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Project implementation is the phase of a project when you actually put all of your project plans into execution. You bring your ideas and goals to fruition. Project implementation follows the evaluation of your project, the vision-boarding and the application for funds and other resources to get your project up and running. Once you've figured out all of the nitty-gritty, you can put your project into practice and get the ball rolling. To do this, however, you'll want to have a project implementation plan.
What is the purpose of a project implementation plan? A project implementation plan is a detailed document that describes all of the actions you and your project teammates will have to take in order to successfully complete the implementation of your project. Your project implementation plan should demonstrate exactly how you're going to achieve project objectives, address the project requirements and necessary resources, as well as meet and ideally exceed project expectations.
What are the steps of project implementation? Here are five phases of the project implementation you should follow.
Project initiation is the first phase of a project lifestyle. During this time, you should measure the project's feasibility and overall value. Ask yourself: Can it even be done and, if so, why should you spend the energy on it? You might use a feasibility study to help determine whether or not the project is doable, and you can create a business case to explain why the project is necessary if it is doable.
During the project planning phase, you will be planning for the project implementation. This is when you should start thinking about how to obtain resources, procure funds and get a hold of any required materials. This means you'll have to spend some time communicating the benefits to stakeholders and managing any suppliers with whom you plan to work, as well. You should also think about the risks involved and how you plan to handle them.
Project execution refers to the phase in a project lifecycle when you actually start doing what you've been planning. You should already have a team together to tackle the project, which you'd have planned in the project planning phase. Together, you each take on your delineated tasks to bring the project to fruition.
During the project monitoring phase, you and your team should be keeping an eye on the progress you're making (or not making) and constantly reassessing your project implementation plan if necessary. You should be calculating key performance indicators and tracking any variations from the plan.
Congratulations! If you made it this far in the project lifecycle, it's because you've completed the project. During the closure phase of the project, you deliver the final project to the client or your company and communicate the completion of the project to the stakeholders involved. Anyone who was involved in the project can now be released to focus their efforts on starting other projects.
As always, there are some best practices you should follow in order to successfully implement your project. Here are five tips to help you do just that.
First things first, make sure that everyone involved in the project implementation has a copy of the project implementation plan. You'll want to be certain that everybody involved in the project is aware of what's to be expected of them and the timeline for the project implementation. Without everyone's understanding of this, the project won't be getting anywhere.
In order for any project to get from Point A to Point B, you'll need to make sure that everyone on your team who is working on the project is on the same page. Make sure that communication is open amongst all of you so that you're all marching to the same drum throughout the entirety of the project implementation process. If one person is unable to complete an action in the project implementation plan — or they experience delays in doing so — they should notify the entire project team so that everyone keeps abreast of the project's current status. After all, one hiccup could cause a domino effect on the rest of the plan, so open and honest communication is key.
The fact is that there are going to be bumps along the road. Not every project will churn out smoothly, despite how great that'd be! So make sure that you leave legroom in your project implementation plan to give some space for any unexpected dilemmas along the way. If you have a deadline for the project completion, for example, make sure that your project implementation plan is organized in a way that means you'll finish up well before your deadline. This way, if you do finish on time, you'll be done early. And if you experience any issues, you'd already bought yourself the time to tackle them.
Be sure to be as clear as possible in the project implementation plan so that everyone involved in the project implementation knows exactly what they're supposed to do, how they're supposed to do it and by when they need to do it.
It's easy to get sidetracked when you take on a bunch of projects at once. So do your best to prioritize the projects that need to be implemented ASAP, and focus on those. Take it one project at a time. You don't want to spread yourself or your teammates too thin or burn yourself or your teammates out. The more hyperfocused you are on one project at a time, the less room for errors and the quicker and better the outcome.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.
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