The Complete Guide to Project Integration Management

Project integration management is one of the difficult knowledge areas in the PMP exam. Furthermore project integration management is the only knowledge area, where the processes define with a high level view to make sure all parts (end to end) of the project coordinates and integrates properly.

Except project integration management, all other knowledge areas focus a certain functional area in the project rather than focusing the whole project itself.

Indeed project Integration management is the only knowledge area, where processes follow the sequence as project management life cycle. Project integration management processes are there in every process group.

As you are reading this blog post, I assume you are already aware of PMP fundamentals. In case if you are not aware of the PMP fundamentals, please read through my recent blog post on PMP Basics – All the PMP Fundamentals you need to know.

Eventually every project may be following lot of activities from its start to closure. However, if you see from a birds eye view, every project roughly has the following day-to-day activities in general.

  1. Firstly, the foremost activity in any project would be to assign a project manager to the project.
  2. Then project manager would be planning every small thing that in the project well in advance.
  3. Direct and manage actual work according to the prepared plan.
  4. Closely monitor, for any issues that may impact the project.
  5. Fix the issues, if any.
  6. Finally, once the project concludes, close the project.

project integration management deals with this above mentioned activities as  control points to manage the project end to end.

Project Integration Management Processes

Project Integration Management

Eventually project Integration management processes are nothing but these day-to-day activities of a project manager.

In other words, these processes are control points for the project manager from start to finish of the project.

Project Integration Management Processes

I assume you are aware of PMP process framework. In case if you are not familiar with PMP process framework, please read through my recent blog post on Project Management Processes and PMP Process Framework.

Project Integration Management Processes

As per the PMBOK, there are 6 processes in the project integration management knowledge area.

#ProcessProcess Group
1Develop Project CharterInitiating
2Develop Project Management PlanPlanning
3Direct and Mange Project WorkExecution
4Monitor and Control Project WorkMonitoring and Controlling
5Perform Integrated Change ControlMonitoring and Controlling
6Close Project or PhaseClosing

So let us look at these processes in detail one after the other.

Develop Project Charter

Eventually project charter provides a formal authorization to the project manager to manage the project and use the organization resources for the purpose of the project.

So in matrix organizations, project charter is even more important, because the project team members would be reporting to functional managers.

Hence project charter provides the authorization and power to use the resources, in the way project requires them.

Develop project charter has the following ITTOs (inputs, tools & techniques and outputs).

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Project Statement of Work
  • Business case
  • Agreements
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors
  • Organizational Process Assets
  • Expert Judgement
  • Facilitation Techniques
  • Project Charter

Inputs

Enterprise Environmental Factors

Eventually in order to prepare the charter, project manager must consider the work culture or the organization’s environment to determine the impacts of these factors on the project.

For example working hours, local holidays, and timings of collaboration, may impact the project schedule.

Another example is work authorization system. This tells you how the work distribute to different groups of people and how to make sure the assigned work gets completed according to the expectations.

Organizational process assets

In order to prepare the charter, the project manager must consider and review the historical information from organization process assets.

For example, the project manager may review the lessons learned, project charter and many other project artifacts of similar projects from the OPA (Organization process assets).

By the way Enterprise environmental factors and organizational process assets are inputs to most of the processes in PMBOK guide. If you have not gone through already, here is the link to my recent blog post on Common ITTOs for the PMP exam.

Agreements

Not all projects have contracts or agreements.

But in case if the project has any agreements or contracts, project charter should consider them.

For example, charter should consider the budgetary or time constraints, if they are part of the agreements.

Business case

Eventually a business case will have information on why organization has selected this project to execute among all other projects.

In addition to the project requirements business case may give few more objectives for the project pertaining to the organizational strategical goals and objectives.

Project Statement of Work

As a matter of fact, statement of work contains the actual project work or business requirements that triggered the project.

Tools & Techniques

Expert Judgment

Eventually expert judgment is a process of consulting the subject matter experts for help to make certain decisions on the project.

