What is the first thing you do when you are asked to complete a complex task?
You break it down into smaller, manageable bits, right?
The same holds for project managers as well. They create a work breakdown structure and divide a large project into smaller activities.
At the end, all these pieces of the puzzle are put together to complete the whole puzzle and this is where project integration management comes into play.
In this article, you will learn about project integration management best practices, processes and process groups.
What is Project Integration Management?
Project integration is the latest induction into the PMBoK knowledge areas. It focuses on ensuring good coordination between project activities. Just like other project management knowledge areas, project integration management knowledge area also has specific processes and process groups.
Project integration management is an effort to develop strategies for integrating all project activities and achieve a common project objective. It provides a clearer picture of the future direction of the project. What changes you will have to make in workflows and methodologies to achieve success is also a part of a project integration strategy.
Key Processes of Project Integration Management
There are seven key processes involved in project integration management.
- Establish a Project Charter
- Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement
- Develop Project Management Integration Plan
- Direct and Manage Project Execution
- Monitor and Control Project Work
- Integrate Change Control
- Close Project
1. Establish a Project Charter
A project charter is a high-level description of project deliverables and outlines project goals. It is an official document, which authorizes the project and gives project managers the authority to use all the available resources for the project.
Other than describing the goals and deliverables, project charter also defines the key project stakeholders. The project charter provides a summary of the project and provides a shared understanding of the project.
2. Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement
To minimize the risk of scope creep, you need to develop a project scope statement. Project scope statement provides a high-level definition of the project scope. This document highlights the project management methodologies and tactics to be used in the project.
3.Develop Project Management Plan
After the inception of agile project management methodology and lean project management methodology, project managers have been spending less time on planning and more time on execution. Project management plans cover everything from project execution to project monitoring. Integration of several activity plans is also an important component of project planning.
4. Direct and Manage Project Execution
This is the phase where real action takes place as project managers will have to take direct and implement project activities and their execution. Orchestrating your project team is performing is also a part of this key process. Project managers have to ensure that everything happens in the light of project plan and scope statement.
5. Monitor and Control Project Work
This includes measuring and balancing project’s progress and being proactive in taking corrective measures to eliminate any issue that can threaten your project’s success chances. This process focuses on meeting project objectives and weed out all the obstacles that are stopping your project from achieving its goals.
6. Integrate Change Control
Implementing change controls to help you with your change management efforts is probably the most difficult task as you will face backlash from your employees. By implementing change controls, project managers can easily calculate, approve and direct changes smoothly. As a result, only verified changes will be implemented enabling you to achieve higher client satisfaction and drive your project to success.
When you have completed all project activities, delivered the final project to the clients and got client’s approval, it is time to close the project.
All these key processes ensure project coordination and are categorized in five project process groups.
Project Process Groups
- Monitoring and Controlling
Initiating process group is more inclined towards all the processes necessary for getting official approval for starting a new project. This includes activities such as creating a project charter and developing a project scope statement. When the initializing process group is complete, then we move on to the next phase, which is the planning phase.
The most important activities performed in the planning process group are to develop a project plan and schedule project activities. You should access how much time each project activity would take and plan accordingly. All project planning activities comes under planning process group.
When you have a project plan ready, it is time to execute project activities. This is where this process group comes in. It ensures all the activities outlined in the project plan are executed in the same order so that you can achieve your project goals. Execution of project activities should align with your project plan. Directing and managing project execution is a part of executing process group.
4.Monitoring and Controlling
Execution of project activities is not going to help you in meeting project objectives if you do not have a proper monitoring and controlling mechanism to track progress. This is what the monitoring and controlling process group focus on. Collect, evaluate and share performance-related information to measure the progress of project activities.
Closing process group encompass activities to officially closing the project. This includes delivering the final product to clients and getting approval from the client to end the project. This process group also covers putting a full stop on canceled projects.
Project integration management PMBOK is all about ensuring integration between all project activities and combining all the bits and pieces to complete the puzzle. Executing all the key processes and its process groups will guarantee project success when it comes to project integration management.
TaskQue makes project integration a breeze, thanks to is easy to use interface, simple navigation and ability to make quick edits. TaskQue supports PMI PMBoK standard project phases. More importantly, it also allows users to customize it according to your business needs.
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.