4: Create an Execution Plan
Roadmap to Action / Create an Execution Plan
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Inputs Needed

  • Completed Business Justification Worksheet from Action 3
  • Contact list of stakeholders from Action 1 of the Site-Level Planning module

Outputs

  • Execution plans in support of funding sources

Overview

In this action, execution plans with integrated timelines are developed for each funding source and associated projects. Funding sources and associated projects are consolidated with specific next steps organized with responsible parties, timeframe for initiation and completion, and costs. Acquisition plans may also be needed, requiring additional resources.

In-Depth

In this action, the resilience planning team will develop an execution plan for the leadership-approved projects, based on the associated funding source(s). This can include acquisition planning and contract development for specific projects, developing training programs, or creating staffing policies and legislative proposals. Subject matter experts, champions, and project management staff should be clearly identified and assigned specific responsibilities in the execution plan. The completed plan will include a clear path forward and an integrated timeline for all project concepts, so that when a champion takes on the project, they have all of the information necessary to ensure the project meets objectives.  Offline users can use the Roadmap to Action Action 4 Worksheet: Execution Plan Checklist to track progress through this action.

Execution Plan and Integrated Timeline

The path to project execution may vary based on funding source. Therefore, execution plans and integrated timelines are developed in support of each funding source and its associated projects.  Thinking about execution plans through the lens of funding sources will allow the resilience planning team to use resources and follow timelines associated with different funding sources.

To better understand the timing, pacing, and effort required to implement projects and utilize identified funding sources, the resilience planning team will create an integrated timeline which provides a visual guide for next steps and allows for greater alignment with existing organizational planning or budgeting deadlines. The timeline will integrate the next steps for all of the prioritized solutions to better understand deadlines and overlap between projects and to facilitate coordination between team members.

Often, there are specific timeline resources associated with certain federal funding sources. The resilience planning team should check with their organization’s acquisition representatives and contracting officers (for federal agencies only) to see what timeline resources are available in support of the desired funding types. For additional information on federal procurement timelines, contact your site’s Federal Project Executive and consult the FEMP ESPC and UESC process guides.

The resilience planning team can build execution plans based on funding sources and associated projects in their organization-appropriate execution templates. The resilience planning team should default to using organizational/funding-specific execution templates where available (see “Best Practices for Solicitation Development” callout box). For instances where there is no defined template, the TRN provides a TRN Resource: Execution Plan Template. If using the TRN template, the resilience planning team should build one execution plan per funding source.

Best Practices for Solicitation Development
  • Start with templates or examples―access the FEMP Assistance Request Portal or contact your Federal Project Executive for support
  • Involve legal and contracting officer early on for high-level decisions
  • Engage the contracting officer as much as possible
  • Engage organization experts as needed
  • Solicit input from team members on evaluation criteria
  • Use working meetings for real-time document editing
  • Implement a document sharing and version control plan.

Background: For each funding source, the resilience planning team will identify deadlines, timing considerations, projects included, and solutions either fully or partially addressed. The resilience planning team should ensure that any sponsor or funding provider deadlines are identified here. Examples include grant applications and utility incentives that are external to an organization. Additional timeline considerations to meet mission requirements should also be considered. In addition to building out the background information, it is crucial to identify a scope and points of contact. The risk drivers, gaps addressed, project cost estimates, and any other general project requirements should be included so that as the project evolves, the original need remains in mind.

Next Steps: For each project, identify near-term next steps. These steps are small, manageable, and are meant to be completed within a relatively short timeframe, such as one calendar year. Examples of these steps can include information gathering, additional feasibility analysis, detailed project design, leadership approvals, initial regulatory review, and identifying potential sources of funding. The resilience planning team should determine what a reasonable ‘near-term’ timeframe is and use it consistently across all the projects for ease of alignment and comparison. Note that each project will ultimately have its own much longer implementation and management timeline, in many cases spanning multiple years and including full project life cycles.

Assigning Responsibilities: Each next step should be assigned to a specific point of contact, team, or department, and include a target completion date. The resilience planning team should ensure that projects and their objectives are cohesively passed on to ensure the projects stay true to their intent. In the following action, the project points of contact will be documented to ensure follow-up.

The resilience planning team is in a unique position to see the larger resilience planning picture and how projects come together to provide solutions that address risk to the site’s energy and water systems.  Because of this, the resilience planning team should take particular note of any task dependencies in and amongst projects, as well as the opportunity to align similar tasks across projects to achieve greater efficiency or reduce risk.

Integrated Timeline: The resilience planning team can then plot the dates on a calendar or Gantt chart. Once all of the projects’ next steps have been plotted on a calendar or Gantt chart, add important organizational planning or funding deadlines. Once the integrated timeline is complete, the resilience planning team may determine that insufficient time, personnel, or resources exist to implement all of the proposed projects and may choose to reevaluate which projects to pursue. In some cases, this juncture is an opportunity for leadership to determine which projects they will prioritize given limited resources, and resilience planning teams should present all of the projects for consideration. In other cases, the resilience planning team can opt to further refine the list of projects they wish to pursue before final approval.

Best Practices for Solicitation Development
  • Start with templates or examples―access the FEMP Assistance Request Portal or contact your Federal Project Executive for support
  • Involve legal and contracting officer early on for high-level decisions
  • Engage the contracting officer as much as possible
  • Engage organization experts as needed
  • Solicit input from team members on evaluation criteria
  • Use working meetings for real-time document editing
  • Implement a document sharing and version control plan.
If developing federal projects, contact the Federal Project Executive for your region and the FEMP procurement team for additional support during this action. They can help organizations identify next steps and requirements that are unique to the federal government and share valuable insights from prior projects.

Acquisition Planning

If a project requires an acquisition, it is important to understand the organization’s procurement policies and engage with contracting staff. Contracting specialists will lead procurement activities including:

  • Finalization of applicable requests for information, requests for proposals, and notice of opportunity to lease documents
  • Solicitations
  • Source selections
  • Negotiation
  • Award and signing of contracts and agreements.

The resilience planning team will provide support and facilitate communication among all partners. Communication between partners and identification of a prioritized path for completion of required documents and actions are vital to moving the project efficiently through the process. Maintaining the planned project timeline through the reviews and approvals required by the acquisition process is essential if the project is to remain viable.

Operational and institutional projects may involve hiring staff or implementing a new process. If the resilience planning team is pursuing one of these options, they should work with their leadership and human resources departments to begin planning.

If developing federal projects, contact the Federal Project Executive for your region and the FEMP procurement team for additional support during this action. They can help organizations identify next steps and requirements that are unique to the federal government and share valuable insights from prior projects.