What is Project Execution Plan?

  • Post last modified:17 February 2023
  • Reading time:24 mins read
  • Post category:Project Management
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What is Project Execution Plan?

The Project Execution Plan (PEP) is the core document for the management of a project. It is a statement of policies and procedures defined by the project manager for the project sponsor/project director’s approval. It sets out in a structured format the project scope, objectives, milestones, communication plan, Project change control procedures and other key project information.

This project Execution template covers the items listed below, although some may appear under a number of headings with a cross reference system employed to avoid duplication:

  • Project definition and brief
  • Project scope and milestones
  • High level business requirements
  • Roles, responsibilities and authorities
  • Project cost plan and cost management procedures
  • Risk and sensitivity analysis
  • Programme management
  • Contracting and procurement
  • Project change management control procedures
  • Project communication pan
  • Administrative systems and procedures
  • Safety and environmental issues, such as the construction design and management regulations
  • Quality assurance
  • Commissioning, and
  • Post project evaluation.

This Project Execution Plan template can be used to manage every stage of project life cycle for any industry.

Project Procedure Manual

Project Procedure Manual provides the following detailed information:

  • Project Management/Administration
  • Project Controls
  • Engineering
  • Procurement
  • Construction
  • Quality Assurance and Verification
  • Safety, Health, Welfare and Environmental (SHWE)
  • Attachments

Project Management/Administration

Project management/administration describes the following:

  • Introduction
  • Scope of work
  • Project organization
  • Addresses and name of representatives
  • Communication
  • Project reports
  • Document control

Project Controls

Project controls describe the following:

  • Estimating
  • Cost control
  • Change notice/change orders
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Material control
  • Project accounting


Describe engineering execution plan briefly and cover the extent of:

  • Process Engineering
  • Project and Design Engineering
  • Supplier Documents Requirements/Review
  • Engineering Design by Suppliers/Subcontractors
  • Equipment/Item/Line Numbering System
  • Spare Parts Requirements
  • ‘As-built’ Drawing Requirements
  • Split Office Operational Scope.


Describe procurement execution plan briefly and cover the extent of:

  • General and Special Conditions of Purchase
  • Purchasing – Purchasing Plan, Approved Bidders List (Attachment 10);
  • Inspection – Inspection Plan and Schedule
  • Expediting – Expediting Plan Categorizing Equipment and Material with Expediting Priority Codes
  • Vendor Print Control, Shipment.


Construction of any project will be done in accordance with the latest edition of the ‘Field Construction Manual’. If deviation from or addition to procedures, methods and/or use of forms as laid down in the ‘Field Construction Manual’ are necessary for a specific project.

Describe construction execution plan briefly and cover (in specific project procedures, if necessary) the extent of:

  • Direct Hire
  • Subcontracting – Subcontract Plan
  • HO Construction – Constructability Reviews
  • Site Construction
  • Field Accounting
  • Field Purchasing
  • Communications Company/Field/HO/client
  • Document Distribution
  • Material Control and Warehousing
  • Mechanical Completion Definition
  • Commissioning and Start-up Requirements
  • Safety Rules and Regulations.

Quality Assurance and Verification

This PPE Manual is authorized by Company Management for all quality activities as is laid down in the ‘Management Statement’ (see QAM-006 ‘Management Responsibility’).

Documents and activities leading to their production shall be planned and monitored.

All quality activities such as inter-discipline checks, Multi-discipline reviews and the like shall be predetermined (planned) for the relevant documents, at specific stages (mile stones) of completion.

In case engineering and/or design groups need extra support for quality control (checking) activities, this shall be supplied by the Department/Section Group Manager or his delegate. Subject manager shall determine the critical documents requiring such control.

Biweekly internal task-force meetings will be held to discuss, as minimum:

  • Project progress/planning
  • Quality
  • Changes
  • Problem areas.

At these meetings, the Project Manager will ascertain the status of the Project Quality Activity List, Attachment 20. This list shall be used as the basic check list and shall be marked up to reflect the achievements.

Project audits shall provide the assurance of the achieved quality. These audits, including additional product quality checks, shall be planned and scheduled by the Project Manager in cooperation with the production Department Managers and the Manager QA.

Safety, Health, Welfare and Environmental (SHWE)

Describe how design and plant SHWE is addressed. Describe what separate, independent reviews will be held.

