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When it comes to the execution phase of your project there are several ways of succeeding in terms of developing and completing deliverables. The third phase of the project life cycle is one of the most crucial of the project phases, since it’s the phase where you will construct your deliverables and present them to your customer. This is usually the longest phase of the project life cycle and typically the most demanding.

It is also where project management differs most from other similar areas, such as event planning. Unlike that field, which involves too much uncertainty, the execution phase of project management consists of following a set of preordained steps that will assist your team in the completion of all deliverables. The key thought to keep in mind here is that you will be on track towards a successful completion, as long as your team works effectively and adheres to the project plan. If that sounds daunting, fear not, here are few suggestions on the best practices for the execution phase of project management.

The Executing Process Group

The goal of the Executing Process Group is to evaluate processes, analyses, plans and procedures in order to complete the project in accordance with project specifications as outlined in the master project plan. One of the most important areas to pay attention to here is the quality of all deliverables. Both the project manager and the project team will manage the contractors and all necessary resources to ensure that the project is completed in line with the agreed upon specifications. This involves the consistent monitoring of potential risks, schedules, project status, quality assurance and potential requirements associated with the project.

Quality Assurance & Procurements

The Quality Assurance Management process involves auditing and monitoring all requirements involved with the project. The goal is to ensure that all standards are met while the project is being executed. Some of the most common occurrences during this process are risk management, an assessment of activities to ensure that they are in line with the overall project goal, and checking in with both sellers and those supplying the tools needed to complete the project.

This Procurement process involves narrowing down a specific seller, settling on a contract, and signing an agreement. To do so, one needs to assess whether they want to make or buy, consider the criteria involved in source selection, understand the criteria of their seller, and finalize a statement of work.

Managing Stakeholders

This part of the execution phase involves managing the expectations of your stakeholders, including their needs, any issues they may have and answering all questions to ensure their fundamental understanding of the process. The primary components of this process are change requests and the issue log. When managing stakeholders, it’s a good idea to know and understand what your stakeholders need to know about your project. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time—and theirs.

Crucial Areas

As demonstrated above, the project management execution phase is comprised of several smaller processes. Each of these processes plays its own role in completing the project in accordance with the desired outcome. However, it is important to understand that your overall plans for the project may change depending on a series of variables associated with change requests and issue logs. This speaks to the overall dynamism of the process, as an issue in one particular area can trigger issues in another, and so on.

David Goulden
David Goulden, Product Director