Usually project professionals implement the tools and processes used to turn the concept into reality. That brings me to tip #1: Know the context of the work you are doingand you'll do a better job.
Additionally you can use a balanced scorecard approach to monitor your work. Frankly earned value doesn't do it for me as there is so much complexity in understanding what value really is.
Building to specification is not suficient in today's corporate projects. You need to go further, and (Tip #2) this is one tool that can help you.
(I hope I am not over-using Slideshare for blog content, but it's a great resource for business knowledge. )