When we start out on our improvement projects there is often an issue, or target, that we want to accomplish.
This is great at the start of a project, proper focus is present. Later on however, toward the end of the project, this clarity can often fade and projects may slow down before being classed as completed.
Having an action plan that has all of its actions closed out is not necessarily a completed project.
Sure, the initial problem may have reduced, or the situation / performance has improved, but you may not be where you want to be.
By articulating more clearly what you need to experience at the end of the project's successful completion you will have a much better chance of getting where you want to be.
This 'success criteria' can help you better spot whether you have completed the project or not.
Don't just tick off a set of project actions, make sure that the improvement has been a success and that the results you originally sought are present.
Author of 'Business Process Re-Engineering', a practical plan to improve business performance.