In order to prepare the charter, you may require expert opinion to understand business case complexity and relevance, contract related terms and conditions, statement of work or any other related inputs to the project charter.

Facilitation Techniques

While preparing the charter, it is very important to make sure all the project stakeholders are in synch, in terms of project goals and the way the project is executing.

So to make sure stakeholders alignment to the charter, you may need to conduct meetings, workshops, brainstorming sessions, discussions. So these meetings and discussions are nothing but facilitation techniques.

Outputs

Project Charter

The only output of this process is project charter.

Ultimately project charter will authorize the project manager to use the organization resources for the purpose of the project.

Develop Project Management Plan

Eventually as a project manager you need to plan everything that you and the team is going to do in the project.

Indeed develop project management plan is the process where all the subsidiary project management plans are integrated into one place.

Then, project manager needs to align with the relevant stakeholders in terms of how you are going to execute the project as per the project management plan.

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors
  • Project Charter
  • Outputs of planning processes
  • Organizational Process Assets
  • Expert Judgement
  • Facilitation Techniques
  • Project Management Plan

Inputs

Enterprise Environmental Factors

As a matter of fact, organization’s ways of working in projects and the way organization performs the project management function are the inputs in developing the project management plan.

Organizational process assets

Nevertheless to say, all the templates for subsidiary and project management plan templates will be input to this process.

Project Charter

Eventually the project charter contains the list of project’s high level requirements, constraints, milestones, business goals are inputs to subsidiary plans and project management plan.

Output of planning processes

There is a subsidiary plan for each knowledge area in PMBOK guide. All these subsidiary plans integrate to project management plan.

Hence this is the major input to Develop project management plan process.

Tools & Techniques

Expert Judgment

Eventually project manager may use expert judgment while developing the project management plan to tailor the process as per project needs, analyzing technical and management information into the plan and for inputs on the subsidiary plans.

Facilitation Techniques

Eventually project manager alone will not prepare the project management plan. Instead it is a group effort of all the relevant stakeholders.

Facilitation techniques are of use to brainstorm, discuss with the stakeholders to ensure all stakeholders are on the same page in terms of plan.

Outputs

Project Management Plan

Eventually project management plan is the only output of develop project management plan process, and will integrate all subsidiary plans of the project.

Direct and Manage Project Work

Ultimately direct and manage project work is the process where the project team does the actual work by following the project management plan.

Hence one of the main inputs of this process is the project management plan.

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors
  • Project management plan
  • Approved change requests
  • Organizational Process Assets
  • Expert Judgement
  • Meetings
  • Project Management Information Systems (PMIS)
  • Deliverables
  • Work Performance Data
  • Change requests
  • Project management plan updates
  • Project document updates

Inputs

Enterprise Environmental Factors

These factors include the risk tolerance of stakeholder, Staff management policies, PMIS usage, etc…

Organizational process assets

All of the documents from historical projects such as Issue management procedures, work performance data templates, performance baseline templates, etc…

Project Management Plan

Eventually project team always needs to simply follow the project management for performing the actual work.

Hence one of the main inputs of direct and manage project work process is the project management plan.

Approved Change Requests

While the changes occur in the course of the project naturally, the change control board (CCB) will look at the impact assessment and takes the decision to either approve or reject the change request.

Then once the CR (change request) approves, they route through direct and manage project work process.

Hence approved change requests are another input to direct and manage project work process.

Tools & Techniques

Expert Judgment

As a matter of fact project manager may use the expert judgement for any un familiar things.

Meetings

Organize meetings with project teams to understand the status of the activities, see potential problems, changes and its impact on the project.

Project Management Information System

Eventually PMIS consists of organization’s schedule management system, configuration management system, work authorization system, document repository, etc…

For example PMIS will track the project status information and also can store project documents, etc.