Refer to the applicable site SHWE plan (Attachment 15) and the project H.O. SHWE plan (Attachment 14) if appropriate.


Below is an example list of Attachments that could form part of the actual Project Procedure and Execution Manual. Standard texts of some of these Attachments are available and registered under their ‘Document Number’. The project is free to adjust the sequence and to add documents. All attachments shall be numbered as per CM-PE-303 para.4.4.1.

Standard Document NumberTitleProject Document Number (to be assigned)
1List of Applicable Procedures:
2List of Applicable Standards, Guides and Specifications:
3List of Applicable Codes and Norms
4List of Deliverables
5List of Documents to be Approved by Client/Licensor/Third Parties
6Overall Project Schedule
7(BN-S-UK001/7)Project Organization Charts
8(BN-S-UK001/8)Project Function Descriptions
9(BN-S-UK001/9)Audit Schedule
10Approved Bidders List
11(RB-DDS.xls)Document Distribution Schedule
12Subcontracts Plan
13(BN-S-UK001/13)Project Quality Plan
14(BN-S-UK0010)Project H.O. SHWE Plan
15(BN-S-UC003)Site SHWE Plan
16Site Rules and Safety Regulations
17General Conditions of Purchase
18Special Conditions of Purchase
19(BN-S-UP103)General Conditions of Subcontract
20(BN-S-UK001/20)Project Quality Activity List
21(BN-S-UK001/21)List of Authorized Signatures
22Special Conditions of Subcontract

What is Project Diary?

A project diary is a written record of significant activities, events or processes that occur during the life of a project.

It is highly recommended that project staff keep some sort of diary to record their insights and experiences during a project’s planning and implementation as these insights are important to collect and reflect upon in order to improve the way future projects are run. Project staff’s diaries can provide a meaningful reflection of the time that may be needed to implement a project.

For example, diaries can provide a more accurate guide as to the time commitment (and budgeting) required in future project designs. Diaries are also invaluable for identifying the little things that make, hold back, or break a project.

These small factors, such as not engaging particular stakeholders early enough, may have not been considered in the project plan but they are the things that end up being important. Project diaries therefore help collect the information that helps make a meaningful evaluation of a project’s implementation, rather than having to depend on sketchy memories or anecdotal evidence.

An option is to combine diary-keeping with regular meetings, whereby project teams and other relevant stakeholders can reflect on what is working well and what needs improvement, and decide on what should be done to improve the project.

Keeping a diary could be done either through a traditional ‘written’ format, or through an electronic file that is updated as required.

You can also consider having a selection of participants keep diaries to record their observations of a project, and the changes they undertake. You may want to consider selecting the participants using specific criteria, such as demographics, previous knowledge or values, or the like, so that can see if different sub-groups have different experiences.

Pre-Requisites for Successful Project Project Execution Plan

Time and cost over runs of projects are very common in India, particularly in the public sector. The Annual Report of the Ministry of Programme Implementation for a recent year provides some alarming information about 184 central projects monitored by the Ministry of Programme Implementation:

  • 119 projects (about 65 percent of the total) have suffered time over runs, which have gone as high as about 200 percent the average delay in commissioning these projects was about 3 years.

  • 125 projects (about 68 percent of the total) have suffered cost over runs, which have been as high as 75 percent.

  • Projects for which no time and cost over runs have been indicated have mostly been taken up recently and it is likely that many of them will also suffer from time and cost over runs.

A similar analysis of state projects would perhaps reveal an even more dismal picture. Due to such time and cost overruns, projects tend to become uneconomical, resources are not available to support other projects, and economic development is adversely affected.

What can be done to minimize time and cost overruns and thereby improve the prospects of the successful completion of projects? While a lot of things can be done to achieve this goal, the more important ones appear to be as follows:

Adequate Formulation

Often project formulation is deficient because of one or more of the following shortcomings:

  • Superficial field investigation
  • Cursory assessment of input requirements
  • Slip shod methods used for estimating costs and benefits
  • Omission of project linkages
  • Flawed judgments because of lack of experience and expertise
  • Undue hurry to get started
  • Deliberate over estimation of benefits and under estimation of costs.

Care must be taken to avoid the above deficiencies so that the appraisal and formulation of the project is thorough, adequate, and meaningful.

Sound Project Organisation

A sound Organization for implementing the project is critical to its success. The characteristics of such an Organisation are:

  • It is led by a competent leader who is accountable for the project performance.
  • The authority of the project leader and his team is commensurate with their responsibility.
  • Adequate attention is paid to the human side of the project.
  • Systems and methods are clearly defined.
  • Rewards and penalties to individuals are related to performance.

Proper Implementation Planning

Once the investment decision is taken and often even while the formulation and appraisal are being done it is necessary to do detailed implementation planning before commencing the actual implementation. Such planning should, inter alia, seek to:

  • Develop a comprehensive time plan for various activities like land acquisition, tender evaluation, recruitment of personnel, construction of buildings, erection of plant, arrangement for utilities, trial production run, etc.

  • Estimate meticulously the resource requirements (manpower, materials, money, etc.) for each period to realize the time plan.

  • Define properly the inter linkages between various activities of the project.

  • Specify cost standards.

Advance Action

When the project appears prima facie to be viable and desirable, advance action on the following activities may be initiated:

  • acquisition of land,
  • securing essential clearances,
  • identifying technical collaborators/ consultants,
  • arranging for infrastructure facilities,
  • preliminary design and engineering, and
  • calling of tenders.

To initiate advance action with respect to the above activities, some investment is required. Clearly, if the project is not finally approved, this investment would represent an infructuous outlay. However, the substantial savings (in time and cost) that are expected to occur, should the project be approved (a very likely event, given the prima facie desirability of the project) often amply justify the incurrence of such costs.

Timely Availability of Funds

Once a project is approved, adequate funds must be made available to meet its requirements as per the plan of implementation it would be highly desirable if funds are provided even before the final approval to initiate advance action. Piecemeal, adhoc, and niggardly allocation, with undue rigidities, can impair the manoeuvrability of the project team. It is a common observation that firms which have a comfortable liquidity position are, in general, able to implement projects expeditiously and economically.

Such firms can initiate advance actions vigorously, negotiate with suppliers and contractors aggressively, organise input supplies quickly, take advantages of opportunities to affect economies, support suppliers in resolving their problems so that they can in turn redound to the successful completion of projects, and sustain the morale of project related personnel at a high level.

Judicious Equipment Tendering and Procurement

To minimise time over runs, it may appear that a turnkey contract has obvious advantages. Since these contracts are likely to be bagged by foreign suppliers, when global tenders are floated, a very important question arises. How much should we rely on foreign suppliers and how much should we depend on indigenous suppliers? Over dependence on foreign suppliers, even though seemingly advantageous from the point of view of time and cost, may mean considerable outflow of foreign exchange and inadequate incentive for the development of indigenous technology and capability.

Over reliance on indigenous suppliers may mean delays and higher uncertainty about the technical performance of the project. A judicious balance must be sought which moderates the outflow of foreign exchange and provides reasonable fillip to the development of indigenous technology. In any case, the number of contract packages should be kept to a minimum in order to ensure effective coordination.

Better Contract Management

Since a substantial portion of a project is typically executed through contracts, the proper management of contracts is critical to the successful implementation of the project. In this context, the following should be done:

  • The competence and capability of all the contractors must be ensured one weak link can jeopardise the timely performance of the contract.

  • Proper discipline must be inculcated among contractors and suppliers by insisting that they should develop realistic and detailed resource and time plans which are congruent with the project plan.

Penalties which may be graduated must be imposed for failure to meet contractual obligations. Likewise, incentives may be offered for good performance. Help should be extended to contractors and suppliers when they have genuine problems they should be regarded as partners in a common pursuit. Project authorities must retain latitude to off load contracts (partially or wholly) to other parties well in time where delays are anticipated.

Best Project Management Courses

Project management skills are in demand. If you are ready to get started, consider enrolling in the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate Learn the job-ready essentials of project management in six months or less, such as initiating projects, risk management and change management. Also we have made list of best project management courses as there are a plethora of options available, and it can be challenging to identify the best one.

Google Project Management
Google Project Management
Project Management for Professionals
Project Management for Professionals

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Best for:

The ideal project management tool selection will eventually rely on the particular requirements of your team. We suggest experimenting with the free versions of various tools to gauge your team’s comfort level and then proceeding accordingly.

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