During EXECUTE and BUILD, the solution is designed and built, tested and staged for implementation. The project team executes tasks and generates deliverables described in the project documentation, paying particular attention to the production and quality of team deliverables and ensuring that work is completed with the right level of discipline and rigor to reduce project risk and meet quality standards. Throughout EXECUTE and BUILD the sponsor, business/process owner and project manager work to ensure continued progress on the removal of barriers to implementation, particularly those related to code, rule, law, etc.
During EXECUTE and BUILD, the project manager closely monitors the schedule and key milestones. The project schedule is a living document that presents linked activities with planned dates, durations and milestones. The schedule summarizes all the efforts required to implement the project. It includes (generally by reference) the milestones and key activities of the prime contractor and any consultants. The schedule should include dependencies, resources and ultimately a managed critical path. If there is a deviation from schedule performance, the project manager should discuss the reason for the deviation, potential impact and corrective actions with the sponsor and, depending on the severity of the deviation, the steering committee.
The milestones typically include critical accomplishments planned at time intervals throughout the project. They are used to monitor overall project performance. If there is a deviation for expected milestone performance, the project manager should discuss the reason for the deviation, potential impact and corrective actions with the sponsor and, depending on the severity of the deviation, the steering committee.
Agency governance should also monitor the schedule and milestones (as well as budget and scope) to ensure significant deviations are discussed before issues become insurmountable.
The project manager also monitors the project budget. The budget can be changed only through formal change control procedures. If there is a deviation from budget performance, the project manager should discuss the reason for the deviation, potential impact and corrective actions with the sponsor and, depending on the severity of the deviation, the steering committee.
The project manager also monitors project quality using the quality plan.
As this phase progresses, the project team reviews and updates the implementation plan which defines how the system under development will be implemented in the target environment. In the event of statewide implementations, the plan addresses how the system will be implemented into each site and location.
Development of the implementation plan (started in PLAN) should be performed in conjunction with business unit representatives. Some components of this plan are developed in tandem with the project team (e.g. training materials, testing), while others (e.g. business process changes) are developed by the business unit and process owners. Executive-level support of process change at the agency is critical to ensuring follow through at the business unit level. The implementation plan should be coordinated with the technical unit’s deployment checklist and testing plans and should include the expected timing for the full value of the change to be reached.
As a component of the implementation plan, the business unit updates its policies and procedures and other documentation for internal and external use.
The project team develops the test plan. This may be completed in partnership with a contractor, if one has been retained for the project. The test plan defines responsibilities, identifies test methodologies and phases, and identifies the test environment throughout the project lifecycle. Testing is often best performed by members of the business and/or stakeholders as they are most familiar with the work that needs to be accomplished within the new system. Document the test plan using the test plan tool or a similar agency template and attach the plan to the task in the project management software and submit it with the phase review information.
The change management team updates the training plan. The training plan describes how users will be trained including the targeted audience segments and the level and details of training for each, course materials and training media, measurement of training effectiveness, and plans for ongoing or remedial training. The change management team can document the training plan using the training plan tool or a similar agency template.
The project team creates a Solution go-live checklist which identifies the key activities and milestones that must be complete in advance of go-live. Develop the go-live checklist using the go-live checklist tool or a similar agency template and attach the plan to the task in the project management software and submit it with the phase review information.
The organizational change manager also completes the OCM go-live checklist to ensure that the people side of the project is ready for the go-live period.
The project team prepares to transition to operations and conducts a transition to operations review. The review provides and documents a comprehensive analysis of all facets of readiness, including organizational go-live readiness and contingency planning, prior to the implementation. The project team documents its preparedness to release its product or new process/system in the project repository. The project manager attaches it to the corresponding task in the project management software. If the team finds that the project is not ready to transition to operations, the project manager should discuss options to remediate problem areas with the sponsor and steering committee.
The sponsor approves the required deliverables. Progress through the phase is contingent on sponsor and business owner approval. A “Go/No Go” meeting is convened and documented to ensure agency readiness and final business acceptance.
The project manager submits the materials to agency governance for review. The EXECUTE and BUILD phase review is a formal examination of the primary project deliverables to ensure the project is likely to meet its objectives before releasing the solution and advancing to the next phase of the project.
At the completion of the EXECUTE and BUILD phase, approval to proceed by agency governance permits “go live” to occur and releases funding for the MONITOR and CONTROL phase.