Executing a project

Now you can start to deliver the project’s objectives by creating outputs and outcomes that fulfill customer requirements. The Project Manager’s focus is twofold: 

  • Perform the work and activities in accordance with the Project Plan to meet the agreed success criteria.   
  • Monitor and control the project to ensure it remains on track and any issues and changes are addressed efficiently. 

SDZ’s Program/Project Management – Implementation workspace can be used to document the execution, changes and reporting on your project plan as an alternative to the following templates.


Recommended Documentation

Issues Log

The Issues Log is an efficient way to record all issues and their impacts on the project. The Issues Log is prepared by the Project Manager and monitored by the Project Board/Steering Committee on a regular basis.

Project Variation

As your project progresses, it is common to experience changes from the original Project Plan. These changes can impact one or more of these parameters- cost, scope, quality and schedule of your project. The Project Variation outlines the reason for the changes and its impact on the project. Each Project Variation form must be assessed by the Sponsor or Project Board/Steering Committee before proceeding with the project work. 

Lessons Learned Log

Record events and activities that did not go to plan, or suggestions of how the project could have run more smoothly. The Lessons Learned Log is a helpful resource for future projects to avoid pitfalls and improve performance. This log is key element of the Project Closure Report and Post Implementation Review.

Project Status Report

The Project Status Report outlines the project’s progress to date, any issues, and the planned next steps. The Project Board/Steering Committee or Project Sponsor will review the Project Status Report to assess the progress of the project and make decisions on issues raised and any project variation requests.

Steps for executing a project

  1. Execute project activities
    This is the stage when your Project Plan is put into action to deliver the project outputs. The approach/methodologies the Project Manager takes to design, development/build and delivery the outputs can vary for each project. 

    In addition to selecting the right fit methodology and tools, the Project Manager’s primary focus is on three key processes:

    • Managing the project and the project team (if a project team exists)
    • Actioning plans (risk, stakeholders, benefit, procurement, work packages, testing/validation)
    • Communicating information to all stakeholders (Sponsor/ Project Board / Steering Committee, team members and customers).
  2. Manage project issues and variations
    All projects might experience changes or deviations from the plans. These changes may result from risks that eventuate and become project issues, or other issues that arise. If an issue creates a change to one or more of the project parameters: scope, budget, schedule, work packages, benefits and/or governance, then the matter must be flagged in the Issues Log by the Project Manager.

    Any issue that exceeds the tolerance set for your project (by your Sponsor / Project Board / Steering Committee), will require a Project Variation form completed by the Project Manager.

  3. Monitor and Control the project
    The Project Manager must proactively observe and regularly measure the Project Plan to ensure the project is maintained within tolerance of cost, schedule, scope, and quality. The Project Manager needs to promptly flag issues and take preventative actions or corrective actions which may require updating the Project Plan once a Project Variation request is approved.

    This is also the time to maintain the Lessons Learned log and record events that did not go to plan, or where the project could have run more smoothly. This log will identify mistakes not to be repeated in this and future projects and how to gain efficiencies.   

  4. Regular status reporting
    During the Planning stage, the reporting arrangements were agreed with the Sponsor / Project Board / Steering Committee. Use the Project Status Report to describe the status of the project since the last reporting period and attach the Issues Log, Risk Register (showing High and Extreme risks only) and Project Variation form(s). The Project Sponsor / Project Board / Steering Committee are responsible for assessing the status of the project and providing advice and approval/refusal to the Project Variation request. The Project Manager will document and act on the governance decision within the agreed timeframe. 

Project Execution and Monitoring and Controlling stage will continue until the Project Manager has delivered the outputs and outcomes according to the Project Plan and these are accepted by the customer. Then only can the project proceed to the Closing stage.