Executing the plan refers to carrying out the work you outlined in the project plan. First, the project manager must do quality assurance to make sure the project will meet its objectives efficiently. Then, they acquire and develop a project team (Cox, 2009, p. 169). It is important that they choose skilled people and that they do ongoing team builders to foster cohesion and motivation (Cox, 2009, p. 169). Another crucial step in executing the plan is communicating project information to stakeholders through status reports so that they are aware of milestones reached and challenges cropping up (Cox, 2009, p. 169). The project manager must manage stakeholder expectations by making sure that deliverables are matching expectations (p. 170). It is a huge responsibility to monitor and control the project by performing integrated change control (approving or denying changes), verifying and controlling the scope, controlling schedule, cost and quality, reporting on performance, monitoring and controlling risk, and administering procurements, but these are necessary steps in carrying out the plan to success (Cox, 2009, p. 170).
Incorporating change and quality management increases the odds of project success. English (2015) reinforces that project processes should be managed for quality in order to ensure project success and see improvements in cost, quality, speed, and profitability (p. 3). English (2015) states, “Quality is important because it emphasizes what the customer wants” (p. 3). If the stakeholder needs are not addressed, the value of the project goes down and the project may fail.
According to Creasey and Taylor (2014), active and visible sponsorship of a project is consistently reported as the most important contributor to the success of a project. Project managers can be active and visible by giving regular attention to changes and the need for change management, motivating others to help address change, making effective decisions in reaction to the change, and maintain strong communication about changes (p. 13). The authors of the study found that, “Sponsor effectiveness had a direct impact on whether or not projects met objectives. Projects with extremely effective sponsors met or exceeded objectives more than twice as often as those with ineffective sponsors” (Creasey & Taylor, 2014, p. 13). In addition, a structured approach to change management supports project planning, the definitions of strategies, and the creation of a clear and insightful vision, thus leading to greater quality (Creasey & Taylor, 2014, p. 13). Creasey and Taylor (2014) found that, “…62% of participants that integrated project management and change management met or exceeded project objectives, compared to only 45% of participants that did not integrate” (p. 16). Clearly, managing changes increases quality.
One area that is less developed for my project is risk management. In my project plan, I identified risks, but did not expound upon what I would do to solve them. This is an issue, since both of my major risks, should they occur, would mean the failure of the project. My next step will be to create a risk plan and monitor it throughout the project. In the past, I would not have even thought about risks, but now I know how vital it is to make a plan for these proactively as opposed to reactively when it is too late.
Another area I need to develop more is acquiring and developing a project team. I did not account for this at all in my plan, and adding more members to my one-woman team will help me solve some of the potential risks I outlined in the plan. My next step will be to complete a Potential Project Team Members worksheet to detail each person’s role, availability and details. In the past, I tended to favor working on my own. However, since I have my hands full with most aspects of this project, it will benefit me to pull in some other team members to collaborate with, learn from, and share the workload.
To realize the objectives of my project, I will incorporate various change and quality management tools. I will use a change log to document changes and revisions and a meeting agenda to clearly communicate changes. In addition a stoplight chart will be incorporated in the documents for a visual display of tasks completed, ones in progress, and ones needing attention. This will be a quick and efficient way to address changes needed. Also, there will be a measurement plan to track learning and ensure objectives are being met. This, in my opinion, is the most important component of the quality management plan. Finally, I will use a control checklist to consistently monitor and control all processes and keep a clear vision of the big picture.
This website explains various risk management methods:
This article details the 7 greatest contributors to change management success:
Cox, D.M.T. (2010). Project management skills for instructional designers: A practical guide. Bloomington, IL : iUniverse.
Creasey, T., & Taylor, T. (2014). Seven greatest contributors to change management success. People & Strategy, 37(1), 12-16. Retrieved from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=74ebf7b8-1e20-4487-ac76-a95132f13ac6%40sessionmgr114&vid=20&hid=103.
English, M. (2015). Process management for quality. Process Management For Quality. Research Starters, 1, 1-6. Retrieved from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=74ebf7b8-1e20-4487-ac76-a95132f13ac6%40sessionmgr114&vid=16&hid=103.