Outputs

Deliverables

While doing the actual work, every thing that project produces is a deliverable.

Work Performance Data

Actual work completed versus the planned work is the work performance data.

Project manager should find out how to utilize the work performance data from each knowledge area and asses the progress of the project.

Change Requests

Eventually a change request is a formal proposal to modify a deliverable or project baseline.

While doing the actual work, there may be change requests from the stakeholders or the change requests triggered by some potential problems seen in the project.

As a matter of fact change requests can be a corrective action, preventive action, defect repair, or updates to the existing documents, baselines to reflect modified or additional ideas or content.

Project Management Plan Updates

There may be updates to the project management plan or any of the associated subsidiary plans during performing the actual project work.

Project Document Updates

Project documents are like requirements documents, issues management logs, risk register, stakeholder register, etc…,

So these documents may require updates during the course of actual work.

Monitor and Control Project Work

When the actual work is going on, the project manager needs to monitor the project for potential problems or changes and make sure that these changes will not derail the project. This is what monitoring and Controlling is all about.

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors
  • Work performance information
  • Project management plan
  • Validated changes
  • Schedule and cost forecasts
  • Organizational process assets
  • Expert Judgement
  • Meetings
  • Project Management Information Systems (PMIS)
  • Analytical techniques
  • Work Performance Reports
  • Change requests
  • Project management plan updates
  • Project document updates

Inputs

Enterprise Environmental Factors

Eventually organization systems that are used for managing the projects, change control board panel, etc. are the factors to impact the project during monitoring and controlling project work.

Organizational process assets

All of the documents from historical projects such as change request procedures, work performance data templates, performance baseline templates, etc. may be of use while monitoring and controlling the project work.

Work Performance Information

Work performance data transform to work performance information. This information is of use for making certain decisions on the project progress and changes.

Validated Changes

Need to validate the approved changes to ensure their implementation is correct.

Project Management Plan

Project management plan is a reference for all aspects of the plan along with subsidiary plans.

Schedule and Cost Forecasts

Obtain forecasts from progress against the baseline and compute the estimates to complete.

Tools & Techniques

Expert Judgment

As a matter of fact project manager may use the expert judgement for any un familiar things.

Meetings

Organizing meetings with project teams to understand the status of the activities compared to the plan, see potential problems, changes and its impact on the project.

Project Management Information System

This consists of organization’s schedule management system, configuration management system, work authorization system, document repository, etc…

Analytical Techniques

Use different analytical techniques to forecast potential outcomes based on the possible variances of project.

For example, root cause analysis, casual analysis, forecasting methods, etc. are some of the techniques.

Outputs

Work Performance Reports

Work performance information transforms to work performance reports for distributing electronically or storing in the form of documents.

Change Requests

While performing monitoring and controlling, change requests may occur due to defects, preventive actions, corrective actions or any updates to the project performance baseline.

Project Management Plan Updates

If there are any gaps, project management plan or any of the associated subsidiary plans may require updates during monitoring and controlling project work.

Project Document Updates

Project documents are like requirements documents, issues management logs, risk register, stakeholder register, etc. So these documents may require updates during the course of actual work.

Perform Integrated Change Control

In Perform integrated change control process, change control board (CCB) reviews, assess the change requests based on the project impacts and make decisions to approve or reject the change request.

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors
  • Work performance Reports
  • Project management plan
  • Change requests
  • Organizational process assets
  • Expert Judgement
  • Meetings
  • Change control tools
  • Change log
  • Approved change requests
  • Project management plan updates
  • Project document updates

Inputs

Enterprise Environmental Factors

All of the Organization systems that are used for managing the projects, change control board panel, etc. are the factors to be considered in this process.

Organizational process assets

All of the documents from historical projects such as change request procedures, work performance data templates, performance baseline templates, etc. may become inputs to this process.

Work Performance Reports

Eventually work performance reports will help the stakeholders to make decisions to either approve or reject the change requests.

