What is a Project Execution Plan? Project Execution Plan In A Nutshell

A Project Execution Plan (PEP) details the strategy required for managing a project. It is sometimes referred to as a project management plan. Generally speaking, PEPs are drafted by the client’s project director or similarly skilled project manager. Each plan must have the appropriate systems in place and be supported by the right tools and resources. This increases project performance and helps mitigate risk in the process.

Understanding a Project Execution Plan

Some may equate a Project Execution Plan with a simple Gantt chart showing timescales. 

However, a PEP is a much more complex document that defines:

  • The roles and responsibilities of each project team member.
  • Policies, procedures, and priorities that will be adopted.
  • Strategies that are outside the scope of the main contract. For example, supply contracts or other operational, equipment, relocation, or maintenance costs.
  • Specific targets and the resources required to meet them. Targets usually revolve around project products, timescales, quality, benefits, and cost.
  • Governance, monitoring, or control criteria.

Creating a Project Execution Plan

Creating a Project Execution Plan is an exhaustive process that is beyond the scope of this article.

However, it should at the very least contain the following elements:

Executive summary

Containing a short description or summary of the contents of the plan.

Project scope and deliverables

What are the boundaries of the project?

What does the project hope to achieve in specific terms?

Statement of goals

How will the project be segmented into smaller deliverables that are measurable?

An actual goal statement should define the reasons for undertaking the project in addition to its purpose and expected benefits.

There should also be mention of project-specific challenges and risks and how they might be overcome.

Quality and technical specifications

What standards must be upheld to complete the project?

Standards must be concise, measurable, attainable, and time-bound.

Allocation of resources

How will resources be allocated to achieve stated goals and standards?

Knowledge, experience, equipment, and time must all be considered.

Project scheduling

Or a general view of project tasks and their associated milestones.

Gantt charts should be used to illustrate time-bound deliverables that must be agreed upon by all stakeholders.

The Critical Path Method (CPM) is also effective for projects where the start of one deliverable depends on the completion of another.

Lastly, scheduling should always incorporate risk tolerances for constraints such as standards, budgets, and deadlines.

Organizational considerations

Who are the key personnel responsible for managing the project? Who holds decision-making authority?

How will progress be monitored, coordinated, or reported?

Will there be a series of project teams or some other organizational structure?

Key takeaways

  • A Project Execution Plan is a detailed document that defines the strategy for managing a project. For this reason, it is often referred to as a project management plan.
  • A Project Execution Plan must be drafted by a highly skilled project director or manager. When projects are supported by the appropriate tools and resources, they tend to mitigate risk and be delivered on time and budget.
  • A Project Execution Plan is a comprehensive document that must contain information on seven key elements: executive summary, project scope, statement of goals, quality and technical specifications, resource allocation, project scheduling, and organizational considerations.

Related Business Concepts

Business Plan

A business plan is a document that details key operational and financial goals for a business and how they will be achieved in the future. Essentially, a business plan is an exercise in due diligence. While no business plan can accurately predict the future, they do demonstrate and give insight into the likelihood of eventual profitability. This in turn removes some of the entrepreneurial risk associated with investing large amounts of time and capital into a new venture.

Innovation Theory

The innovation loop is a methodology/framework derived from the Bell Labs, which produced innovation at scale throughout the 20th century. They learned how to leverage a hybrid innovation management model based on science, invention, engineering, and manufacturing at scale. By leveraging individual genius, creativity, and small/large groups.

Business Competition

In a business world driven by technology and digitalization, competition is much more fluid, as innovation becomes a bottom-up approach that can come from anywhere. Thus, making it much harder to define the boundaries of existing markets. Therefore, a proper business competition analysis looks at customer, technology, distribution, and financial model overlaps. While at the same time looking at future potential intersections among industries that in the short-term seem unrelated.

Business Scaling

Business scaling is the process of transformation of a business as the product is validated by wider and wider market segments. Business scaling is about creating traction for a product that fits a small market segment. As the product is validated it becomes critical to build a viable business model. And as the product is offered at wider and wider market segments, it’s important to align product, business model, and organizational design, to enable wider and wider scale.

Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive innovation as a term was first described by Clayton M. Christensen, an American academic and business consultant whom The Economist called “the most influential management thinker of his time.” Disruptive innovation describes the process by which a product or service takes hold at the bottom of a market and eventually displaces established competitors, products, firms, or alliances.

Innovation Funnel

An innovation funnel is a tool or process ensuring only the best ideas are executed. In a metaphorical sense, the funnel screens innovative ideas for viability so that only the best products, processes, or business models are launched to the market. An innovation funnel provides a framework for the screening and testing of innovative ideas for viability.

Four-Step Innovation Process

A four-step innovation process is a simple tool that businesses can use to drive consistent innovation. The four-step innovation process was created by David Weiss and Claude Legrand as a means of encouraging sustainable innovation within an organization. The process helps businesses solve complex problems with creative ideas instead of relying on low-impact, quick-fix solutions.

History of Innovation

Innovation in the modern sense is about coming up with solutions to defined or not defined problems that can create a new world. Breakthrough innovations might try to solve in a whole new way, well-defined problems. Business innovation might start by finding solutions to well-defined problems by continuously improving on them.

Read also: Business Strategy, Examples, Case Studies, And Tools

Read Next: Lean CanvasAgile Project ManagementScrumMVPVTDF.

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