Failure to close out the project completely, including supplying all the documentation required by the client as well as completing all outstanding work including rectifying defects and punch-list or snag items results in additional costs, frustrations and often delays the release of guarantees, final payments and retention monies. It may also result in the project's warranty period being extended which may expose the contractor to additional risks and repairs.
When nearing the end of the project it is good practice to prepare a finishing schedule. This should include all the remaining items of work and time for completing punch list items.
Keeping documentation up to date, and filed in a correct and orderly system will ensure the documentation is substantially complete, and only requires minimal work before it’s handed over to the client. However, I’ve rarelyfound it done this way, resulting in some project staff working for months after the completion date, trying to recover data and put it into some semblance of order to hand over to the client. This is costly, delays personnel from moving to another project, and holds upfinal payments and the release of guarantees.
I also suggest preparing a list of items the contractor must supply to the client as part of the handover process. Delegate someone to be responsible for each item, and a date by when it should be closed-out.These items are often listed in the contract document, and would include quality control documentation(including closing out of all punch list items and non-conformance reports), a list of spares, spare parts, additional (or attic)stock, maintenance andoperations manuals, warranties and guarantees, commissioning data, and as-built drawings.