Many people believe that the key to a successful endeavor is to start with a large number of resources. Multiple million-dollar projects would never fail if this rule worked. As a matter of fact, statistics reflect a completely different trend. The risk of failure rises with the size and scope of the project. So, issues connected to the project execution process might occur in projects of varied sizes, timelines, and scopes.
According to a recent survey, just 40% of all initiatives are effectively completed and delivered their full benefits. So, what about the rest? As expected, most run over budget and don’t satisfy expectations. Avoid being included in this 60 percent by implementing project execution methods. Is project execution really as important as everyone says it is? Read this full article to find out.
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What is Project Execution?
Project execution means that you’re rolling up your sleeves and taking action on everything you detailed in your project plan. To put it another way, you’re putting those plans in motion to complete the job. You could also hear project execution referred to as project implementation. That’s another word for the same thing in a fancier way.
Execution is the third step of the standard project lifecycle, which contains four overall stages: initiation, planning, execution, and closing.
Think about it from the perspective of your daily life: setting a budget is the simple part. It’s following in that offers the issue (especially when you really just want to cave in and order pizza regardless of what your wallet says).
Why is it Important to Focus On a Project Execution Plan?
Think of a project management execution plan as your own personal blitzkrieg. You utilize fast forces, striking tactics, and a lot of movement to get your project from point A to point B with minimum losses and maximum gains. There will always be errors, but if you have an example of your own project execution strategy, then you can minimize the number of errors.
At its core, this strategy represents an outline of all of your team’s activities to ensure that you meet all of the project’s objectives while staying within the budget and timeline you set out for yourself.
There are various components you need to address while creating your project execution methodology:
- Unpredictables: what do you do if something doesn’t go according to the plan? For instance, a team member gets sick or scope creep knocks on the door. Identifying and preparing for project execution risks and contingency plans early on can help your project succeed.
- Project deliverables: how will you monitor performance and progress, execute regular checks to rule out any possibility of project error?
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): how can you tell if the project is on track in terms of both time and budget?
My definition is that it is the difference between what the organization should get done based on its strategy and what actually does get done based on what projects are actually funded and executed.- Paul Williams, Executive Managing Partner of Think For A Change LLC
Planning the Project Execution: Do’s and Don’ts
Now that you know what a project execution is and why it’s important- only one question remains: how can a project execution be improved and what should be avoided on the road to successful project delivery? Here are a few tried-and-true pointers to get you started.
DON’T Assume that Your Stakeholders will Communicate with Each Other
As the name implies, stakeholders are individuals who have a stake or a particular interest in your project, company, or organization. Whether or not the initiative is a success, they will be impacted. The PMI says that poor communication functions as a contributing factor in 56 percent of unsuccessful projects. As a result, during the project’s execution phase, it is critical to monitor stakeholder involvement and communication.
How can you tell if your stakeholder communication is good enough? Try answering these questions:
- Is it clear to everyone in your team what each other’s priorities are?
- How well-defined are all the interrelationships?
- Is your customer up to date on the progress of the project?
If your answer is ‘no’ or ‘not sure’ to any of the three questions, then a good project execution software can help you make adjustments.
Take a look at Tackle. You can reduce dysfunctional meetings, improve productivity by 25%. Your team members will be able to keep tabs on the progress of the project and see if there are any delays that could affect their own schedules. It is also possible to update your clients and other external stakeholders by using the timeline view to follow your project’s progress. They only need to be invited or a report can be created automatically. Here’s what that timeline view looks like in Tackle.
DO’s: Define Clear Responsibilities And Accountabilities Within Your Teams
When we talk about accountability, we’re talking about who’s responsible for a particular decision, who’s responsible for delivering on promises, and who’s responsible for mistakes. If project roles and accountabilities don’t get established early on, the trap will snap shut the moment you run into the first brick wall and the blaming game will commence. But the trouble is that many individuals forget about this component of project management after the preliminary sentences, which can fire back when you least expect it.
Even in a typical project management execution, activities and priorities shift and the scope is re-examined on a regular basis. That is why you need to identify roles and accountabilities not just during the planning stage of your project but also all along its execution journey. Team members will be able to communicate and cooperate more successfully if you take the time to communicate who is responsible for what element of the project. As a result, everyone will know what part they play in the project and what they need to do to see it succeed.
DON’T Ignore the Lazy One
The Pareto Principle states that 20% of the team mostly delivers 80% of the work. Ask any employee working in projects and 90% will agree with this principle.
There are a variety of reasons for unequal workload distribution, but one, in particular, should be kept an eye out for during the execution stage of a project: a slacker. In order not to jeopardize the morale of the team, much alone its productivity, project managers need to be in charge of their resources, making sure not to leave anyone overcooked or undercooked.
A bird’s eye perspective of your resources and their availability can be obtained by utilizing software tailored to your selected project execution approach. You can check what members of your team are in for extra hours and who is still available to take on more duties. Tackle helps align your workforce with your business objectives so that teams and projects are focused on high-revenue generating clients. Having your team members clock in and out will allow you to keep track of all billable and non-billable hours, as well as learn how long it takes to complete certain tasks and what pace works best for your team as a whole.
DO’s: Monitor Your Project Progress Regularly
Even though the topic of real-time data in execution project management has been discussed for what seems like an eternity, a study by Wellingtone in 2018 found that 55% of firms do not have access to their real-time KPIs. Not to mention that the very same research indicated that many firms still build their project reports manually, which is a significant time loss in the age of automation. “How do you track your real-time budget or project deliverables?” is probably what most project management experts are thinking at this point. You don’t, actually. It’s a bit of a blind area, really.
The conclusion is undoubtedly self-evident at this point: the key to the successful execution of project management depends on access to real-time data. Unexpected surprises and bottlenecks are less likely when you know exactly where your project is at all times, day and night. You may compile all the latest data in a single document and share it with important stakeholders by creating a Project Portfolio Report. One of the wonderful things about this report is that you can personalize it by adding or removing individual components depending on your needs or target audience. With only a few clicks, you may find out the current status of your project, its schedule, and even questions about money and budgeting.
No one wants to experience the sinking sensation you get when all of your diligent project preparation was a waste.
The good news is that you aren’t helpless. Tackle helps your team maximize your resources by giving insights into your team’s time. It seamlessly integrates with your existing calendars, automatically records your client interactions, and helps save time and effort by avoiding planning that, despite your best efforts, is riddled with traps that your team could fall into.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Tackle can help you, your team, and your enterprise in planning the perfect project execution, you can learn more about it here or talk to sales to arrange a test drive by clicking here.