Blog Project Management Planning Or Execution Which Is More Difficult?

Planning Or Execution Which Is More Difficult?

Project planning and execution both plays important role in the successful completion of any project. Execution of a project totally depends upon what you’ve planned for your project. If the project planning is done properly then there will be less chances of risk to the project. Once a project plan is ready then for its execution, one can use any of the Project Management tools available in market like Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Orchestra etc. based on their project requirements.

Project planning is the harder among the two because when that is achieved perfectly the Execution becomes easy. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, once your plan is effective and efficient you can execute a project safely. Planning involves research to learn more about the scope, tasks, and team required to build a schedule which leads to achieving the goal. Meaning working with people to make commitments. Executing is working with those same people to meet commitments they made. It is seen that people execute their tasks with more desire and quality when they had input to the plan. The challenge is not planning or executing, it’s deflecting the outside requests that interrupts the team and progress of the plan. In the real world of IT Project Management production always comes first, as that is what is impacting the customer at that very moment. No doubt that good Planning makes delivery easier. Delivery is all about modifying the plan based on various external and internal factors that may impact delivery. Unfortunately no one gives you points for good planning if delivery fails.

According to some project managers Execution is more difficult than Planning when working with multiple competing priorities and without a dedicated project team. When team members are working across projects with similar (or higher) priorities, even a well-crafted plan can be difficult to stick to. This is doubly true when the project is highly dependent upon or influenced by outside factors. A strong Plan certainly helps, but Execution can still be a challenge.

Planning is key to great execution, but there are always challenges even though you spend a lot of time planning your project. That being said, the better the project has been planned, the better your execution will grow. The key to this all is making sure you have a great risk register and mitigation plan in pace, so once the risk become an issue, you can react quickly.

Each phase has their own challenges and difficulties. Again each project is different, so each phase of each project has their own challenges. Doing the right planning will eliminate some challenges/changes that can be faced in the execution phase. The PMBOK through its different editions always made the analogy with the world wide famous PDCA (Plan -Do – Check -Act) cycle, the sequence is clear,  though interaction between the 4 phases is realistic, which is more important cannot be generalized. In addition to the effect of complexity and the industry in the background, there could be cases where execution is more important and there could be other cases where planning is more important, that is why each organization should use its lessons learned and measure its maturity in terms of both the 5 main processes and the knowledge areas.

Whatever project management methodology you follow, planning will be likely the more difficult. With planning, there are too many things to consider in complexity. Execution, you just follow the steps after you mapped the complexity.

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