The assignment is completed when the client approves and accepts the service provided and the outputs delivered, and the final closure procedures have been completed – see below.
If evaluation is part of the assignment or required to determine the fees paid, the consultant and client should agree the most appropriate method of evaluation against the assignment objectives.

Even if not included in the agreement, the consultant should evaluate the work undertaken to capture the learning and apply it for improvement.

The consultant should ensure that any obligations regarding communication are fulfilled (e.g. confidentiality agreements, preparation of case studies, articles, requests for references, etc.)

The the key requirements for success after the assignment – the Closure Phase in the EN 16114 Management Consultancy Services Standard  – are set out below:

PurposeTo achieve an orderly end to the assignment after completion of the delivery of the service.
InputStarts when decision taken that assignment is complete, normally when service is provided.
OutcomeA number of outcomes, including:

– release of all parties from their obligations in the agreement;

– shared understanding of continuing obligations;

– financial settlement of invoices, expenses, etc.

Assignment is not considered closed until final closure procedures have been completed; to include:
Legal and contractual mattersEffective processes to ensure that all legal and contractual matters are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner, in accordance with the agreement; to include:

– invoicing and payment;

– reconciliation of expenses of the consultancy practice;

– formal sign-off and acceptance;

– release of resources (including subcontractors);

– warranties and guarantees,

– third party confidentiality;

– intellectual property rights;

– obligations remaining after closure (confidentiality, non-competition, etc.).

Final evaluation and improvementProcess in place by practice to learn from work undertaken so the information and knowledge created during the project is recorded and applied for improvement. Expertise in evaluation is maintained with systematic process to ensure that strengths and opportunities for improvement are recorded and shared among staff.

Where evaluation is required for contractual reasons to determine the fees paid, most appropriate method of evaluation agreed by practice and client.

Typical metrics include:

– innovation (development of new services);

– process effectiveness;

– process improvements;

– team performance;

– utilization of resources;

– climate & motivation;

– sales leads/references;

– client satisfaction.

Administrative mattersEffective processes by consultancy practice to ensure all administrative matters are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner – to include:

– indexing, filing, archiving;

– backing-up data and records;

– return of client property (e.g. files, records, data, security passes);

– release/recruitment of subcontractors and internal resources;

– completion of internal quality assurance procedures.

CommunicationAny obligations regarding communication about the assignment fulfilled by practice (e.g. confidentiality agreements, case studies, articles, references, etc.); client debriefed.
Outstanding minor issuesProcess, agreed with client by practice, to deal with any outstanding minor issues so closure can be achieved.