Topic 8. Organization of project execution
1) The essence of the organization of project execution;
2) The process of organizing the execution of the project and its components.
The essence of the organization of project execution
The project plans fixed in the planning process must be executed. For their implementation, people, departments and entire organizations are involved.
In addition, any project requires coordination (because a large number of performers, technological complexity, unique goals and conditions for achieving them can significantly complicate the implementation of the project).
Project execution organization refers to the processes used to organize the execution of work (as specified in the project management plan) as well as to achieve the project objectives (as specified in the project scope statement).
The project manager organizes the distribution of tasks between the executors, attracts the necessary resources, and ensures timely financing of individual stages and work of the project.
There are several main groups of tasks as part of the processes of organizing project execution:
1) work with people (with a team, with a customer, with interested parties);
2) work with external organizations (with contractors, with permitting, licensing and other bodies);
3) work with information (collection, analysis, distribution, etc.).
Moreover, all processes are interconnected. The outputs of one process are the inputs of another.
Thus, the project execution organization processes performed by the project manager ensure the implementation of project plans, the receipt of the project product and, as a result, the achievement of the project goals.
Coordinating the work of performers and resources is one of the main tasks of the project manager. Informing the participants and stakeholders of the project, managing the customer’s expectations are also among his priorities in organizing the execution of the project.
At the same time, it should be taken into account that changes often occur in the project that affect the progress of the project, entail changes in the project plan and the need for additional coordination work.
The process of organizing the execution of the project and its components
In general terms, the processes of organizing the execution of the project are presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1 – Processes for organizing project execution
Project Team Recruitment
The purpose of the project team recruitment process is to attract specialists of the required qualification to the project and form a working group (groups) from them to carry out the project work.
Typically, the recruitment of the project team is carried out by attracting external and internal specialists. External specialists are involved in the project on the terms of a contract or an employment contract, internal specialists (employees of the parent organization) – on a full or part-time basis.
In the case of attracting specialists on a part-time basis, a matrix organizational structure is formed, which implies dual subordination of the employee (he reports to both his line manager and the project manager).
In this case, it is necessary to determine and fix the degree of involvement (loading) of the contractor in the project (it can be determined as a percentage of working time, or in working hours, or in another way, for example, piecework).
In the group of performers involved in the project, roles should be distributed, areas of responsibility and authority should be clearly defined. Everyone should understand their place and tasks in the group and the project as a whole. The tasks of the project must be agreed and distributed among the performers according to the project schedule.
One of the most important risks in the process of recruiting a project team is the reluctance of functional managers to allocate the best specialists to the project and their attempts to reduce the labor costs of their specialists in the project.
A project manager who wants to get a qualified contractor for a project often finds that this contractor is already involved in several projects. In addition, a qualified employee as a professional usually has a high degree of workload in the production process of his department. The head of the department, realizing that the removal of this employee from the process can negatively affect the production of the department’s work, tries to allocate other, freer, sometimes less qualified employees to the project.
In project-oriented organizations, this problem is not so acute. Heads of departments understand that their task is to use their resources in the most efficient way. They try to “sell” their specialists to the company’s projects as profitably as possible.
The result of the recruitment process should be the creation of a group of employees involved in the execution of project work.
The resulting document of the process can be a list of specialists who will be involved in the project team, indicating their role and degree of workload in the project.
A large number of works in the project are carried out by external contractors. Different performers and suppliers can perform work with different quality, cost and time.
The purpose of the supplier selection process is to attract the most suitable external contractors to the project based on the project requirements for the quality, timing and cost of these works by competitively identifying them from a variety of applicants.
The selection of suppliers is often carried out in the form of a competition (tender). If suppliers are involved in the execution of a state order, the rules for conducting a tender are regulated by law. The federal law clearly defines the terms, conditions and technology for selecting suppliers. Private companies can organize a competition between suppliers according to their own rules.
The company organizing the tender must prepare a set of documentation containing initial information about the technological, commercial, organizational and other characteristics of the object and subject of the tender (bidding), as well as its conditions and procedure.
When choosing suppliers , various methods of evaluating their proposals (offers) can be used:
– scoring systems;
– ranking systems;
– peer review systems, etc.
Sometimes the customer company determines in advance the list of suppliers with which it is potentially ready to work, and a tender competition is organized only between them. The lists of certified suppliers are formed by the departments responsible for procurement and supply through preliminary assessment and ranking of applicants.
The result of the process should be a list of suppliers and contractors who will perform certain work in the project.
The output documents of the process are contracts for the execution of project work concluded with the relevant organizations.
The goal of the quality assurance process is to meet and achieve all quality objectives for the product and project results.
The main task of the project manager is to clearly formalize the main management and production processes of the project and to carry them out as accurately as possible. Working out and documenting processes without their further application is useless. It is necessary to train personnel and establish a system for auditing the implementation of procedures in the project.
In order to exclude the possibility of selecting unqualified contractors, the procedure for selecting suppliers should be clearly described. It should contain a list of documents submitted by the applicant for participation in the tender.
When the requirements of such a procedure are met, it becomes impossible to involve a company that does not have a license to perform this type of work to perform complex high-altitude work using industrial mountaineering technologies. Such a company will be cut off from the flow of applicants at the stage of document verification.
