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Closing Out a Project Schedule in PWA

7175133946_c14344c929_kA proactive project portfolio management (PPM) system includes proper governance to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the data. An essential element of this governance is addressing projects that are completed or cancelled and to perform several actions on them also in order to complete them. You’ll want to ensure that all work has been captured, that resources don’t have remaining work on the project, and that the project is no longer visible in Project Web Access (PWA) views of active projects and tasks.

When a project is completed, take the appropriate steps to close out the project schedule.

  1. Process all updates from team members. Of course, you’ll want to capture the total work effort for each project. Since some of the next steps will impact the ability of team members to report their actual work, the first order of business is to inform the project team that you’ll be closing the project and that they need to submit all hours worked. Once all hours have been submitted and any discrepancies have been addressed, approve and publish all the task updates.
  1. Update the project “Status Date.” The project Status Date is the mechanism by which the project manager communicates how timely the project progress is. This date should reflect the last day of the reporting period for which task updates were received. Set this date in the Status Date dialog by going to the Project ribbon Status section and clicking the Status Date button to open the Status Date dialog. This value should be set to the date that the current timesheet period ended on, not the current date. Typically, that’s the Saturday or Sunday prior, depending on your organization’s timesheet policies. Click OK when finished.
  1. Update project milestones. Project milestones aren’t automatically updated by the process of accepting team member progress updates, so the project manager must mark all project milestones as complete. To mark a milestone as completed, first set the “Actual Start” date to reflect the milestone date and then from the “Task ribbon” | Schedule section, click the “100% Complete” button.
  1. Remove any remaining work. If there’s any remaining work on a project, it will affect resource utilization and availability. To ensure this data is accurate, it’s vital to remove any remaining work on completed and cancelled projects. In Microsoft Project, use the “11 – Project Closure” view to set Remaining Work to 0h and Remaining Duration to 0d for all tasks in the project that are not already zero. The easiest way to do this is to use the AutoFilter button in the Remaining Work column header to filter for all tasks that have a non-zero value.
Filter for Remaining Work > 0h.

Filter for Remaining Work > 0h.

Set Remaining Work to 0h.

Set Remaining Work to 0h.

Repeat the above process to filter and set Remaining Duration to zero as well.

  1. Remove project tasks from Tasks, Timesheets, and Resource Assignments pages in PWA. The “Publish” field is used to manage the tasks that are published to team members for execution. To remove tasks from these views, set the Publish field value to No using the 11 – Project Closure view. If the project manager changes Publish to “No’ for a task that was previously published, the following changes occur:
  • The tasks are no longer visible in the Tasks page.
  • The tasks are no longer visible in any existing timesheets.
  • The tasks aren’t available in any new timesheets.
  • The tasks are no longer visible in the Resource Assignments page.
Unpublish tasks.

Unpublish tasks.

  1. Set the resource “Booking Type” to Proposed. This will remove the projects from the default Resource Capacity views. Using the “B – Resource Sheet,” set the value in the Booking Type column to Proposed for each named resource.
Set the Booking Type to Proposed.

Set the Booking Type to Proposed.

  1. Update the project status to reflect that the project is no longer active. Most likely, your organization uses a project-level custom field to distinguish the state of a project (in other words, Active, Closed, Cancelled, etc.). This field is typically used to filter non-active projects from PWA views and reports. For example, our company, Sensei, uses a field called “Project Phase” to exclude projects where the Project Phase is “04 – Close.” To remove the completed or cancelled project from the active project view, starting from the Project ribbon | Properties section, click the Project Information button to open the Project Information dialog. Set the Project Phase field used by your organization to the correct value to indicate the project is closed and then click the OK button. If your organization uses a workflow to manage project phases, you should follow your organizational procedures to submit your project for final closure.
Project Workflow "5 – Closing."

Project Workflow “5 – Closing.”

  1. Publish the project. After completing steps 1 through 7, your project is now ready to be officially closed. Click the File tab and then click the Save button in the Backstage. Click the File tab again and then click the Publish button on the Info page of the Backstage.
  1. Close out Issues and Risks. The final step is to close out any remaining issues, risks and action items by changing their Status in the Project Site.

