Project resources are integrated with organization function or department to perform duty or wait for a new project.

Termination by addition

  • This is by changing the overall goal.

Termination by starvation

  • This is when a project is terminated pre-maturely. It may be due to over run of funds or budget cut.

Termination by extinction

  • If project objectives are unable to meet the needs of the people or if it has not met i.e. if it was successful or had failed.

Shutting Down a Project

  • Termination of a project involves bringing a project to a planned and orderly conclusion. Project termination should be planned with care and attention as are other project life cycle phase.
  • An important party of project termination is to provide assistance and guidance to the members of the project team who are being demobilized.

The project manager should consider the following actions:-

  1. Prepare and issue a project termination plan
  2. Hold project termination meetings with the project team members to finalize remaining tasks.
  3. Be available for counseling with project team member about re-assignment opportunities, emotional issues and career opportunities.
  4. Determine how the final documentation will be distributed and to whom.
  5. Work with team members to assure clear phase out protocols in terms of individual and team responsibilities.
  6. Meet with human resource individuals, managers to identify project termination personnel needs and assist team members in scheduling interviews, orientation of remaining members and incoming personnel who are brought in for termination of the project.
  7. Have a final meeting to thank everyone and recognize the distinguished contributions of project team members.

Termination Strategies

  • In termination, a project manager would be wise to conduct an immediate review of the status of the work packages, along with the funding schedule and technical performance parameters.

Several Other Things Must Be Done:-

  • Ensure that all projects deliverable end product have been provided to the project owner and that all project functional work is finished along with any close out of records.
  • Review the status of all contracts to ensure that requirements have been met or provisions made if such requirements have not been duly satisfies.
  • Work with the project team in developing and distributing a close out plan that provides guidance for an orderly termination of all elements of the project.
  • Maintain an on going surveillance of the close out activities including close out of all records and the disposition of materials.
  • Notify relevant stakeholders of the termination
  • Ensure that all financial matters on the project have been satisfactorily terminated.
  • Assist members of the project team to find other work in other organizations.
  • Prepare the project history particularly a “lesson learned”, report so that future teams in the organization can benefit from the experiences of the project.
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