Executing the Project Plan

The purpose of the Direct and Manage Project Execution process is to carry out the project plan. This is where your project comes to life and the work of the project happens. The work is authorized to begin and activities are performed. Resources are committed and carry out their assigned activities to create the product, result, or service of the project. Funds are spent to accomplish project objectives. Performing project activities, training, selecting sellers, collecting project data, utilizing resources, and so on are all integrated with or are part of this process.

Direct and Manage Project Execution is where the rubber meets the road. If you've done a good job planning the project, things should go relatively smoothly for you during this process. The deliverables and requirements are agreed upon, the resources have been identified and are ready to go, and the stakeholders know exactly where you're headed because you had them review, agree to, and approve the project plan.

Some project managers think this is the time for them to kick back and put their feet up. After all, the project plan is done, everyone knows what to do and what's expected of them, and the work of the project should almost carry itself out because your project plan is a work of genius, right? Wrong! You must stay involved. Your job now is a matter of overseeing the actual work, staying on top of issues and problems, and keeping the work lined up with the project plan.

Exam Spotlight

The project plan serves as the project baseline. During the Executing processes, you should continually compare and monitor project performance against the baseline so that corrective actions can be taken and implemented at the right time to prevent disaster. This information will also be fed into the Monitoring and Controlling processes for further analysis.

One of the most difficult aspects of this process is coordinating and integrating all the elements of the project. Although you do have the project plan as your guide, you still have a lot of balls in the air. You'll find yourself coordinating and monitoring many project elements—occasionally all at the same time—during the course of the Direct and Manage Project Execution process. You might be negotiating for team members at the same time you're negotiating with vendors at the same time you're working with another manager to get a project component completed so your deliverables stay on schedule. You should monitor risks and risk triggers closely. The Plan Procurements process might need intervention or cause you delays. The organizational, technical, and interpersonal interfaces might require intense coordination and oversight. And of course, you should always be concerned about the pulse of your stakeholders. Are they actively involved in the project? Are they throwing up roadblocks now that the work has started?

According to the PMBOK® Guide, this process also requires implementing corrective actions to bring the work of the project back into alignment with the project plan, preventive actions to reduce the probability of negative consequences, and defect repairs to correct product defects discovered during the quality processes.

As you can see, your work as project manager is not done yet. Many elements of the project require your attention, so let's get to work.

Later in this chapter I'll also talk about Develop Project Team because this is an integral part of the Direct and Manage Project Execution process as well. You'll want to monitor the team's performance, the status of their work, and their interactions with you and other team members as you execute the project plan.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

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.

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