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Project Integration Management
By Mithun Sridharan

Integration is concerned with effectively integrating the various project management processes that stem from the project management process groups to accomplish the project objectives. As humans, the most difficult thing for us to do is “CHANGE”, be it projects or operations. The Project Integration is an effort that helps formulate strategies to this transition and make the changes go smoother for all concerned.

Project Integration gives the project a clearer picture of where the project is actually heading towards. It also encompasses documenting what changes need to take place in the methodology, in the work flow, user job roles, etc. This is by and far, the most important role on any project.

The seven processes are:

  1. Develop Project Charter: Developing the Project Charter initiates the project. The derived project charter approves the project and gives the project manager the authority to act and apply organizational resources to the project.
  2. Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement: The preliminary project scope statement is an initial, high-level definition of the project scope. This document defines the project’s product(s) or service(s), methods of approval, and tactical strategies for the change control process.
  3. Develop the Project Management Plan: Developing the Project Management Plan includes all activities needed to create and integrate all subsidiary plans into the Project Management Plan. This plan will define how the project will be executed, managed, and monitored.
  4. Direct and Manage Project Execution: This is the phase where the “actual work” of the project gets done. This is an implementation phase, where directing and managing Project execution is done. This phase involves orchestrating how the project team performs the actions to implement the Project Management Plan and complete the work detailed in the Project Scope Statement.
  5. Monitor and Control Project Work: Monitoring and Controlling Project work measures and balances the project’s progress and any corrective or preventative actions needed to ensure that all project objectives are met.
  6. Integrated Change Control: Integrated Change Control is the change control process for the project which includes evaluating all change requests, authorizing changes, and managing changes to project plans and deliverables. The key benefit to this process is that only validated approved changes are implemented.
  7. Close Project: Closing the project equates to completing all project activities, delivering the final project, turning over continual support to operations, and obtaining the client’s approval to formally close the project.

The seven processes in the Project Integration Management knowledge area work in concert to facilitate proper project coordination. The project integration requires each process seamlessly links and fuels the next process

All project management processes are divided into the following five project process groups:

  1. Initiating: The Initiating Process Group encompasses all those processes necessary for formally authorizing the beginning of a new project. The processes for developing the Project Charter and developing the preliminary Project Scope Statement occur in the Initiating Process Group.
  2. Planning Process Group: The Planning Process Group includes those processes that establish the project scope, create the Project Management Plan, and identify and schedule the project activities. The process for developing the Project Management Plan occurs in the Planning Process Group.
  3. Executing Process Group: The Executing Process Group consists of those processes necessary for completing the work outlined in the Project Management Plan to achieve the project’s objectives. The process for directing and managing project execution, which ensures that the Project Management Plan is implemented properly, occurs in the Executing Process Group.
  4. Monitoring and Controlling Process Group: The Monitoring and Controlling Process Group is necessary for gathering, assessing, and distributing performance information and analyzing measurements and trends to make continual process improvements. The processes for monitoring and controlling project work and implementing integrated change control occur in the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group.
  5. Closing Process Group: The Closing Process group consists of those processes necessary for officially ending project activities and handing off the completed product to others. This also includes closing a project that has been canceled.

The project process groups overlap, interact, and directly affect one another as they all play out the greater project plan. These interactions create project management synchronization.

Mithun Sridharan works for the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Engineering team for Sun Microsystems and is based in Walldorf, Germany. His interests include project management, poetry, general management, philosophy and chess. A PMP and an ardent blogger, he writes extensively on project management in his blog: Mithun’s Memoirs.

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