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 Direct and Manage Project Execution

This process single-handedly spends most of the projects time, cost and resources as this is the process that creates the project deliverables. The project team does this by executing the work packages and creating the products that are contained within them.

Whatever type of project is being executed, this is the sole process that it generates the deliverables. It is important to understand than a typical project will planned, executed, and then monitor and control, but that this is a cyclic undertaking, and therefore direct and management project execution will often occur many times during the project.

There are four inputs to Direct and manage project execution:

The project management plan.

This process is focused on the executing the contents of the project plan and this is therefor the most important inputs for this process.

Approved change requests.

As a natural consequence of performing work changes while performing Direct and management project execution, will normally be requested and such changes maybe as a result of any part of the project as may be the impact of such requested changes. All requested changes are brought into the process of perform integrated change control where they are evaluated for their impact on the whole of the project.

Such change requests may be approved or rejected, and those that are approved will often modify the contents of the project management plan and its components such as cost, schedule and the scope baselines.

The term ‘change request’ refers to one of many situations:

Change request.

These are requests that may change budgets or schedules, increase or reduce the project scope, or modified in some way the various plans, procedures processes or policies relating to the project while carrying out Direct and management project execution.

Corrective action.

Such a request is there to bring about a change to future results or performance of the project work so that they remains aligned with the project management plan.

Preventative action.

As the name suggests this type of change takes proactive action to avoid the occurrence of a problem. This may be to reduce the probability or impact of a risk, to increase the chance of opportunity, or to reduce the impact of a current issue.


These arise as a result of identifying a defect in a project deliverable or component. They are an imperfection or deficiency such that the product or component does not meet its requirements all specifications and hence will need to be repaired or replaced. The recommendation therefore of a defect, is either to repair or replace it. This occurs during Direct and management project execution.

Enterprise environmental factors.

Since the direct and manage project execution process covers everything that the project is to produce or create, then so too will be the range of possible enterprise environmental factors that may need to be considered in the Direct and management project execution process. These will range from soft aspects such as your organizations values and work ethic, the structure and culture of your organization, and its appetite for risk taking.

At the other end of the scale, factors to be considered may include laws and regulations, the physical or operational environment within which the project is taking place, the socio economic impact that the project may have.

Organisational process assets.

Since this is an execution process, then such assets will be focussed on aiding the creation of the projects products and deliverables. Examples may be historical data for previous project plans, tools and techniques along with organisational competences, lessons learned from previous similar projects along with their estimating data, and any databases of project information and knowledge.

There are five main outputs from the direct and manage project execution process:

Direct and management project execution – Deliverables.

These are the main reason why the project is being undertaken as they will be passed on to those who will use them ultimately to realise the business benefits. Deliverables may take the form of a product, the service, or a result that must be completed in order to finish the project. Each deliverable will need to pass through the process of ‘perform quality control’ and ‘verify scope’ until such time as they demonstrate that they meet the desired specifications for both completeness and correctness.

Direct and management project execution – Work performance information.

This is the information that con firm is the status of the above deliverables. Such information is used to determine how each deliverable is performing against the plan and if required to take any corrective action.

When referring to the progress of reach deliverable, it is important to understand the various metrics that may need to be tracked here. These include schedule progress at task level, milestones, phases or stages, actual costs verses planned costs, and deliverable quality aspects including defects if appropriate. In short, any information that relates to the progress towards completion of each and every project deliverable.

The work performance information will also include the status for change requests, corrective actions, preventative actions, and defect repairs along with their estimates that lead to completion or resolution.

Direct and management project execution – Change requests.

Whereas one of the inputs here was approved change requests so that the direct and manage project execution can implement them, as a result of carrying out the work of the project, then this in and of itself may create requests for change. The examples used for approved change requests are also relevant here.

Direct and management project execution – Project management plan updates.

As a result of executing the project work, the various parts of the project management plan will need to have the actual dates are entered and revise future forecasts, and both of these will normally result in updates being made to the various sections of the project management plan.

Direct and management project execution – Project document updates.

The same is true here for updates to the project management plan. However this refers to other supporting documents that are used within a project such as logs and registers for example.

There are two tools used within this process:

Expert judgement.

This is called upon whenever the project team and the project manager do not have sufficient expertise and such expertise may come from outside of the organisation as well as inside. Such expert judgement may give help in the methods used to accomplish the project work, who should execute it, and most importantly to ensure a common understanding of the work to be carried out.

Expert judgment can be invaluable in providing good quality data to make informed decisions.

The project management information system (PMIS).

This consists of an automated system that provides support for the project manager by optimising the schedule in assisting in collecting and distributing project information. Such a system will often help you keep track of documentation and project deliverables.

The configuration management system which lays out how change control is to be implemented also formed part of the project management information system.

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David spent 25 years as a senior project manager for US multinationals and now develops a wide range of project-related downloadable video training products under the Primer brand. In addition, David runs training seminars across the world, and is a prolific writer on the many topics of project management. He currently lives in Spain with his wife Jude.