During the various stages of the project life cycle, you are expected to meet various outcomes and objectives of every phase. Normally, project execution will start after project initiation and project planning processes.
Execution refers to the specific set of techniques and behaviors which project managers must consider having a competitive advantage. Project execution is the phase where you are supposed to design your deliverables so that you can present to the kay stakeholders or customer. It’s the longest phase which is usually demanding. This phase includes the followings:
- Developing and managing project team
- Having technical and quality specifications.
- Procurement and allocaton of resources
- Perfoming quality assurance
- Taking into account the consideration of the organization.
The main purpose of project execution is to complete all work that is defined within the project management phase and ensure major project objectives are met. For project execution best practices to be realized the project leader must focus on the following major processes:
- Communicating information to team members, sponsors, and key stakeholders.
- Following processes
- Managing people.
The following strategies can assist you in promoting a successful project execution best practice that you may be yearning for.
1. Project Status Report
Giving out the report on the status of the project is one of the project execution best practices which at times can appear to be broad however the main objective here is to be purposeful and thorough as you carry it. To achieve this, you must create forms which imply the following:
Designing documents that can assist developers to easily move one when carrying out the coding and testing solution.
Having documents that are needed in putting the project scope to be clearly understood and owned by every stakeholder.
As you carry out the strive to achieve this practice, you should ensure that your client both external and internal are able to review and sign major documents of the project so that they can be official. Your effort and formality should be able to match the benefits, visibility, and budget of your project. Remember, if you hand over documents that are prepared poorly, it will not only pose challenges in the entire process of project execution but will also reduce the confidence of your customer.
2. Develop And Manage Project Team
One of the project execution best practices is for the project managers to manage and develop human resources required to complete the project. Since you would have defined the scope of your project, it will be easier for you to easily manage the people who are to execute the vision of your project. Ensure carefully choose members for the team and allocate activities and tasks which are suited to them.
By delegating the tasks properly, you will be indicating that you have confidence in the abilities of every member. This can boost the morale of your team and act as the best practice for boosting the success of the project.
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3. Communication Management
The top management leaders also need the efforts of other people. Thus, they should be able to communicate effectively to the project managers, program managers, and sponsors on the things they wish to do during this phase. They should not forget to tell them why they want those things to be done.
This is why concise and clear communication is required. However, if you have a well-defined project, you can easily get all the input that is required from your stakeholders and team. Also, the team can have a thorough understanding of how their work and knowledge can contribute to the success of the project execution if you are able to explain to them the vision behind your strategic decisions.
If they do not have such an understanding, they can easily feel isolated and may quit in the middle of your execution.
4. Manage Project Issues
Although as highlighted above, risks must be managed well, no single project leader has the power to see the future so that he/she can avoid unknown issues and risks. All, they must do is to come together and also listen to the knowledge the team members may be having. In many instances, listening is an important skill that many project leaders have not utilized well. In case you wish to close any gaps as you execute your project, you must learn to listen carefully.
Therefore, it’s important for you to rely on the feedback and input that you get from your customers, stakeholders and team members. As you listen, ensure you consider only the information which will add value so that you are able to manage issues raised in a professional manner.
when you come together as team you can easily identify the room cause of a particular problem by analysying it in detail. Therefore, you can make a resolution which can match the interests of majority of the team members.
5. Celebrating Achievements
For project execution to be effective and successful, you should be able to break it down into small parts. Ensure, you celebrate any milestones and wins made on every part. This because project execution is the longest phases of the project lifecycle which can take a lot of energy and time for the entire project team. Thus, you must be able to boost the morale of all members by acknowledging their efforts.
Remember in many cases, many projects do fail when the stakeholders’ efforts are not appreciated as some with even quit along the way. As you celebrate the achievements, you must avoid issuing statements which indicate that it was an individual effort that made you achieve that. Rather give credit to all members since you are one team so that all members feel that their efforts have been recognized however, small they were.
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6. Managing Your Stakeholders
Another project execution best practice that you should embrace in your project is managing your stakeholders’ expectations. This will include their needs, answering their questions and addressing any other issues they may have in ensuring that they understand what the process of project execution entails. As you manage your stakeholders, you must understand and know all the things that they are supposed to know concerning the project.
