During the five process groups of the project life cycle, there are multiple objectives and outcomes for each phase. After the project initiation and the planning processes, the execution of the project starts. A more detailed explanation for the project execution and the other process groups are given in the lectures of PMP Training. Also, in this article, we are going to give an overview for the project execution phase and explain the reasons why this process group is initiated.
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What is the Definition?
Executing processes help to deliver the actual work, outputs, and deliverables of a project. Because, project execution phase is where most of the project activities are completed, project deliverables are produced and delivered to the customer.
What is the Purpose?
The purpose of the executing process group is to complete the work defined in Project Management plan and to meet project objectives. What to do when, the order of activities, tools, materials and equipment that will be procured, the budget that will be spent throughout the project etc are all determined during the planning process. And these plans are executed throughout the project execution. If you have successfully planned a project, project execution phase will go smoothly and you will be able to complete the project successfully in the project closure.
However, weaknesses in the planning will affect the project execution. These weaknesses can cause exceeding budget, delays in project activities, decrease in quality etc.
What Does the Project Execution Focus on?
The project execution has three major focuses. Let’s see them one-by-one:
- Managing people. Because majority of the project activities are handled by the project team. And project activities are assigned to project team members. Therefore, during project execution people in the team must be managed properly to complete project activities and finish the project successfully.
- Following processes. Steps of how to do what are described in project management processes and during project execution, these processes are followed. For instance, how to purchase steel from the selected supplier for the construction project is defined in procurement management processes. When the time comes to purchase steel in the executing phase, regarding procurement management processes will guide on the steps that need to be followed to complete the purchase.
- Distributing information. Since the majority of the project work is delivered throughout the project execution, progress information about the project is distributed to the project stakeholders frequently during executing phase. Meetings with the project team are organized to review the current status of the project, next steps in the project, problems and how to solve these problems etc. are all discussed during meetings.
Why the Meetings are Important in Project Execution?
Meetings are important. Different types of meetings can be organized and different level of information can be provided in each meeting during project execution. For instance, meetings with the project team will have detailed discussion on project activities, particular problems etc. On the other hand, meetings with the senior management will have high-level information about the project progress, whether it is on track, on budget etc., and whether there are any high-level risks upcoming in near future etc.
What is Done During the Meetings in Project Execution?
- Risks are reviewed. If there is a risk that is expected to happen in near future, actions to overcome the impacts of the risk must be reviewed. And contingency plans to accommodate the impacts of risks must be reviewed. For instance, one of your project team members might resign from the job in near future. And in case he resigns, 2 weeks of handover period might be needed to new project team member that will take over the activities of resigning employee. And this 2 weeks of handover might cost 10,000 USD for the project since.
- A contingency plan to recover this cost must be reviewed respectively.
- Do not only discuss status or what is done. Meetings are not only for giving information about the progress. What could have been done better, problems and alternative solutions, risks, and best practices that can ensure better performance should be discussed during meetings.
What Are the Reasons for Starting the Project Execution?
There are two main reasons for starting executing phase of a project.
- The first reason is project planning is completed. Once the project planning is over, project management plan is developed. Then, formal acceptance of the stakeholders is taken for the plan. And project execution stage starts to perform steps that have been determined in the planning.
- The second reason is, integrated change control can result in a changed project management plan. For instance, if there is a change request that has been approved by the change control board, this must be implemented. To implement this change, first, project management plans are revised accordingly. Then, executing processes are triggered to implement approved a change in the project.
Review by: Gerald Morrison