The Execution Excellence Manifesto

The Initial Situation and Motivation for Change

Executive Management has created a strategy. There are now countless strategic plans, ideas, and project plans. Yet, so little is realized.

There exists a significant gap between strategy/planning and execution.

With execution faltering, top management calls for better planning. However, “better” planning is often interpreted as “more detailed” planning, resulting in a considerable increase in work for project managers. This includes creating, regularly updating, and reporting on detailed plans. Consequently, the effort required for monitoring and decision-making in management and steering committees also rises.

This scenario leaves less time for substantive project work, team management, and customer communication. A frequently observed vicious cycle emerges:

  • The effort for planning and controlling increases.
  • But the results do not improve. In fact, quite the opposite occurs.
  • Formal processes stifle creativity and prevent the decentralized decisions that could often be made faster and more effectively at the operational level.

Change management initiatives, aimed at fostering better project management education and understanding at all levels, have become a popular remedy, despite their associated costs and efforts. Unfortunately, these initiatives often exacerbate the vicious cycle, at least as long as the core cause of the gap between planning and execution persists.

The core cause is the simultaneous undertaking of far too many projects and initiatives.

A project cannot achieve the desired results if the designated project team cannot allocate sufficient time to it. The fundamental prerequisite for a project’s success is that someone can properly attend to it.

It is irrelevant how excellent the project planning is or how comprehensive the training and understanding of project management methods within the company are.

This may sound trivial, but in our view, it is the core cause of the gap between planning and execution.


We aim to change this. That’s why the authors of this manifesto have developed a set of principles to assist companies in permanently closing the gap between planning and execution.

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