The result of the implementation of the quality assurance process should be a system of approaches, methods and procedures that guarantees the implementation and achievement of all quality indicators recorded during the quality planning process.
Coordination of works and performers
The purpose of the process of coordination of works and performers is to ensure clear and effective interaction of participants during
execution of project work.
Coordination of works and performers includes :
– distribution of tasks between performers according to the project plan;
– prioritization of tasks;
– coordination of work issues with functional managers and representatives of external organizations;
– resolution of disputable and conflict situations;
– informing the project team about the results achieved, as well as about changes in the project;
– informational, consulting, managerial and other support for project team members, etc.
The input data for the coordination process are almost all the results of the planning processes, as well as feedback from a large number of processes for organizing the execution. Planning is central to the project execution organization process group.
The result of the process of coordination of works and executors should be the effective, conflict-free execution of project work in accordance with the approved project plan.
Stakeholder Expectations Management
The purpose of the stakeholder expectations management process is to ensure that stakeholders have adequate assumptions about the project product, its characteristics, timing and cost, as well as other parameters of the project, and prevent them from forming inflated or unrealistic ideas about the project.
This result is achieved by ensuring a constant level of awareness of stakeholders about the progress of the project, the results achieved and the changes made.
To eliminate unreasonable expectations of the customer and other interested parties, the project manager should:
– regularly inform them about the status of the project, about the achievement of intermediate and final results;
– involve interested parties in resolving conflict and contentious issues;
– coordinate with them important changes in the parameters of the project and the project product being created;
– receive feedback from them and take their opinion into account when making decisions on the project.
One of the unreasonable expectations of the customer of a new electronic document management system in the company is the assumption that the speed of processing and execution of documents will increase immediately after the system is put into commercial operation.
In reality, everything happens differently. The project manager must prepare the customer for a decline in office productivity for some time after the delivery of the system.
After the introduction of any information system, there is a temporary drop in productivity and an increase in the number of failures and deviations in the production process (because employees work in a new, unfamiliar system, make mistakes, get confused).
Therefore, it takes some time to master and get used to, after which labor productivity returns to its previous level, and then increases.
Understanding the unjustified expectations of project participants or the emergence of conflict situations that require resolution can significantly affect the process of coordinating work and performers.
Perhaps the project manager will hold an extraordinary meeting or prepare a report (or presentation) to eliminate uncertainty and resolve the dispute.
The result of the process should be the absence of unreasonable expectations and requirements of the main stakeholders during the project and, as a result, the prevention of conflicts and disputes following its results.
Development of the project team
A group of employees allocated to a project may remain a group of individual employees. To create a well-coordinated, efficient team, ready to solve complex problems, the project manager will have to work hard.
The purpose of the project team development process is to create an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual assistance in the project team, as well as conditions for obtaining a synergistic effect when the members of the project team interact.
The tasks of a team development manager include:
1) formal management tasks – the distribution of roles, the definition of areas of responsibility and conditions of subordination;
2) informal leadership tasks – rallying the team, the formation of camaraderie and mutual assistance, ensuring warm personal relationships in the team.
The implementation of team building actions can seriously affect the principles of coordination of work and project executors.
Conducting a “rope course” to rally project participants can identify strong leaders among them. A competent project manager will definitely take advantage of this by forming mini-teams that will be led by identified leaders.
The task of coordinating performers can be transformed into the task of coordinating mini-teams and their leaders.
The results of the team development process should be an increase in the productivity of project team members, a decrease in the number of conflicts, and a decrease in deviations from planned indicators in the course of work.
Distribution of information in the project
On the one hand, a serious problem of modern man is information overload. On the other hand, the lack of information about the progress of the project among its participants may adversely affect its further implementation.
The purpose of the information distribution process is to ensure that stakeholders receive all the information they need to effectively fulfill their project role and participate in the project in a timely manner.
The project manager must organize the forced distribution of information in the project (to ensure that the recipient of the information receives those, and only those data that he needs to understand the status of the project and make decisions).
Among the tasks of the project manager for the distribution of information are:
1) formation of a common information space (portal, mailing list, common address book);
2) strict adherence to the rules and principles of working with information (the structure of file folders in the repository, the rules for naming files, procedures for saving and changing versions of documents, etc.);
3) holding regular events to inform participants (project status meetings, presentations at the end of project stages, distribution of newsletters, etc.).
Meetings are one of the widespread and effective means of distributing information. Regular project meetings ensure that a large proportion of the project’s information is distributed. Planning and conducting meetings is one of the main communication tasks of the project manager.
Most of the information that project participants need to interact or make decisions is contained in reporting documents. When distributing information, it is necessary to ensure regular and timely delivery of reports to their recipients.
Based on the consideration of requests for changes, specific decisions are made. Informing project participants about these decisions is also one of the main tasks of the dissemination process.
Obtaining up-to-date factual information or additional data about the project may require changes in the priorities of work and tasks, rearrangement of performers, or abandonment of certain work methods. All this will become the content of the process of coordination of work and performers, the initial data for which will be the outputs of the information distribution process.
The process of information distribution is closely related to the process of collecting reports and requests for changes. These processes are most often performed in parallel, complementing each other.
The result of the process should be the exclusion from the project of situations of making unreasonable decisions, performing inadequate actions and conflicts due to the untimely provision of project participants with reliable up-to-date information.