Project Management Plan

Project management plan is a reference for all aspects of the plan along with subsidiary plans.

Change Requests

All change requests are inputs to perform integrated change control process to analyze and assess, whether to approve or not.

Tools & Techniques

Expert Judgment

As a matter of fact project manager may use the expert judgement for any un familiar things.

Meetings

Change control meetings will takes place to discuss the impacts of the changes on the project.

Change control tools

These are the automated tools for configuration and change management.

Outputs

Change log

Change log will record all the change requests, irrespective of whether they approve or not.

Approved Change Requests

The main output of this process approved change requests.

Project Management Plan Updates

Any of the associated subsidiary plans or project management plan may require updates, for all approved changes to reflect the latest information.

Project Document Updates

Project documents are like requirement documents, issues management logs, risk register, design document, test object lists, etc…, may be modified to address the approved changes.

Close the project or phase

Every project or phase has an end.

Furthermore this process make sure all agreed terms are met, get paid, discuss and document lessons learned which will be part of organizational process assets.

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Organizational process assets
  • Accepted deliverables
  • Project management plan

 

  • Expert Judgement
  • Meetings
  • Analytical techniques
  • Organization process assets
  • Final product, service or result transition

Inputs

Organizational process assets

Make use of OPA for the closing procedures to look at historical projects on the closing procedures.

Accepted Deliverables

Accepted deliverables are the input to closure of the project or phase.

Project Management Plan

Eventually project management plan is the formal document that confirms the project completion criteria between the project manager and the project sponsor.

Tools & Techniques

Expert Judgment

As a matter of fact project manager may use the expert judgement for any unfamiliar things.

Meetings

Organize meetings and closing sessions with all the stakeholders to formally document lessons learned.

Analytical techniques

Use regression analysis and trend analysis techniques during closing procedures.

Outputs

Final product, service, or result transition

This refers to the final product, service or result the project produced.

Organizational Process Assets

During the project closure, update the organizational process assets with all project related documents along with lessons learned.

Project Integration Management Question and Answers

Question 1: Is the project charter really mandatory and important for every project?

Answer:

In any project, charter is the first document to create.

Although many organizations skip this section, the importance of this artifact is to provide required power, authority, and confidence to the project manager to effectively utilize the project resources and to understand business objectives pertaining to the project.

Question 2: Who prepares the project charter?

Answer:

Ideally project sponsor prepares the charter.

However, in some cases project sponsor is a person who is part of top management in the organization, then he may delegate the work to someone else (may be project manager, if identified already) to work on the ground to prepare the charter.

Irrespective of who prepares the project charter, the project sponsor must authorize the charter.

Question 3: Who is the sponsor? Customer? And Client?

Answer:

Sponsor is who pays for the project. Customer is who make use of the output of the project. Client is another synonym for customer. In consulting type of organizations, all sponsor, customer and client may refer the same thing.

Question 4: What is the difference between business case and a project charter?

Answer:

There are significant differences between business case and project charter. They are:

The Business CaseThe Charter
Business case will be prepared much before the start of the project.As we have seen project charter is the first artifact in the project.
Business case will have information such as why the project has been selected for execution, business justification, and cost benefit analysis, and business goals etc..Charter contains high level requirements of the project, authority on the project, and high level project milestones.
Business case is to select a project for execution in the organization among other projects.Project charter formally authorizes the beginning of the project and the project manager.

Question 5: What is the Performance measurement baseline?

Answer:

We have not discussed this term performance measurement baseline in this blog post.

However for you information, performance baseline is an approved version of the project’s scope, time and cost plans.

So every time there is an approved change, you would create a new performance measurement baseline.

To conclude with, I hope I am able to clarify or simplify the process. Please let me know your feedback or any queries on the content for improvement.

Conclusion

To conclude with, we have gone through a big material to understand various processes involved in project integration management knowledge areas.

Now let us look at some of the important questions to see we are on right track…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.