Managers who cannot define clearly the activities which are supposed to be done cannot expect their juniors to comprehend their strategy, for maximum contribution. If you do not know, then you will be wasting their time and yours.
This is self-awareness and emotional intelligence is an important skill that all project leaders must possess. You cannot lead other people if you do not understand yourself well. However, you can have plans of acquiring enough training so that you have important knowledge that is required for your role in the project.
It’s this knowledge that will assist you in building a highly competent team for the success of the project execution process.
7. Updating Your Client Regularly About The Status Of The Project
For your project to be successful, you should be able to update your client regularly on everything that you have done in executing the project. This can ensure your client remains happy and appreciated. In this practice, the project team should be on track and never omit anything. As a project leader, you should not only conduct regular updates to the client but also to the entire team.
As you do this you can also assist your clients on testing depending on the level of the project which has been delivered since some may wish to test what you have done. Since testing is the last phase of the project, you should ensure that the project deliverables do meet the expectations of your customer.
8. Conducting Quality Assurance
The aim of this process in executing your project is to evaluate procedures, plans, analyses, and processes in order for you to complete your project according to your project specifications. The vital thing you should pay attention to is the quality of the deliverables. In this case, both the project team and project manager must be able to manage all important resources and contractors to make sure the project is completed according to the specifications. To achieve this, you must consistently monitor the project status, potential risks, potential requirements and quality assurance which is associated with your project.
To properly implement this strategy, you can hold regular meetings to hold your team members accountable, document actionable items and strengthen any agreements.
9. Conducting Procurements
This is also another project execution best practice which entails auditing and monitoring all the needs of the project. The main of this practice is to make sure that you meet all standards while you execute the project. As you strive to achieve this process, you should be able to conduct risk management which involves assessing all activities to make sure that they match with the project goals. You must also check the sellers and the suppliers of the equipment needed to complete the project.
For a successful procurement process, you should be able to narrow down and choose a specific seller so that you can sign a contract. Therefore, you should understand the market before signing the sale agreement.
10. Risk Management
Risks can adversely limit you from achieving a successful execution. Some of the risk that you may face as you execute your project are:
Late delivery of hardware and software
Team members not having enough technical skills in executing the project.
The control room having a risk of being affected by natural calamities.
Since risks will vary from one project to another, you should be able to identify some of the main risks before you are done with this project phase. Thus, you are able to have plans on how you are to avoid or mitigate any risks which may occur. However, you cannot manage all risks since they may not have the same impact and they may be many.
11. Change Management
Stakeholders can change their minds as soon the process of project execution has begun. Also, the business environment can also change after you have started executing your project, thereby making any assumptions that you had made during your planning invalid. This will imply that your project deliverables and scope must be changed. If as a project manager you accept all the changes during this phase, you might face the risk of completing the project late, not completing it at all or going beyond the planned budget.
Therefore, to increase the project execution chances, the project manager should be able to control how any changes can be accommodated. Failure to manage the changes effectively can be one of the reasons why your project execution can fail.
12. Conduct A Checklist On Everything
After executing your project, conducting a thorough check up on everything is a key project execution best practice that you should not forget. In this case, you will ensure that you have put everything in an orderly manner for implementation, rollout, and deployment. Thus you must ensure you have done the following:
- You have done all the testing
- You have done all the training
- You have completed all the tasks
- You have done and signed all the deliverables.
After you have everything which is required in your project, it’s vital for you to review any issues and risks which you experienced during project execution. This will ensure that you are able to avoid them as you do another project in the future. You can also review the project plan against the project execution that you have done. Some of the things you can consider here are budgeted expenses task duration and the whole phase.
As highlighted successful and effective project execution involves proper management of resources and people. It also involves performing and integrating all the activities according to the project plan. If you follow the above guidelines about project execution best practices you will be able to deliver all the things you have outlined in your project.
In short, you should know that every project is unique, thus you must be flexible, adaptable and nimble is adjusting to any circumstance which you may face. Many of the project leaders who have following these guidelines have found it successful and effective in their project.