So you've got a project plan—great! Now the work of executing the project plan begins. The project manager and the project team will go about completing the promises made in the plan to deliver, document, measure, and complete the project work. The project plan will communicate to the project team, the stakeholders, management, and even vendors what work happens next, how it begins, and how it will be measured for quality and performance.
The product of the project is created during these execution processes. The largest percentage of the project budget will be spent now. The project manager and the project team must work together to orchestrate the timing and integration of all the project's moving parts. A flaw in one area of the execution can have ramifications in cost and additional risk, and can cause additional flaws in other areas of the project.
As the project work is implemented, the project manager refers to the project plan to ensure that the work is meeting the documented expectations, requirements, quality demands, target dates, and more. The completion of the work is measured and then compared against the cost, schedule, and scope baselines as documented in the project plan. Should there be—gasp!—discrepancies between the project work and the baselines, prompt and accurate reactions are needed to adjust the slipping components of the project. The execution of the project includes many activities:
Doing the work to reach the project objectives Spending the project budget to reach the objectives (I can help!) Building, training, and developing the project team Getting quotes, bids, and proposals for project vendors Selecting the project sellers
Purchasing, managing, and using the resources, materials, equipment, and facilities the project needs to reach its objectives
Implementing the organization's mandated methods and standards for the project
Managing and verifying the project deliverables Completing risk assessment, monitoring, and response Managing those pesky sellers Dovetailing the approved changes into the project Communicating with the project's stakeholders
Gathering project data on cost, schedule, quality, and status to forecast where the project will be in the future
Collecting and creating the lessons-learned documentation
Directing and managing the project also requires the project management team to respond to conditions within the project. Consider a new immediate risk that demands a response. A new condition warrants that the project management team plan and then directly confront the problem. There are three activities that also fall into executing the project plan:
• Apply corrective actions to bring future project performance back into alignment with the project plan.
• Apply preventive actions to avoid negative risks within the project.
• Apply defect repairs to fix flaws and problems identified through quality control.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.