This excerpt is from the new book, Proactive PPM with Microsoft Project 2016 for Project Online and Project Server: A best practices guide for project managers, written by Kenneth Steiness and Dale Howard and published by Sensei Project Solutions.

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Written by Kenneth Steiness

Kenneth-Steiness_avatar_1456165080-120x120Kenneth Steiness PMP/PMI-SP MCP MCT is an industry expert on Microsoft Project and Project Server and has worked in the project management and scheduling field for over 16 years. He has managed customer engagements in over 13 countries worldwide and throughout the United States, in addition to presenting at world-wide conferences for Microsoft, PMI, and to many Microsoft Project User Groups over the years. Kenneth is the Managing Partner & VP of Delivery of Sensei Project Solutions, a Microsoft Partner specializing in Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) deployments with Microsoft Project and Project Server on the SharePoint platform. Sensei offers a complete set of services to help an organization make their Microsoft PPM deployment successful, including full implementation and services, training as well as pre-configured solutions and report packs. Visit senseiprojectsolutions.com or contact info@senseiprojectsolutions.com for more information.

View all posts by: Kenneth Steiness

Written by Dale Howard

Dale Howard is the Director of Education for Sensei Project Solutions.  He is in his 15th year of serving as a Microsoft Project MVP (Most Valuable Professional) and is currently one of only 39 Microsoft Project MVPs in the entire world. Dale is the co-author of 21 books on Microsoft Project, Project Server, and Project Online. He works out of his home in Ellisville, Missouri (a west suburb of St. Louis).

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  1. I am not sure why you would switch the resource from committed to proposed. As the work is now history and actually happened, the resource was obviously committed.

    Also, I would include a review of the project’s Engagements to eliminate an unnecessary future bookings.

  2. Gord —

    Thank you for your excellent comments. Yes, the step of setting the close project resources from Committed to Proposed is certainly open to debate. We include the step In order to ensure enterprise resources assigned to closed projects do not appear in the PWA built-in ‘Resource Assignments’ and ‘Resource Availability’ views. A common complaint from users is that closed projects appear in those two views, so this is why we recommend the step.

    Regarding resource engagements, yes, you are certainly right that these should be reviewed as a part of the project closure process to make sure engagements do not extend past the Actual Finish date of the project. Good catch, my friend!


  3. Very timely, as one of my customers is doing this now. They are using Timesheet Settings, recording time at the Project Level ONLY. How would we stop closed projects appearing in the option to add project to timesheet?

  4. + perhaps an additional note about the potential use of the field [Locked], which appears to only be available via the Schedule PDP in PWA… and at Task Level?

  5. MattS —

    Thank you for your very kind comment about our article. Regarding your situation with a client that tracks Timesheet hours at the project level only, we do not have any direct experience with a situation such as this. In PWA, as you have already discovered, it is not possible to set the Locked value to Yes for the Project Summary task.

    However, if your client is using Microsoft Project 2016 with Project Online, the Locked field is now available for use in the desktop client. The Locked field can be displayed in any enterprise project and the PM can set the Locked value to Yes for the Project Summary Task (Row 0 or Task 0). Perhaps this would solve your client’s problem. Remember that the PM must save and publish the project after setting the Locked value to Yes for any task.

    Also, setting the Booking Type value to Proposed might solve your client’s problem as well, but we would recommend you test this in a Test instance before using it in your Production instance of the PPM solution. Hope this helps.


  6. Changing the Booking Type is like a miracle cure for the Resource Availability report!!! This has plagued us for years to the point that our Resource Managers resisted using it because of all the old closed projects. Too many projects also caused the popular “Assignment Work by Project” view to default to a single useless color on the graph. I’m updating our Project Closure procedure to include this step (and the Publish equal No) and requesting updates to our currently completed projects. Thank you!

  7. Bruce —

    Thanks for your very kind comments about using the Booking Type field. You are more than welcome for the help, my friend.



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