Right steps for project management (Part 5)

Hi all and welcome back.

After the other articles (that you may find here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4),  where we covered from setup to planning, now is time to focus on execution.

Executing means….not only executing the project, but much more:

  • Execute work plan and develop project deliverables:
    • a plan is there to be followed and adapted
    • this is your main duty: get the result in the time frame and with the cost that you forecasted
    • although a plan is not carved in stone: is better to deliver what you have promised with variations from plan and not respecting the plan but delivering incomplete results
  • Establish standards:
    • change management process
    • status updates
    • budgeting timing and reporting
    • peer reviews
    • project reviews
    • logs
    • formal sign offs
    • measurements
  • Monitor progress
    • at a certain level control can become paranoid, but finding the good balance between speed and control is a key task
    • monitoring progress is not only calming anxiety, but is having the project in your hands, be able to answer questions and anticipate the problems
    • not monitoring is hoping and hope is not a strategy
    • handle status updates on a constant basis, although keep a daily contact on progress: the sooner you spot an issue, the better
    • track and handle change requests: too many projects fail because of un-tracked and unapproved scope changes. If a change request process is not in place, set up it.
    • check your production toward plan
  • Monitor resources and finance:
    • achieving the result is your main goal, doing within the resources you requested is your duty
    • that’s why we spend time in planning and monitoring resources, costs and finance
    • achieving the result within the budget is not a nice to have, is what will make this project being remembered as successful or not
    • and as well, monitoring reasonably embeds the capability to anticipate problems and “sell” extra costs the right way
    • track risks
    • monitor your costs against what you produced
    • track your Actual, ETC, EAC and understand variances
  • Deal with issues:
    • life is not a clean run, neither are projects
    • a PM deals with issues every day, and doesn’t let them wait for a resolution
    • prioritize them and dedicate your time to those at highest priority
    • understand how they interact
    • track at right level, do not over document: time is a scarce resource
  • Communicate:
    • communicating, also problems, is critical and is an activity carried throughout the project
    • dedicate time to communication and change management, failing in doing so impairs your success

(image by Krappweiss)

Author: hotrao

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