Robots are expected to carry out complex plans in real world environments. This requires the robot to track the progress of plan execution and detect failures which may occur. Planners use very abstract world models to generate plans. Additional causal, temporal, categorical knowledge about the execution, which is not included in the planner’s model, is often available. Can we use this knowledge to increase robustness of execution and provide early failure detection? We propose to use a dedicated Execution Model to monitor the executed plan based on runtime observations and rich execution knowledge. We show that the combined used of causal, temporal and categorical knowledge allows the robot to detect failures even when the effects of actions are not directly observable. A dedicated Execution model also introduces a degree of modularity, since the platform- and execution-specific knowledge does not need to be encoded into the planner.