Execute Phase

Once a preliminary Project Plan is approved, the project moves into the Execute phase. This phase is often referred to as the Implementation Phase. The project team and the necessary resources to carry out the project should be in place and ready to perform project activities. The preliminary Project Plan should be completed and baselined; it is heavily relied upon during this phase and is refined as necessary. The project team's focus shifts from planning the project efforts to completing, testing, and accepting the project deliverables. The Project Manager's focus shifts to participating in, observing and analyzing the work being done, along with focusing on keeping interested parties up to date with project status, managing quality control, and monitoring project risk. Managing quality control and project risk are activities of the Monitor & Control Phase but occur in parallel with the Execute Phase as it progresses.  A link to Project Management Life Cycle templates/tools/examples referenced on this page is available here and at the bottom of this page.

EXECUTE Phase Activities

Conduct Execute Kick-Off Meeting This meeting includes the sponsor, project manager, team members, and stakeholders; the Project Manager focuses on communications, reviewing the Project Charter, the main deliverables, the schedule, and identifying the challenges and next steps in getting the project underway.
Execute Project Tasks

Tasks are executed as scheduled in the Project Plan.  The Project Manager tracks project progress and conducts performance monitoring and assessment.  The Project Manager works with the project leads/team members to carry out project tasks per schedule; team members continuously monitor and report their performance against the project plan baseline.  If the schedule is not met, relevant stakeholders are informed.  Changes to the project schedule are communicated to team members and stakeholders.  The Project Plan is revised as necessary.  IT activities include system architecture design, technical design specifications, data modeling, security review, key performance indicators, test plans, go-live transition plan, training plan and user guide, report design, 'as built' run book, on-going maintenance/support plan, etc.  Although initial consideration of business continuity and disaster recovery plans occurs during the Execute Phase, these are final deliverables during the Transition Phase.

Perform Project Communications Management

Execute the Communications Plan.  The Project Manager communicates with the team, the sponsor, and the stakeholders on a regular basis, keeping them informed of the overall project status, project task status, milestones achieved, risks and open issues, budget, and upcoming work.  Notes and Action Items from Project Team meetings should be available to all team members.  Reporting project status is a critical success factor in this Phase for presenting the larger context of the project and for managing expectations and keeping the project on schedule, on a budget, and within scope.

Manage Project Procurement

If equipment (hardware/software) is to be purchased, follow the Project Procurement Plan developed in the Plan Phase.  Document items procured, capturing basic information from the purchase order.

Conduct Phase Gate Review

For governance reasons and for practical purposes the PGR is performed to assure the project is ready to begin the Deploy Phase and to make sure it still meets the needs that were true at the Proposal/Request period. Documents created during the Execute Phase will be reviewed, scored and approved before the project moves to the Transition Phase.

EXECUTE Phase Deliverables

The deliverables of the Execute Phase are impacted by the classification level of the project.  More complex projects will require additional deliverables as noted in the Execute Phase Activities descriptions above.

Updated Project Plan All tasks and milestones are executed as scheduled in the Project Plan.
Communications with Stakeholders As identified, using methodologies cited in the Communications Plan.
Implementation and Go-Live Plans Go Live Readiness and Test Grid templates are included in the Additional Resources section below.
Training Plan The Training Plan and training materials are created during this phase.  User Acceptance Training, which occurs during the Transition Phase, may necessitate updates.

Additional Resources

Go-Live Readiness Template This document is required for Tiers 3-5 projects.
TestGrid Template 1  
TestGrid Template 2  
Phase Gate Review - EXECUTE Template This document is required for Tiers 3-5 projects.  A phase gate review is an assessment of the current status of the project; it is needed to determine whether or not the project is ready to proceed to the next phase of the project management life cycle.
Example: Go-Live Readiness Template This is an example of a completed Go-Live Readiness template.