Integration Management – Part 2

Hello, we are into the second article on Project Integration management. We have covered Develop Project Charter, Develop Project Management Plan and Direct and Manage project work processes in our first article and we will be covering the remaining three processes now. First in remaining 3 is Monitor and Control Project work.

When the work has started to achieve the business goals under ever changing market and business conditions, when there are change requests expected due to changing conditions it is by default that we need to monitor the work and the way it is being carried out. In the process of monitoring the work, we need to have an established baselines or measure with what we compare the current situation and then analyse whether we are working as expected or not. Constant and careful monitoring of the project work will give chance to take necessary, preventive or corrective actions if something is observed going out of control or out of agreed boundaries. Monitor and Control Project process will help the stakeholders to understand the current position and status of the project, required actions to correct the situation and also a clear estimate of current and required scope, schedule and cost factors.

As this process is mainly to monitor and control the project work, it is very much needed to know what is to be executed and how it is planned to execute. This information we can get from Project Management Plan. So, Project Management Plan will be one of the inputs to this process. Just now we read that this process will help to monitor budget, schedule and scope factors, so respective forecasts (schedule forecast, budget forecast, etc.,) will also be taken as inputs to this process. To Monitor and Control, a PM will also need information on how the work is being progressed currently and related metrics to be able to take necessary actions and decisions. This project related information technically we call as work performance information which will be one of the inputs. Change requests after validation will form the unavoidable part of the project and project team should prepare themselves to accept these changes and another input and implement them.  Validated Change requests are inputs to this process as they bring in considerable changes to more one of the constraints due to which a bit of re-planning is required. Just to reiterate the list of inputs to this process below is the list.

  1. Project management plan
  2. Schedule forecast
  3. Cost forecast
  4. Validated changes
  5. Work performance Information
  6. Enterprise Environmental Factors
  7. Organizational process assets.

Using the above list of inputs, Monitor and Control project work process will produce below outputs.

  1. Changed Requests – As of result of comparing the actual metrics with expected or planned metrics, certain change requests may be necessary to correct the situation. A change request may demand the updating of requirement documents, reviewing the plan, re base lining the cost and schedule.
  2. Work performance reports: Reports are the documents prepared with project performance information depicted in a statistical way to facilitate easy understanding and thus facilitating fast decision making if required. Different work performance reports are distributed to different stakeholders depending on their role and involvement.
  3. Project Management Plan Updates: Changes accepted or identified during this process may result in updating project management plan and one or many subsidiary plans.
  4. Project Documents updates: Schedule, cost forecast documents, performance reports and issue log are some of the documents that will get updated.

Above said inputs are used and the outputs are produced by using the tools and techniques like Expert Judgment, Analytical Techniques, Project Management Information System and meetings.  Expert judgment and meetings are well known techniques used. Provided information and metrics are carefully examined by PM along with the help of experienced and specialists in the company and necessary decision are made.

Meeting may be face to face, Virtual, Formal or informal. They may include stakeholders, project team and occasionally people from external groups.

But, the important thing we need to know in this process is analytical techniques. Though they are straight understood by their name, we need to know different analytical methods used. Refer to the list below.

  1. Regression Analysis
  2. Grouping Methods
  3. Casual analysis
  4. Root cause Analysis
  5. Forecasting Methods
  6. Failure Mode and Effect Analysis
  7. Fault Tree Analysis
  8. Reserve Analysis
  9. Trend Analysis
  10. Earned value management
  11. Variance Analysis.

Next process in project integration management is Perform Integrated Change control.

Project Integrated Change Control process is carried from inception through completion. It is the one of the responsibilities of Project Manager. Perform Integrated Change control process is mainly related to change requests. As part of this process change requests are reviewed and approved (Reviewing and approving are two different activities) for implementation. Once the change is approved to be taken up by the team, changes are managed to deliver. It is also very important to manage the changes to organization process assets, project documents, subsidiary plans and project management plan due to the approved change requests. The risk due to change requested is reduced as all the changes are reviewed, approved and documented before they are implemented.

