What We Liked - Project Execution
In much of the literature, and in training programs, project management is
all about project planning while project execution gets short shrift. This is
not the case in Jason's book. As Jason explains:
"This phase involves implementing
the plans created during the project planning phase. While each plan is being
executed, a series of management processes are undertaken to monitor and control
the deliverables being output by the project. This includes identifying change,
risks and issues, reviewing deliverable quality and measuring each deliverable
produced against the acceptance criteria. Once all of the deliverables have been
produced and the customer has accepted the final solution, the project is ready
"The execution phase is typically the longest phase of the project in terms
of duration. It is the phase within which the deliverables are physically constructed
and presented to the customer for acceptance. To ensure that the customer's requirements
are met, the project manager monitors and controls the activities, resources and
expenditure required to build each deliverable. A number of management processes
are undertaken to ensure that the project proceeds as planned. The activities
shown in Figure  are undertaken.
Figure 4: Project management execution activities
"Build the deliverables: This phase involves physically constructing
each deliverable for acceptance by the customer. The activities undertaken to
construct each deliverable will vary depending on the type of project being undertaken.
Activities may be undertaken in a 'waterfall' fashion, where each activity is
completed in sequence until the final deliverable is produced, or in an 'iterative'
fashion, where iterations of each deliverable are constructed until the deliverable
meets the requirements of the customer. Regardless of the method used to construct
each deliverable, careful monitoring and control processes should be employed
to ensure that the quality of the final deliverable meets the acceptance criteria
set by the customer.
"Monitor and control: While the project team are physically producing
each deliverable, the project manager implements a series of management processes
to monitor and control the activities being undertaken by the project team. An
overview of each management process follows.
"Time management: Time management is the process
of recording and controlling time spent by staff on the project. As time is a
scarce resource within projects, each team member should record time spent undertaking
project activities on a timesheet form. This will enable the project manager to
control the amount of time spent undertaking each activity within the project.
A timesheet register is also completed, providing a summary of the time spent
on the project in total so that the project plan can always be kept fully up to
"Cost management: Cost management is the process
by which costs/expenses incurred on the project are formally identified, approved
and paid. Expense forms are completed for each set of related project expenses
such as labor, equipment and materials costs. Expense forms are approved by the
project manager and recorded within an expense register for auditing purposes.
"Quality management: Quality is defined as
the extent to which the final deliverable conforms to the customer requirements.
Quality management is the process by which quality is assured and controlled for
the project, using quality assurance and quality control techniques. Quality reviews
are undertaken frequently and the results recorded on a quality review form.
"Change management: Change management is the
process by which changes to the project scope, deliverables, timescales or resources
are formally requested, evaluated and approved prior to implementation. A core
aspect of the project manager's role is to manage change within the project. This
is achieved by understanding the business and system drivers requiring the change,
identifying the costs and benefits of adopting the change, and formulating a structured
plan for implementing the change. To formally request a change to the project,
a change form is completed. The status of all active change forms should he recorded
within a change register.
"Risk management: Risk management is the process
by which risks to the project are formally identified, quantified and managed.
A project risk may be identified at any stage of the project by completing a risk
form and recording the relevant risk details within the risk register.
"Issue management: Issue management is the
method by which issues currently affecting the ability of the project to produce
the required deliverable are formally managed. After an issue form has been completed
and the details logged in the issue register, each issue is evaluated by the project
manager and a set of actions undertaken to resolve the issue identified.
"Procurement management: Procurement management
is the process of sourcing products from an external supplier. Purchase orders
are used to purchase products from suppliers, and a procurement register is maintained
to track each purchase request through to its completion.
"Acceptance management: Acceptance management
is the process of gaining customer acceptance for deliverables produced by the
project. Acceptance forms are used to enable project staff to request acceptance
for a deliverable, once complete. Each acceptance form identifies the acceptance
criteria, review methods and results of the acceptance reviews undertaken.
"Communications management: Communications
management is the process by which formal communications messages are identified,
created, reviewed and communicated within a project. The most common method of
communicating the status of the project is via a project status report. Each communications
message released is captured in a communications register.
"Perform a phase review: At the end of the execution phase, a phase
review is performed. This is a checkpoint to ensure that the project has achieved
its objectives as planned."
9. Ibid, p5
10. Ibid, p10-13