The project execution phase is often the longest and most complex stage in the project life cycle. If you’re not careful, your team might get off track, run into communication problems, or stop following your carefully outlined procedures. After investing time and other resources into your project execution plan, you need to make sure you can deliver on your promises. Here’s how to make the execution phase of project management a success.
What is project execution?
The execution phase involves carrying out the details of your project charter in order to deliver your products or services to your clients or internal stakeholders. First comes project planning. Then comes project execution. No matter how well you plan, your project won’t be successful unless you can effectively implement your ideas.
Project execution typically involves three primary components: following processes, managing people, and distributing information.
During the planning phase of project management, you should have outlined systems and procedures to help finish your project within your organization’s requirements. For example, you might have created processes to interact with third-party vendors who supply essential raw materials.
Sticking to your processes can help ensure your project proceeds efficiently. Rather than making a series of time-consuming, one-off decisions, you can look to your plan for guidance and move ahead with confidence. However, if circumstances or market forces change, don’t be afraid to reevaluate and adjust course. Stubbornly sticking to a plan when a change is warranted can jeopardize your entire project.
Making sure your personnel are following the project plan is essential, but keeping people on task is not your only job. It’s important that you also motivate, encourage, and cheer the team on. Pausing to celebrate each incremental victory is one way to show the team how much you value them, and it will inspire them to keep up the hard work.
Try to foster a healthy level of internal disagreement. If one of your workers spots a fatal flaw in your project, you want them to feel comfortable coming forward to explain their concerns.
Distributing information to stakeholders and clients
Involve your clients and stakeholders throughout the execution phase of the project. When you keep stakeholders in the loop, you can prevent costly misunderstandings and delays. The project execution phase is often the most extensive phase of the project life cycle. Instead of disappearing for weeks or months while you create the final product, encourage open communication and transparency all along the way.
In addition to the above suggestions regarding processes, personnel management, and communication, these additional tips will ensure your project execution phase is a success.
Assign clear responsibilities and accountabilities to your team members.
Explain the rationale and motivation behind your decisions to get buy-in from your team.
When you experience a setback, own your mistakes, and implement course corrections as needed.
Make project execution a priority
While executing your plan might sound like the easy part, considering all the work that went into the planning phase, the truth is that successfully finishing a complex project takes conscious, consistent effort. A work management platform can centralize all communication, collaboration, and project details into one intuitive space, so you can always see at a glance how much progress you’ve made, what the next best steps are, and how far you have left to go.