Project Managers are the most in-demand professionals in every industry around the world. The primary reason behind this is that project managers are the master of the project management discipline. They ensure that all project elements are given their due attention and importance, thus providing a successful project delivery for their organizations. Project Integration Management is the project management methodology’s the starting point for all projects.
With the help of integration management, project managers coordinate all the project elements, from project planning to identify the project scope, from deciding the project tasks to delegating the tasks to the project management team, and so on. So, in project integration management, each project element is considered. Therefore, it is a vital knowledge area for aspiring project managers preparing for their PMP (Project Management Professional) Certificate examination.
Project Integration Management
Integration Management is the first knowledge area of the ten project management knowledge areas specified in the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide, sixth edition. Project integration management’s main objective is to understand each project element’s interdependency – scope, budget, timelines, resources, stakeholders, etc. Project Managers use integration management to coordinate between these project elements and establish the project deliverables. So, project integration management covers all the five phases or process groups of project management from initiation to project closure.
Integration Management Processes
Project Management is a collaborative process requiring effective coordination and collaboration between various organizational departments. The integration management knowledge area helps project managers efficient transition from one process to another. Therefore, with integration management, project managers can take care of multiple elements of the project without slowing down any processes.
There are seven processes in project integration management spanning all five process groups – initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. These are:
- Develop Project Charter – Organizations develop the project by creating a project charter during the initiation phase of project management. A project charter is an important document that serves as a guideline throughout the project life cycle. This document contains the project manager assigned for the project and a list of all key stakeholders, including their roles and responsibilities. A project charter does not need to change as the project moves forward as it is a generic document outlining the project’s primary objective.
- Develop Project Management Plan – The following process in project integration management involves planning the project by creating a project management plan. Project Managers create a detailed project plan specifying the project scope, schedule, and budget. The project management plan will also have the project deliverables, baselines, and milestones to measure its success. The project plan document serves as the guideline for the project execution.
- Direct and Manage Project Work – During the project execution phase, project managers direct and manage the project by tracking the day-to-day activities per the project management plan. They collaborate and communicate with the project stakeholders and the project management team to monitor the project’s progression.
- Manage Project Knowledge – As the project progresses, project managers discover new information about the project to attain the project objectives. This process in integration management deals with collecting additional project knowledge and using them to improve the project further. The manage project knowledge process also helps provide important information for the organization’s future projects.
- Monitor and Control Project Work – This process is a part of the monitoring and controlling phase of the project management methodology. It helps project managers monitor and control the project work by tracking the progress against pre-defined project baselines or metrics. Any deviation from the actual project scope can be prevented or corrected, depending on the project requirements.
- Perform Integrated Change Control – This process in integration management allows the smooth execution of changes or revisions to the project during the monitoring and controlling phase. By performing integrated change control, project managers can effectively manage change requests from the stakeholders or clients without jeopardizing the entire project.
- Close Project or Phase – The final process in project integration management, the close project or phase process, helps in efficiently closing the project. There are several procedures involved in the closing phase that project managers must take care of even after the project’s delivery to the organization’s customers or clients. This process also helps organizations gain insights into the project’s success or failure. Thus, helping them integrate the knowledge gained for improved results in future projects.
Project Integration Management is a holistic approach to ensure all project elements are coordinated to yield the best possible results. Therefore, it forms an integral aspect of the project management methodology. As mentioned above, integration management is a part of the ten knowledge areas of project management described in the PMBOK Guide, sixth edition. The latest PMBOK Guide, seventh edition, has a principle-based approach with twelve project management principles instead of processes. Some of the principles: value, holistic thinking, complexity, tailoring, adaptability and resilience, reflect the similar purpose of project integration management. Thus, candidates preparing for the PMP certification examination will find it highly beneficial to refer to both editions of the PMBOK Guide for a complete PMP Certificate Study.