Integration Management – Part 1

Hello Folks!
We are here today to integrate.
Integrate! What is there to integrate?
Without even knowing what is there to integrate, we can understand that we need to have more thanone parts or functions to integrate. More than one parts or functions of the same system, or more than one parts which are functional individually, but final goal is achievable only when each individual partand its outcome are integrated. Hoof, what are we speaking about here?

What else? It is project management we are speaking about.
C’mon what is there to integrate in project management? Yes, there is a lot to integrate. Let us understand it. We know that project management is discussed or conducted through 5 process groups and 10 knowledge areas. Let us list them for your benefit here under:

Process Groups:

  1. Initiation
  2. Planning
  3. Execution
  4. Monitoring & Control
  5. Closing

Knowledge Areas:

  1. Project Integration (Management)
  2. Scope Management
  3. Time Management
  4. Cost Management
  5. Quality Management
  6. Human Resource Management
  7. Communication Management
  8. Risk Management
  9. Procurement Management
  10. Stakeholder Management

There you are. You might have understood that Project Integration management is one of the knowledge areas. Rather than saying it as one of the knowledge areas, let us say it is the first knowledge area. First thing you need to understand is that every knowledge area has its implementation or has its activities executed in at least one or more than one process areas and the fact is that Project Integration Management is the only knowledge area which spreads across or which has its presence in every process group.So what are the activities or processes of Project Integration Management knowledge areas that are spread across all process groups?

Below is the list:

  1. Develop Project Charter
  2. Develop Project Management plan
  3. Direct and Manage Project work
  4. Monitor and Control Project work
  5. Perform Integrated Change Control
  6. Close Project or Phase.

These processes will interact with each other and also with process in other knowledge areas. When there is interaction between processes, there is the need of integration of the outcomes. Above mentioned processes are affected with changes happening in each other’s area. A very simple example to understand it is , when we have decided to employ more people onto the project, Human resource management is first thing will change, along with that the cost and schedule will also be changed. So, a change in one knowledge area has resulted in changes with two other process areas. The process of combining, unifying these knowledge areas and respective changes is what we call as Project Integration management.

Project Integration Management as a knowledge area, we have seen the list of processes that happens above. Let us learn about each of them now and before doing that let me request the readers to remember one important thing here. Every process has inputs and outputs. Inputs are what the process will depend and execute on and out puts are the result of the process being executed using the inputs.

Develop Project Charter:
Project Charter is a document that formally authorizes the existence of a project and gives the project manager the authority to execute the project. Project is officially initiated upon the approval of project charter. Most of the time project manager is identified and assigned to the project before the charter is prepared and he will be a part of charter preparation. Being a part of charter preparation, project manager gets clear understanding on project requirements. Charter is primarily prepared by sponsors. Completed and agreed project charter will guarantee the support and commitment of the sponsors and senior management’s support.

Process of Develop Project Charter takes Statement of work, Business case, Agreements, Enterprise Environmental Factors and Organizational process assets as inputs and produces project charter as its output by using Expert Judgment and Facilitation techniques.

Let us learn what each input will bring into this process to produce charter:

  1. Statement of work: SOW specifies business need, scope description, and Strategic plan. It is a description of what is expected from the project.
  2. Business Case: This document justifies why a project is required or not required from business side. This document gives you information about the market condition, Organization’s need, Customer request, Technology change, etc.,
  3. Agreements : Contracts, Memorandums, Service Level Agreements and all other written and non-written (oral) contracts which defines the condition and pre-requisites bounding for which project execution is executed will fall in this category.
  4. Enterprise Environmental Factors: Organizational culture, business conditions, policies, standards, regulations related information is what we call as environmental factors.
  5. Process Assets: Templates, standard process, process definitions, and lessons learned documents, knowledge base of previous projects executed and other historical information which could be used to make decisions in the current project falls under this category.

Once the project charter is ready, we will start with next activity in the line that is Develop Project Management Plan. Project Charter will be one of the inputs to this process of developing project management plan.

Develop Project Management Plan will take project charter, process outputs , enterprise environmental factors, organizational process as inputs and produces project management plan by using expert judgment and facilitation techniques.

What we do in developing project management plan is defining and forming all other subsidiary plans and combining them (integrating) into project management plan. So, with this statement we can understand that project management plan consists of several subsidiary plans. Let us see what forms the input to this process.

