Integrated Project Management – Project Plan
By James Clements
Integrated Project Management is not necessarily an obviously measurable project management discipline like, scope, time or quality, but it is a discipline (a mindset if you like) to be applied across the whole of the processes of planning (project plan), executing and delivering your project.
You need at all times to be aware of the need for all of the project management functions, processes and interactions, plus those of your organization, your client and your suppliers to integrated together and be complimentary in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
Unless the project is primarily about organizational change or you are a start-up with no policy, procedure or processes in place, we do not want our project to ‘go it alone’ and reinvent the wheel by developing standalone policy, procedure and process.
We want our projects to utilize and benefit from the existing resources within the organization that can be made available to us to the maximum extent possible, we’ll have enough to deal with in our project without also taking on the burden of developing basic organizational processes. There are times when this will be necessary, but this needs to be the exception rather than the rule.
Integrated Project Management encompasses the collective joining together of all the processes within the project, the processes of your organization as a whole, those of your client plus the day to day management of the project plan.
This will involve trade-offs, adjustments in the way you set up the project and then further decisions and adjustments being made to address the actual (as opposed to planned) way the project is developing as it progresses.
In other words it is the knowledge and understanding that all things within the project are interrelated and that the project is effected by the environment in which it exists and that change is inevitable and must be managed.
Integrated Project Management
There are two key project documents at the heart of project integration;
- The Scope Definition Document which overviews the project’s scope or work, assumptions, constraints, exclusions, primary risks and the broad strategy that will be employed to execute the project. Scope Definitions’s should start during the bidding or project development phases and this early definition allows project estimators and other bid team personnel to develop tender deliverables that are cohesive and aligned by following this broad outline.
As the project evolves and requires more succinct definition, the Project Plan or as it’s correctly known, the Project Management Plan (PMP) is developed and the scope definition is integrated to become the first section of the PMP, from this point providing a key introductory section to the PMP.
The Project Management Plan (PMP) is the primary output of the project planning phase.
The key to successfully undertaking a project planning exercise that results in the best chance of success being afforded to the project is the engagement of all the stakeholders in the planning of the project, the integration processes that take place to ensure the plan for managing the project is realistic, scaled correctly, can cope with change and has the input and buy in of all key stakeholders, “it’s not about the plan, it is about the planning”.
The Project Management Plan should contain 8 Sections, one for each of the PMBOK’s remaining 8 Knowledge Areas (Integration applies across the other 8), which are listed below, plus the project would develop some or all of the primary monitoring and control tools that should be applied to ensure successful project outcomes and these are also listed in red below.
Project Plan or Project Management Plan
- Scope Definition
- Schedule Management Plan
- Cost Management Plan
- Quality Management Plan
- Resource Management Plan
- Communication & Management Plan
- Risk Management Plan
- Procurement Management Plan
Project Management Plan Tools & Processes
- Project Charter
- Change Control
- WBS & WBS Dictionary
- Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)
- Communication Management Matrix (CMM)
- Project Contact List
- Risk Register
- Contract Review Checklist
- Procurement Plan
James Clements, MBA, MPD has been managing, directing, winning projects and developing project management processes in diverse industries around the world for the past 20 years. You can contact James via his website here and you can read more from him on his blog.