Project Execution Plan: How to Use It for Project Management Purposes?

No project is created perfectly. However, its quality depends entirely on your project execution plan - and you can significantly improve with the right process. Here’s how project managers should approach such a project plan.

Arkadiusz Terpiłowski


Project Management


Project execution plan in project management: how to create it?

Table of contents

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What is a project execution plan? 

A project execution plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the strategy, approach, and specific actions to be taken during the implementation phase of a project. It serves as a roadmap or guidebook for the project team that specifies key operational and quality specifications, including:

  • project goals (usually as a goal statement),
  • project's purpose,
  • project leaders, project stakeholders and project teams,
  • expected deliverables,
  • an outline of the project's life cycle,
  • details of project operation.

What should a successful project execution plan contain? 

The project execution plan in an IT industry typically includes the following key elements:

  1. Project scope defining the project's objectives, deliverables, and boundaries, providing a clear understanding of what will be accomplished.
  2. Work breakdown structure (WBS), breaking down the project stage into smaller, manageable project task or activities, establishing a hierarchical structure that shows how the work will be organized and executed.
  3. Project schedule and milestones outline each task or activity's start and end dates and identify significant project milestones or checkpoints crucial for a good project execution plan.
  4. Resource planning: assigning employees to the project, its stages, and individual tasks. 
  5. Risk management: A crucial part of a project execution plan that identifies potential risks and uncertainties associated with the project and outlines strategies to mitigate or respond to these risks effectively.
  6. Quality management: Defines the quality standards and processes that will be followed to ensure that project deliverables meet or exceed the specified requirements.
  7. Change management: Establishes procedures and protocols for managing changes to the project scope, schedule, resources, or other aspects, ensuring that any modifications are properly evaluated, approved, and implemented.
  8. Monitoring and control mechanisms: Describes how project status, performance, and adherence to the plan will be monitored, measured, and controlled, allowing for timely adjustments and corrective actions when project managers find it necessary.

How to create a project execution plan? Step-by-step guide

Step 1: Define the project objectives

Before the new software developments start, choose the project's title and delegate a project manager responsible for its execution. 

Then, clearly identify and document the project goals, desired outcomes, and success criteria that need to be met for the client to be completely satisfied - in other words, specify what a "successful project" means for its key participants. Without that, your project will be prone to scope crawl or a random change in the requirements during its duration. 

Step 2: A feasibility study for project execution plan

Evaluate the feasibility of the project execution plan by assessing its technical, economic, operational, and schedule viability. This analysis helps its project manager determine if the project execution is possible and provides insights into potential risks and constraints related to its business goals. In other words: check whether your company really has what it takes to execute the project successfully. 

But how to do that without spending too much time and focusing more on project execution itself? We explained that in our article on preparing an offer in under 15 minutes

Step 3: Identify key stakeholders

Identify all individuals, groups, or organizations who have an interest or will be affected by the project. That may include stakeholders, project sponsors, or a project manager. If possible, choose a single product champion on the customer’s side to oversee the project execution plan. This will be their representative responsible for making critical decisions and communicating with your team throughout the project. 

Step 4: Define a project scope

It’s time for project leaders to prepare a final outline for the project, also known as project scope - critical for all project execution plans.

This document should clearly define the boundaries and extent of the project, specifying what is included and what is excluded, ensuring a common understanding among team members and stakeholders. In other words, it should be a governing document for your key activities.

We have explained how to create such a project scope in this article

Step 5: Work breakdown structure 

Decompose the project into smaller tasks using a hierarchical structure. Start with major project deliverables and break them down into subtasks until the work is granular enough for effective planning and execution of your team work or every project task. If you want a general overview of your project, we recommend dividing it into stages ending with significant milestones to create more general team plans.

Step 6: Project schedule 

Establish a timeline for the project by determining task dependencies, estimating durations, and sequencing activities. Use project management software - such as Primetric - or tools to visually represent the necessary elements of the schedule, including start and end dates, milestones, and critical path analysis.

An outline of project execution plan including main elements involved, as well as the key elements of software developments
Project execution plan with project objectives, project phases estimated costs

Step 7: Resource allocation

Identify the skills and availability your employees will need to complete each task or activity in the project execution plan and choose the task owner. Ensure that you have the necessary resources for the job and that their available capacity will be sufficient to cover the needs of a new project at its projected start. Do this before you assign people to their tasks - otherwise, your operations will be prone to schedule conflict

An example of project plan based on resource availability and key project data
Example of project schedule with allocated resources in Primetric

Step 8: Risk mitigation

Conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify potential risks, uncertainties, and obstacles that may impact the project's success. Make sure your project execution plans meet all the contractual requirements and that you have the resources required for it to succeed. Verify whether its goal statements align with the responsibilities you have assigned in your Gantt charts in a previous step and the due dates you have set for the projects in question. Develop strategies to mitigate, minimize, or respond to each risk, ensuring proactive risk management throughout the project lifecycle.

Step 9: Monitoring and reporting

Determine how project progress, performance, and adherence to the plan will be monitored and controlled. Define key performance indicators (KPIs), establish reporting mechanisms, and set up regular project reviews to assess progress and make necessary adjustments. In other words, specify what a successful project is in your case.

Project progress report in Primetric

Step 10: Refining the project execution plan

Review and refine the project execution plan: Seek feedback from relevant stakeholders, project team members, and subject matter experts. Review the project execution plan for completeness, clarity, and feasibility. Incorporate any feedback or suggestions and refine the plan accordingly.

Project execution plan template and example

Following these steps can be difficult if you do not have the right tools - r if you do not have a project execution plan template at hand.

Fortunately, now you have them! 

Download our project execution plan template based on real-life scenarios and use it to perfect your own operations - regardless of their type. 

Project execution plan

Can I speed up the creation of an execution plan? 

As you can see from the list for the project execution plan, the majority of its steps cannot be recreated in Excel - or, at least, it would be very time-consuming. Even the project execution plan template might not be enough for a large project. That is why leading IT services companies conduct the entire project in a single tool - such as Primetric. 

What can Primetric do for me? 

Primetric is a comprehensive project portfolio management tool that can help you stay on top of your project from start to finish using an interactive project execution plan. Using the tool, you can: 

  • estimate the amount of time needed to complete the project, 
  • verify whether or not your company has available resources matching the project and its budget, 
  • define a project scope, 
  • create a project schedule and allocate resources to it, 
  • monitor the progress of the project, as well as the performance of your whole business, 
  • make data-driven decisions based on information updated in the real time and automatically turn them into reports. 

Do you want to see this system help you with your project execution plan? Book a demo with our advisors - we will show you how to do that! 

Do you want to learn more about project management and execution? 

We are here for you! 

We have prepared countless articles about both project execution and project management. We recommend you to start with content on: 

or, if you already know you will need a project scheduling software to succeed, simply book a demo with one of our advisors and see whether Primetric is the right choice for you! 

Arkadiusz Terpiłowski


Arkadiusz is Head of Growth and Co-founder at Primetric. Prior to that, Arkadiusz was at the helm of his own software development company where he oversaw operations. A great enthusiast of process improvements, his personal mission is to make software companies more profitable and efficient on their path to growth.

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