  1. Project charter: It is the output of previous process we have discussed.
  2. Process outputs: Out puts from all other process areas like scope management, etc.,
  3. Enterprise Environmental Factors : Industry standards, project management information systems, configuration management etc.,
  4. Organizational Process Assets : Standards and policies, performance measurement process, management templates, historical information etc.,

Project Management plan as an output of this process will contain many subsidiary plans and also baselines like Scope Baseline, Schedule Baseline and cost base line. Subsidiary plans also include but not limited to Stakeholder management, cost management, schedule management, quality management, human resource management, risk management, requirements management and many other plans. Along will the baselines and subsidiary plans a project management plan may also contain other required and helpful information like:

  1. Communication requirements and techniques with stakeholders.
  2. How configuration management is handled and performed.
  3. Agreed process to be followed with in the project and the level of adherence.
  4. Different tools and techniques that are selected and agreed to be used.
  5. Process and project dependencies

To conclude develop project management plan, project management plan contains many subsidiary management plans and baselines. It will take the project charter, process, environmental factors as inputs and produces integrated project management plan as out by using expert judgment and facilitation techniques.

Now that we are ready with project charter and project management plan, we can say with common sense that next process is to perform project (project work). We will come to know that through a process called Direct and Manage Project work.

Direct and Manage project work:

This is the process of performing project work that is defined in project management plan. As soon as we said that it is to do whatever is defined in project management plan we can understand that project management plan makes one of the inputs to this process. We can also understand that as we are adhering to project management plan, which in turn contains several subsidiary plans, this process is in fact managing and directing overall project work. When we start working on a project as per the requirement agreed and project management plan, one thing which is very much bound to happen is to receive change request on the requirement. We must understand that the market and business conditions are bound to happen and change is expected at any stage of the project. So, approved change requests will also be an input to this process and by this time you would have understood that enterprise environmental factors and Organizational process assets will be part of inputs to most of the processes.

So, by taking all the above said as inputs to this process and using expert judgment, project management information system and meetings as tools and techniques following outputs are achieved.

  1. Project Deliverables:  A deliverable is any unique and verifiable product, result or capability to perform a service that is required to be produced to complete a process, phase, or project. Deliverables are typically tangible components completed to meet the project objectives and can include elements of the project management plan. –PMBOK 5 Page 84
  2. Work Performance Data : this data includes start and finish dates of project tasks, key performance indicators, technical performance measures, change requests information, number of defects , cost related information and task or activity actual durations.
  3. Change Request: A change request is a formal proposal to modify any document, deliverable, or baseline. An approved change requests will replace the associated document, deliverable, or baseline and may result in an update to other parts of the project management plan. – PMBOK 5 page 85. When a change request is submitted it may be responded either by a corrective action, Preventive action, Defect repair or Update.
  4. Project Management Plan Updates: This process may result or demand updating other subsidiary management plans.
  5. Document updates: This process may also demand or require updates to requirement docs, reports, stakeholder register, risk register and any other document depending on the situation and need.

By now we got a fair idea on Develop Project charter, Develop Project Management Plan and Direct and Manage Project work as the first three processes in Integration Management. The remaining three processes will be covered in another (second and last) article on Project Integration Management. Until you read the second article, to just keep the list complete in your mind below are the remaining three processes of integration management.

  1. Monitor and Control Project Work.
  2. Perform Integrated Change Control.
  3. Close Project or Phase.

Questions & Answers

  1. As a project manager you observed that senior management along with experts and SMEs are strolling to come to collusion on an existing issue of project execution and to take a decision. What technique you propose to suggest or use to help them resolve and make a decision.
    • Expert judgment
    • Organizational Process Assets
    • Meetings
    • Enterprise Environmental Factors.

    Correct Answer: C [Meetings is the only technique available as all management along with experts and SMEs are mentioned in the question]

  2. You are in the process of performing all the required activities on a project to meet the business goals. In the process you are implementing approved change requests. Considering the fact that you are also performing an overall management, what process of project integration management you are in?
    • Change Control
    • Direct & Manage Project Work
    • Perform Integrated Change Control
    • Integrated Project Management.

    Correct Answer: Direct & Manage Project Work. [This is the phase when actual work is performed]

  3. Which process will formally authorizes the existence of a project and provides the project manager with the authority to apply the organizational resources to project activities.
    • Stakeholder Identification
    • Develop Project Charter
    • Develop Project Management Plan
    • Direct and Manage Project Activities.

    Correct Answer: Develop Project Charter. [Project charter the output of Develop Project charter phase does this]

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About Sparsh Goyal

A passionate IT professional, Sparsh Goyal boasts of 4.3+ years of experience. He has worked for various projects under AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Spring Boot, Python, Microservices, RESTful, RESTFUL APIs/SOAP, Scripting, Shell and JAVA. He is also working towards gaining proficiency in Oracle Cloud PaaS, DevOps, SaaS and Docker/Kubernetes. His primary and secondary skills validate his relentless pursuits of expanding his horizon and developing more as an IT person. He boasts of the following certifications: *Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer. *AWS Cloud Solutions Architect Associate. *Oracle certified JAVA programmer.
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