Our preferred methodology is PRINCE2 and while understanding that not everyone is a qualified PRINCE2 Practitioner, the approach used by that methodology to define project execution is indeed simple.
So here goes! Execution is the delivery phase of the project. It is the time when it all starts to happen and people start to notice that real money is being spent on developing products. We will talk about control later on to help manage that issue but when execution starts the "boat has been floated".
Execution is the delivery phase, which is in itself exciting, but it can be divided into three stages:
- A controlled start.
- Controlled progress.
- A Controlled close.
Controlled progress is the stage where step-wise execution of the project plan continues until delivery of all products is complete and the project can be closed down. This is a straightforward statement that masks the death of a thousand projects and even promising project management careers! Still, do not worry as the key word is control and, trust me, you WILL know if your project is under control or not. More on this later. In addition, we should note that during execution the level of project risk reduces until none remains. However, for the business, the risk of not achieving the expected benefits from the project has still to be dealt with.
A controlled close of a project confirms the delivery of the agreed products at the right quality to the business. It also marks the break-up of the project organisation structure and the team. At this point staff usually leave the project and return to their normal day jobs. Sometimes, the completion of the project execution phase creates a new business as usual scenario which is often served by allowing some, or all, of the project team to pick up the new roles developed out of the project.
Hopefully, you found this article to be a useful summary on project execution. Any questions? See me after class or drop me a line!