Activity 4.3: Execute the Plan
In this activity the significant implementation tasks are conducted. In the previous activities there have been decisions to invest, procurement activities have been performed, and the vendor teams have been integrated into a revised timeline. The execution of the timeline and the implementation of the Integrated Plan from Step 3 is the focus of this activity. Many organizations have their own system development lifecycle, configuration management processes, testing processes, change management processes, and decision gates for managing implementation activities. It is during this activity that these processes and decision gates are leveraged to ensure a successful implementation.
The planning outputs from Step 3 are once again leveraged in this activity. Items such as the milestones, the specific recommendations for change, and the project governance structure are critical to a successful implementation. As many organizations have their own project management standards, this activity will certainly also yield project artifacts such as project plans, project status reports, test plans, configuration management plans, and other project artifacts. The planners will engage throughout the implementation to ensure that the implementation matches the intent of what was planned. The planners perform an important role of representing end user intentions and needs, as defined in the Integrated Plan and the outputs of Steps 1-3.
The project management office and the project governance structure are the primary participants in this activity along with the vendors that are performing the implementation tasks. The planners perform an advisory role to the vendors, the project management team, and the governance teams to ensure that everyone is operating from a common understanding of what was planned and documented in the Integrated Plan. The planners may also be engaged with other individuals based on the organization’s system development lifecycle. For instance, the planners may need to engage with the organization’s Chief Technology Officer, formal test lab, or formal configuration process, as necessary.
Throughout the implementation, the project management office performs the major coordination activities and reports into the project governance structure that was defined in Step 3. The project governance structure will in turn report into an organization specific governance structure or directly into the executive sponsor of the implementation. Governance at varying levels is critical to ensuring checks and balances throughout the implementation.