Project Execution & Controlling Activities
Execution Risk Management: Risk identification, monitoring and resolution are key tools for successfully completing a project. Part of controlling a project during the Managing phase is to have an established risk management process. This process is a primary part of Project Planning and is kept current until project closeout.
Risk management is of much greater concern to the technology Project Manager than to the non-technology Project Manager. Technology Project Managers may be responsible for projects that are working with undeveloped, or unproven, technologies. In the race to keep the organization ahead of the technology curve, Project Managers will have to engage their teams in projects that may have limited budgets, tight schedules and high customer expectations.
The other risk issue is the development and implementation of technology equipment and software that might become obsolete very quickly. Technology is moving at an alarming rate with its increases in speed and capabilities. Accordingly, risk is increased when implementing high-dollar or homegrown technology systems. To alleviate this issue, the Project Manager must make sure that the efforts of the Project Team are aligned with the technology and business strategy of the department. Researching future needs, capabilities, and integration requirements of the products will be helpful.
Construction Management Troubleshooting
Manage & Communicate Project Information: The project Communications Plan is an important factor in the Managing phase. A large part of a Project Manager’s responsibility during this stage of the project is keeping the Stakeholders informed of project status. There are many facets to project communications. Some examples follow:
- Joint project reviews are a good way to bring visibility to all areas of the project. They provide an opportunity to discuss important issues and make management decisions on the project with input from several sources. Joint project reviews can involve the Project Manager, Project Team members, project Stakeholders and department management, depending on the issues being discussed. The frequency and topics covered at these meetings should be outlined in the Communications Plan.
- The Project Manager may be requested to make monthly reports to the Executive Committee or other management group
- The Project Plan should be accessible to all Stakeholders. This may be accomplished by placing an electronic copy of the plan in shared storage, publication on a project web site or other means. The Communication Plan may specify that particular Stakeholders receive portions of the Project Plan in varying format, depending on their communication needs.
- Meeting minutes should be made available to Stakeholders along with any “to-do” lists that may have been generated during the meetings.
- The Project Manager should stay in constant communication with the Project Team, both formally and informally. Informal discussion is sometimes the best way to determine team morale, true project status, looming difficulties, etc.
Document the Work Results: Results are the outcomes of the activities performed to accomplish the project. Information on work results consists of input on:
- Which deliverables have been completed and which have not
- To what extent quality standards are being met
- To what extent contractual obligations are being met
- What costs have been incurred or committed.
These valuable data need to be collected and fed into a project performance reporting process.
Manage Organizational Change: All departments that develop and execute projects have formal and informal policies that may affect Project Plan execution. Project execution may also lead to the realization of the need for new polices or alteration of existing policies. Any consideration for new department policies and procedures should be documented during the Managing phase and reviewed for implementation.
Review Project Life-Cycle Phases Checkpoints: Senior management ensures that the project is progressing satisfactorily by reviewing management checkpoints or project milestones. Senior management uses them to approve the completion of a phase or milestone and as go/no-go decision points to proceed with the project. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, the checkpoint review will be linked to project funding. The checkpoints ensure that the products and services delivered meet the project objectives in the time frame established by senior management.
Update Project Planning Documents: During the Managing phase, the Project Plan is implemented and modified as necessary. Project Plan modifications may result from such things as the following:
- New estimates of work still to be done (generated as more detailed information is known about outstanding work)
- Changes in scope/functionality of end products
- Resource changes
- Unforeseen circumstances.
Changes to Project Baselines (i.e. Budget, Schedule, Quality and Scope) must be done through use of a formal Change Management Process. The Project Manager may change other Project Plan components (e.g., Risk Response, Communication Plan) as needed.
Manage Project Issues: The purpose of the issues management process is to provide a mechanism for organizing, maintaining and tracking the resolution of issues that cannot be resolved at the individual level. The approach consists of issue control mechanisms and a well-defined process that enables the Project Team to identify, address and prioritize issues.
The Issue Management process should give everyone involved with, or affected by, the project a way to report issues or problems. The Issue Document format provides fields for documenting the problem, assessing the impact of the problem, making recommendations and determining the cost (people and assets) and time required for resolving the problem.
To have the process work requires individuals to submit information on the issues to be considered. Any of the Project Team members, customers, or Stakeholders can submit an issue. This must be done in writing through use of the Issue Document. All issues are recorded in an Issues Log.
All issues need to be reviewed on a regular basis (e.g., the project status meetings, since this group will typically meet on a weekly or biweekly basis).
Typically, when the issue or problem has been resolved and verified, recording the actual date the problem was resolved and the approval authority closes the issue. Some issues may need executive management approval. The appropriate processes will be followed to update contracts and baseline documents.
Try Procurement Troubleshooting
Execute the Procurement Plan: As indicated in the Planning phase of this methodology, there will be times within the Managing phase when a department may have to go outside its resource pool to purchase products or services needed to deliver the project. In these cases, the project Procurement Plan will be put into action. The organization and each of its departments will have a defined set of guidelines and policies that provide the infrastructure for project purchasing that should be integrated within the Procurement Plan. These guidelines will outline the policy for solicitation, source selection and contract administration. Although the solicitation and contracting responsibilities may not always be managed by the Project Manager, it is still important that the Project Manager have a fundamental understanding of the department’s contracting and procurement policies.
The Project Manager’s responsibility in the Managing phase is to provide input into new product requirements for the services or products that were not planned for in the Planning phase.