Sometimes, it becomes a daunting task to manage a project, particularly when different departments need to work collaboratively. And while working on a project, each department perhaps uses a methodology in which they possess expertise. Because of the differences in methodology and processes, the difficulty arises in collaborative projects between departments.
A huge project with many moving parts also faces project complications, which ultimately leads to misalignment. As these parts are not properly aligned, the project progress becomes slow thus producing a less productive outcome.
This is where the role of project integration management comes into play. The right implementation of project integration management creates a perfect collaboration between the projects parts and various departments.
What is Project Integration Management?
Project integration management is a process of unifying all the subprocess into one cohesive unit. Put simply; it is a way to ensure that the various activities of a project work together.
That means you as a project manager need to perform some normal operational procedures. These procedures include the process and activities that cover all the five phases of the project.
- Monitoring and controlling
- Project closure
According to PMI, project integration is one of the largest parts of the project management knowledge groups.
Implementing Project Integration Management
Develop a Project Charter
Project charter formally authorizes a project initiation by defining its boundaries. The project charter includes the elements like:
- Defining the project title and description
- Explaining business needs
- Outlining the project objectives
- Identifying the role of the project manager and stakeholders
- Listing the risks.
The process is generic enough that it does not demand much change during the complete course of the cycle.
Create a Scope Statement
The scope statement is the process in which you need to identify what should be present or absent in a project.
It helps you in assigning the best resources to finish the project successfully within time and budget. In simple words, it defines all the project developers, while developing measurable success criteria.
Prepare a Project Management Plan
In this process, you need to create a master plan that consists of all the planning documents of the project. It works like a summary of other project management plans and gives a quick overview of other projects as well.
The project plan includes the resources, budget, schedule, and objectives. It specifies the type of approach you plan to use to complete the project with its risk assessment.
This also includes several baselines such as cost performance baseline, schedule baseline, and scope baseline. This document will help you change the baseline with a formal request for change.
Direct and Manage Project Work
Once you prepare a project management plan, it comes the time to direct and manage the project work process. At this point, the project manager leads and directs the plan according to the project management plan.
Also, to ensure that the objectives of the project are met, the project manager implements the approved changes. This process typically manages the technical or organizational aspects of the project. The project management plan ensures that the execution of the project goes smoothly.
The project execution has three key parts- implementation, management and reporting on status. The goal of the project is accomplished through the process. The work performance boosts through the change requests.
Monitor and Control Project Work
As the project work is much more than just managing and directing, it needs proper monitoring and controlling. The process includes tracking, reviewing or reporting the project progress to achieve the performance objectives.
The various inputs used in this process consist of the project management plan, environmental factors, organizational assets, and performance reports. While the output includes project management plan updates, change requests and project document updates.
The process entails change management with tools and techniques that manage the change/development in a project.
If there is a change request during the project lifecycle, then someone should monitor or control change request. This is important to ensure the project quality remains high.
A project manager will look into the project progress to see if the project is not going as per the project plan. If so, the project manager will put corrective action in place.
Perform Integrated Change Control
This phase requires the assessment across the entire project. The impact of the change is assessed, along with the actual work to make sure everything is in synchronization.
The major difference between the two phases- monitoring & controlling work and integrated change control is that the former one focuses on how the scope will execute. While the later one place emphasis on managing the change in project scope.
It uses the tools and techniques, including change control meetings and expert judgment. Whereas the outputs are project management plan updates, project document updates and change request status updates.
Close Project or Phase Process
The last step is the close project, which generates a formal project review, struggles, successes and lessons learned. This formal document should define the project success, and key data point to build a solid foundation for ongoing project integration management in an organization.
To end each project phase, there is a need to archive data of all the final documents like procurement releases or inspections. Also, the project is considered formally complete with written contract approvals.
Below are some steps you need to follow when assessing the project’s outcomes and auditing the deliverables.
- Confirmation of work completion
- Finishing financial reports
- Closing the procurement process
- Indexing and archiving all project contracts and files
- Creating a financial performance assistant
You should review what failed or worked and the lessons learned from the missteps and changes. Pick out the takeaways and how you can improve with them in the next project.
So, the project integration management is essential to create consistency during the complete project lifecycle.
Be it planning, documentation or any other task; the project integration management can combine with the reveal various opportunities with the long-term strategic planning.