The project management process groups shape the life cycle of a project. They also define what to do when during the project’s lifecycle and what you need to do to manage the project. In the previous blog articles, we have gone through the Initiating Process Group and Planning Process Group in detail. Executing Process Group is the third Process Group. Executing Process Group is triggered after the Planning Process Group is completed.
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What is the Executing Process Group?
After the planning phase of a project, the executing Process Group starts. During this process group, actual outputs of the project and project deliverables are produced. Executing process group activities help to deliver project deliverables during executing phase.
Note that, project management processes are documented and controlled by the help of project management templates. You can see sample free project management templates to have an idea of how they work.
Let’s review the steps that belong to Executing Process Group activities one by one.
Executing Process Group Activity #1: Execute the work according to PM plan
The project plan which has been completed and approved by the stakeholders at the end of the project planning phase is executed throughout the executing phase. Actions and steps planned in the project management plan are followed.
Executing Process Group Activity #2: Produce product scope
The output or the main deliverable of a project can be a product. Product scope is clarified in the executing phase. This includes the features, characteristics, abilities etc. of the product.
Executing Process Group Activity #3: Request changes
Changes are inevitable in a project. Although the project requirements are finalized and project scope is determined during planning, customer or business might come with additional requirements or changes in existing requirements. These changes must be evaluated and managed properly.
Executing Process Group Activity #4: Implement only approved changes
Changes are evaluated by change control board in projects. Only the changes approved by the change control board can be applied in a project.
Executing Process Group Activity #5: Ensure common understanding
During executing phase, the project manager must ensure that project objectives are understood by each stakeholder and everyone is on the same page for the success of the project.
Executing Process Group Activity #6: Use the work authorization system
Work authorization systems are generally used to assign tasks or activities for project resources. Since this is the phase where the actual deliverables of the project are produced, activities or tasks of the resource are assigned with the help of work authorization system.
Executing Process Group Activity #7: Continuously improve
Better performance, better coordination, better management and better results should be aimed in the projects. Therefore, continuous improvement of the processes must also be aimed during the executing phase.
Executing Process Group Activity #8: Follow processes
Processes that help to deliver project outputs are followed throughout the executing phase.
Executing Process Group Activity #9: Quality assurance is performed
Quality assurance is for checking whether the produced outputs are as planned in the beginning and meets the project requirements. For instance, if the project is producing a new version of a car, test-drives are planned to check whether the car is safe enough to be launched and whether it is safe enough to drive in a live traffic etc.
Executing Process Group Activity #10: Perform quality audits
Quality audits are done during executing phase. This is for checking whether quality requirements of the project are met.
Executing Process Group Activity #11: Acquire final team
Since this is the phase where the actual project work is produced and end results are delivered to the customer, final project team that will perform the project activities is acquired.
Executing Process Group Activity #12: Manage people
These resources, meaning the final team, should be managed. Since there will be people performing project tasks and activities, these people must be managed through executing phase.
Executing Process Group Activity #13: Evaluate team and project performance
While the team is producing outputs, the performance of each team member and overall project team performance must be evaluated. Also, the project performance such as cost performance, schedule performance, quality performance must be assessed as well. If there are variations from the planned targets, correction actions must be planned respectively.
Executing Process Group Activity #14: Hold team building activities
Motivated people can bring success to a project. Therefore, team-building activities play a vital role in project management to keep up the motivation of the project members.
Executing Process Group Activity #15: Give recognition and rewards
Over-performing or successful team members must be recognized and awarded. This can be a bonus salary, an additional vacation or a gift card etc. By this way, team members will be encouraged to perform better in the project. This will bring better performance in the project respectively.
Executing Process Group Activity #16: Use issue logs
Issue logs store the problems or actions which need to be taken by people. Let’s consider that you are working on an IT project. If your project members need an access to a database to work on their software development activities, this access request needs to be logged in the issue log. When the access is provided, the issue must be resolved respectively.
Executing Process Group Activity #17: Facilitate conflict resolution
We will see conflict resolution techniques in our further lectures. Since the executing phase is the most active phase of a project in terms of project activities, it is more likely to have conflicts between people during this phase. Conflicts must be managed properly. They should be resolved quickly otherwise they can cause negative impacts in the project.
Executing Process Group Activity #18: Send and receive information
Project information is sent and received throughout the project executing phase. For instance, weekly, or monthly reports are generated to inform project stakeholders about the progress of the project. Also, most of the project communication will take place during this phase since the major project outputs are delivered during this phase.
Executing Process Group Activity #19: Hold meetings
Meetings with managers, executives, and project team members are organized. This is mainly for giving information about the project and for resolving the issues or impediments if there are any.
Executing Process Group Activity #20: Select Sellers
The sellers are selected during executing phase as well. During the planning phase, procurement procedures and procurement plan are prepared. When the executing phase comes, what to purchase from which supplier or seller are determined.
When the executing process group activities are completed, the next step is to trigger Monitoring and Controlling Process Group activities.