With the above discussion you would have already made it that change requests are one of the inputs to this process. Along with change requests Project Management plan, work performance reports, Enterprise Environmental Factors, Organizational Process assets from other inputs.

Change requests which are taken are reviewed and approved for implementation. There might be changes for project management plan due to the kind and extend of change the change requests bring in. All the changes that are approved and documented are maintained for future purpose. So, with all these things it is very clear that Approved changes, Project Management Plan update, Change Log, Project Document updates are the outputs from this process.

Change requests are approved only after clearly discussing them with stakeholders, and experts.Expert’s opinion is taken before considering any change request for the implementation. In order to track, manage, review and accept the change requests change control tolls will be used. So, Meetings, Expert Judgment and Change control tools are the tools and techniques we use in this process.

The last process in Project Integration Management is Close Project or Phase.

The process of formally completing the project or phase of the project is by finalizing and closing all started project activities and getting an agreement that the objectives or goal of the project or phase are completed. Lessons learned document is prepared as part of this process. Resources are released from project for them to start with other one. All the outputs of all the phases or processes are verified to say that every phase is completed. Project output is measured against project management plan and PM will review the scope baseline to justify the project closure. Under certain situations the project or phase will be closed before completion. In such cases it is investigated and documented the reasons and actions taken if a project is getting closed before completion in this phase.

As the project outcome is measured against project management plan, it will be the first input to this process. All the deliverables of the project has to be agreed before saying the project is complete so Project Deliverables are the next input to this process. Organizational process assets like project closure pre-requisites, guidelines, Lessons learned and many others form the third input that is organizational process assets. So, to list at one place, Project Management Plan, Deliverables and Process assets are the inputs.

It is very straight thing to understand the outputs from this process.Final Product or service from the project and updated organizational process assets are two outputs. When we say that project is getting closed, it should have been successful in producing or creating whatever the project is initiated for. Of course sometimes projects may get closed without actually getting the objective fulfilled. In which case the documents updated with the reasons why the project is closed in middle will be the output of this process.

A PM will consult with experts and other project managers in the organization to discuss and take the expert judgment when performing closure activities. PM may have more than one round of discussions / meetings with experts internal or external to organization before he implements closure activities. In addition to Expert Judgment, Regression analysis and Trend Analysis is also used in this process. So Expert Judgment and Analytical Techniques are the tools and techniques used in project closure.

We have learnt that Integration Management is the only area which spreads across every process group and let us see how it is before we say that we are done with Project Integration Management. We have come across 6 processes in Project Integration Management.

  1. First is the “Develop project charter”. This is the part of Initiation process group. During project initiation project charter is prepared and it authorizes the PM.
  2. Second is the “Develop Project Management Plan”. This is done as part of Planning Process group.
  3. “Direct and Manage project work” is part of executing process group.
  4. “Monitor and Control Project Work” & “Perform Integrated change control” are part of Monitoring and controlling process group.
  5. Close Project or Phase is part of closing process group.

This is how Project Integration management is spread across all process groups and in fact every process group has project integration management as integral part.

Questions & Answers

  1. You as a PM are in the process of final updating the lessons learnt document and verifying the outcomes of all the processes against project management plan and other subsidiary plans with an idea of releasing resources from the project. Given the situation, which process you currently executing?
    • Integrated change control
    • Direct & Manage project work
    • Closing project or phase.
    • Develop Project Management Plan.

    Correct Answer: C [ all the said actions of PM will happen in closure]

  2. During Integrated change control you are documenting all the received change requests along with their impact in terms of time and cost. Rejected changes are also documented in the same document. In reality what are you preparing?
    • Risk Register
    • Change Request requirement doc
    • Organization process assets.
    • Change Log

    Correct Answer: D [Change log is the place where change requests are documented]

  3. As a pm you are studying and analysing the information which is collected from different controlling processes. The same information is circulated through communication process to all related respective stakeholders. Distributed information typically contains Status of deliverables, Status of change requests and forecasted estimates. What is the information you are analysing as a PM?
    • Change requests
    • Project management and other subsidiary plans.
    • Work performance information.
    • Baselines.

    Correct Answer: C [ Work performance information is the one that is being explained in the question]

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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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