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Project Management Accounting: Budgeting, Tracking, and Reporting Costs and Profitability, Second Edition by Lynne M. Brooks, Gary S. Stetz, Kevin R. Callahan

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Project Execution and Control

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge2 defines project execution as coordinating people and other resources to carry out the (project) plan. This definition is deceptively simple; under the direction of the project manager, the project team, vendors, and others carry out the tasks that are defined in the project plan in order to produce the project deliverables.

However, project managers must not only ensure that work is progressing as planned, but also must monitor all aspects of project execution, in particular the financial results. This is project control, which ensures that project objectives are met by monitoring and measuring progress regularly to identify variances so that corrective actions may be taken.

Project Management is not unlike flying an airplane. Flying conditions are perfect as the plane heads toward its destination. However, even on a clear day, wind currents in the air can push the airplane off course. As the pilot monitors the gauges, she will notice if this is occurring and will compensate by steering the plane back in the other direction, toward the intended destination.

The project manager is the pilot, always monitoring the gauges and ready to steer the project back on course. There is more to flying the airplane than just steering it. The pilot is always monitoring the systems, making sure that there is enough fuel to reach the destination and that all of the systems are functioning properly. If the plane runs ...

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