When you are asked to complete a complex task, what is the first thing you do? You split it down into smaller bits that are manageable, right?
For project managers as well, the same applies. They build a framework for job breakdowns and split a big project into smaller tasks.
In the end, all these parts of the puzzle are put together to finish the whole puzzle, and this is where the project integration management comes into play. In this article, you will learn about best practices, processes and process groups in project integration management.
What is Project Integration Management for ?
One of the newest inductions into the knowledge areas of PMBoK is project integration. This focuses on maintaining good cooperation between the activities of the project. The knowledge area of project integration management often has unique processes and process groups, much like other project management knowledge areas. Management of project integration is an effort to introduce methods for integrating all project activities and achieving a common objective for the project. It provides a clearer picture of the project’s future path. A part of a project integration strategy is also what modifications you would have to make in workflows and methodologies to achieve success.
Key Processes of Project Integration ManagementThere are seven key processes involved in project integration management:
― Develop a Project Charter
― Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement
― Design Project Management Integration Plan
― Guide and Manage Project Execution
― Monitor and Control Project Work
― Integrate Change Control
― Close Project
Develop a Project Charter
A project charter is a high-level overview of the deliverables of the project and outlines project objectives. It is an official document that authorizes the project and allows project managers permission to use all available resources for the project.
Apart from defining the priorities and deliverables, the project charter also identifies the main project stakeholders. The project charter provides an overview of the project and a shared understanding of the project.
Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement
You need to create a project scope statement to minimize the possibility of scope creep. The declaration of the project scope offers a high-level overview of the scope of the project. This document highlights the methodologies and techniques of project management that will be used in the project.
Design Project Management Integration Plan
Project managers spent less time planning and more time on execution since the inception of agile project management methodology and lean project management methodology. From project execution to project monitoring, project management plans cover everything. It is also an essential component of project planning to integrate several activity plans.
Guide and Manage Project Execution
This is the stage in which actual activity takes place as project managers would have to direct and enforce and conduct project activities. Orchestrating the success of the project team is also part of this main phase. In terms of the project plan and scope statement, project managers must ensure that everything happens.
Monitor and Control Project Work
This involves monitoring and evaluating the progress of the project and being proactive in taking corrective steps to eradicate any problem that could threaten the chances of success of your project. This approach focuses on meeting project goals and weeding out all the hurdles that hinder your project from achieving its goals.
Integrate Change Control
It is undoubtedly the most challenging task to introduce change controls to assist you with your change management efforts as you will face backlash from your employees. Project managers can easily calculate, approve and guide changes seamlessly by implementing change controls. As a result, only validated modifications will be incorporated to enable you to achieve greater customer satisfaction and drive the success of your project.
It is time to close the project when you have finished all project operations, delivered the final project to the clients and received approval.
All these key processes enable project coordination and are categorized in five project process groups.
Project Process Groups― Initiating
― Monitoring and Controlling
Initiating process group is more oriented towards all the procedures needed to gain official approval for the launch of a new project. This includes tasks such as creating a project charter and the development of a project scope statement. When the group of initializing processes is complete, we move on to the next step, which is the planning stage.
Developing a project plan and scheduling project activities are the most important activities conducted in the planning process group. You should have access to how long each project procedure will take and plan accordingly. All project planning operations fall under the planning process group.
It is time to conduct project activities when you have a project plan ready. This is where this processes group comes in. It ensures that all the tasks outlined in the project plan are carried out in the same order so that your project objectives can be achieved. Project task execution should be consistent with the project plan. A part of the executing process group is to guide and control project execution.
Monitoring and Controlling
If you do not have a suitable tracking and control system to track progress, execution of project activities will not help you in achieving project goals. This is what the process group for monitoring and control focuses on. To track the progress of project activities, collect, evaluate and share performance-related information.
The Closing Process Group involves processes to officially close the project. This involves delivering the finished product to client and obtaining the client’s permission to end the project. This processes group also involves putting a complete stop to cancelled programs.
PMBOK’s project integration management is all about ensuring integration of all project activities and integrating all bits and pieces in order to complete the puzzle. When it comes to project integration management, executing all the main processes and their process groups would ensure project success.
I hope this project integration management article has helped you in understanding project integration management and clarified any questions you had in your mind. If not, feel free to ask any question regarding the topic in the comments section below.