PROJECT for managing different knowledge areas of the

 
 
 
  

PROJECT INTEGRATION MANAGEMENT

   
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Abstract

Purpose – With the purpose of enhancing the understanding of project integration management, the main purpose of this paper is to discuss the project integration management processes and how these processes interact with each other and with processes in other project management knowledge areas.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses a review of recent literature published in academic journals and books, in standard references and in widespread project integration management frameworks.

Findings –  Project integration management coordinating all of the other project management knowledge areas throughout a project’s life cycle. These processes include developing the project charter, developing the project management plan, directing and managing the project, monitoring and controlling the project, providing integrated change control, and closing the project.

Originality/value – This paper reveals that a project manager’s primary focus should be on project integration management as it is often viewed as the most important project management knowledge area since it ties together all the other knowledge areas.

Keywords –  project integration management, project management knowledge areas, project plan, project life cycle

Paper type – Literature Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

In an organization, there will be people designated for managing different knowledge areas of the project such as quality manager, risk manager, human resource manager, procurement manager, etc. But only project manager is responsible to coordinate with these officials and to integrate all these functions towards the successful completion of the project within the scope, budget and on time. This is called integration management. Project integration management involves coordinating all of the other project management knowledge areas throughout a project’s life cycle (Schwalbe, 2014). According to the Project Management Institute PMI (2013), there is nine other project management knowledge areas besides project integration management:

·           Project scope management;

·           Project time management;

·           Project cost management;

·           Project quality management;

·           Project human resource management;

·           Project communications management;

·           Project risk management;

·           Project procurement management; and

·           Project stakeholder management.

A project life cycle is the series of phases that a project passes through from its initiation to its closure (PMI, 2013). The generic project life cycle structure is starting the project, organizing and preparing, carrying out the project work, and closing the project (PMI, 2013). According to the PMI (2013), project integration management includes the processes and activities to identify, define, combine, unify, and coordinate the various processes and project management activities within the project management process groups. Project management process groups are the processes that are grouped into five categories which are: initiating; planning; executing; monitoring and controlling; and closing (PMI, 2013). However, according to PMI (2013), the project management process groups are not the project life cycle phases because the processes in a process group consist of activities that may be performed and recur within each phase of a project as well as for the project as a whole.

This paper will review of recent literature published in academic journals and books, in standard references and in widespread project integration management frameworks. The objectives of this paper are:

1.        To discuss the project integration management processes and how these processes interact with each other and with processes in other project management knowledge areas.

2.        To understand the framework of project integration management as it relates to the other project management knowledge areas and the project life cycle.

3.        To understand why the project integration management is the most important project management knowledge area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Integration Management

Project integration management is the practice of making certain every part of the project is coordinated throughout the project’s life cycle (Wisconsin Department of Transportation WDT, 2014). