Top Tips for The Execution Phase of Your Project

August 26, 2011 by  Filed under: Management 

The execution phase of a project is definitely where the real excitement is. This is often the stage in which all of your planning work pays off and you can carry-out the work in accordance with the project management plan that you diligently created in the last phase. It is always very gratifying to see your project come together and reach the various milestones.

The execution phase can include many issues for you to sort through such as scope alterations, complications in reaching your intended schedule and budget, complications with team members and sometimes simply situations which come up out of the blue. With a little work though, you can create what I call a culture of success on your project – a winning environment that can handle even the biggest of surprises.

These are the top pieces of advice that can assist you manage the project when you finally end up in the execution phase.

1. Communicate Regularly With Your Team

It’s often stated that good project managers spend between 70% and 80% of their time communicating. Execution is considered the most crucial phase that you should focus on communication since there will be the largest amount of people dealing with your project and the largest volume of work being completed during execution.

The style and volume of communication must be a function of the team which you have along with the nature of your project. I personally believe absolutely nothing is better than face-to-face meetings with your team. If it is not possible to meet face-to-face, you may have to research alternative approaches such as telephone, internet and video group meetings.

In any event, you should produce an agenda prior to the meeting and send it out ahead of time! It truly is vital to maintain the communication channels open and continue to keep your team advised on the project status. Good communication reinforces the group mentality and supports the concept of buy-in within your team.

2. Get to Know Your Team Members

If you want to be one of the most impressive project managers in your organization, you’ll need to become an excellent leader. If I had to identify the one most critical element regarding leadership, it would undoubtedly simply be that leadership is all about PEOPLE. Be sure to treat your workers as people, not ‘resources.’ I truly loathe that term ‘resources’ as it relates to people as it suggests people are some inanimate thing and can be easily substituted.

Get to know your team members as individuals, fully grasp their challenges and aim to alleviate these troubles wherever you actually can. Do what you can do in your position as project manager to break-down the road blocks and take away the frustrations for the team and they’re going to most definitely be there for you whenever you need them. Have a legitimate focus in this, however – do not come across as artificial and don’t just do it simply because you believe it will take you somewhere. If you have to ask people to come back in on a Saturday in the middle of the summertime to achieve a crucial milestone, you will be thankful you have gained the trust and regard of your team.

3. Execute Team Development Activities

Similar to the above tip, the execution phase is the ideal opportunity to carry out team development training. This could be something as fundamental as taking the group out for breakfast or lunch when you reach a milestone or perhaps more effective – taking your group and their significant others out for supper!

Alternative recommendations for team building activities may include:

  • Non-aggressive sporting activities (baseball, soccer, round of golf etc.) The key is to ensure you don’t break down the team by means of creating an aggressive setting. You will you’re your team best and what would suit your audience the best. Make certain you continuously adjust ‘teams’ so everybody gets a chance to be on the same team a minimum of one time.
  • Get together again at someone’s place to view a sporting game etc.
  • Volunteer for one of your neighborhood charity groups.

These are simply a few options – the choices are almost limitless. The point would be to merely get your people focusing on something together with each other and getting to know one another away from their offices.

4. Never Micromanage Your Team!

Nothing can eliminate the eagerness and initiative of your team members more rapidly than a micromanaging supervisor. Keep away from the temptation of constantly looking over their shoulder to make certain they’re carrying out the task the ‘right’ (i.e. your) way.

This genuinely comes down to your own management approach – I have observed often exactly how powerful it can be whenever a culture of trust and support has been produced. This should be the objective if you wish to stand out as a project manager.

In conclusion, the top tips that can guarantee the execution phase of your project proceeds as effectively as possible focus on communication and creating a culture success. These are two things that are often overlooked by many project managers, but are vitally important. Establishing and maintaining a good team environment is an extremely critical project management step. In addition, ensuring you have frequent, clear and concise communication is another project management step that is paramount in ensuring you have a successful project execution.

For more information related to project management, please check out Todd Stone is an experienced, certified project manager who is passionate about helping project managers of all experience levels deliver high performance projects. Uncover the critical project management steps that will help you deliver a high performance project today!

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