What is Project Integration Management?

Project Integration Management is the first knowledge group as per the Project Management Institute. As a project manager, you are working in your project by integrating, articulating, unifying the entire sub-processes into a cohesive whole, and that’s all about the project handling. As a project manager, you need to be an excellent integrator to run the project successfully. If you are a PMP® certified project manager or you have appeared in a project management training workshop; you must be aware of the terminologies being used in modern-day Project Management. One of the essential terms used in modern-day project management is DFD (Data Flow Diagram). It is nothing but creating a sequential relationship among the process groups and the concerned sub-processes involved in the project management.

As you know, as a project manager, you have to follow the activities involved in the process groups (i.e., Initiation, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing). Now you need to know that, as Integration is one of the knowledge areas, what work you need to do in every process groups, starting from Initiation to closing about integration management. The activities involved in the Project Integration Management knowledge area as per PMBOK® 4th edition are discussed below.

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Project Integration Management Process Groups

Initiation Process Groups

In Integration knowledge area, in the initiation stage, you develop project charter. A project charter is nothing but a relevant important paper/document/authorization letter to start the project, to plan the project. Let me explain to you what could be the content of the project charter:

  • The business need of the project – How the organization will be benefited through this project?
  • Objectives of the project – What would be the ultimate goal of this project?
  • High-level product scope and project scope – what work you need to perform to get the target set by the customer?
  • High-level budget information – what would be the high-level cost for the project?
  • High-level schedule information – High-level information on the completion of the project
  • High level associated risk information – Opportunities and threats related to the project
  • Project acceptance criteria – Parameters on which project will be treated as a successful project
  • Name of the Signatory authority – Name and signature of the funding authority (Maybe customer itself or Project Sponsor)
  • Name of the project manager – Authorized project manager’s name (if decided earlier)
  • Authoritative power of the project manager – How and at what extent project manager will be involved in the project activities?
  • Pre-assigned team members – Subject Matter Experts name, if decided earlier
  • Name of the key stakeholders, like funding authority name, customer, etc.

Taking in front of all the information as mentioned above; you develop the project charter. Based on the information available in the project charter, you plan for your project. The information available in the project charter is the root information for planning the project.

Planning Process Group:

Based on the information available in the project charter; you do planning for your project. A planning process group is nothing but an integration of the all the sub-planning like scope management planning, cost management planning, schedule management planning, quality management planning, human resource planning, communication planning, risk planning, procurement planning, requirement management planning, stakeholder management planning, etc. As a project manager, you need to trigger all the sub-processes into a cohesive whole to prepare final project management planning. It is the most significant process group, as all the knowledge areas got impacted in this process group. As a project manager, you need to be more focused while working on the planning process group.

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Execution Process Group

Your planning for the project is finished, and your team will work on the project as your planning is approved, and you have received the work authorization letter to execute the project. Your team will start working on the project as you have planned for. You will create the deliverables, and if some change is noticed, you can implement those aligning the baselines (scope baselines, cost performance baselines, and schedule baselines) after taking the approval of the change control board or configuration management.

Monitoring & Controlling Process Group

In this process group, you monitor your work performance to check the deviations from the actual planning. Based on the work performance report, you can differentiate them with the real baselines as decided in the planning. You may notice some deviations/differences and think that you need to revisit some processes, and finally, for those revisits, you seek project change. If the approved changes are implemented in the project to correct the deviations; your project management planning and pertaining documents could be changed and updated accordingly. This process group is like hawk-eye; you need to monitor and control the project activities throughout the project life cycle.

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Closing Process Group

If the customer has received the product or deliverables successfully and he has acknowledged it and given his/her signature; then the project could be treated as completed. After completion of the project, you need to close the procurement agreement and release the resources involved in the project. You need to perform the archival project process with the help of other stakeholders as well to be used in the future.

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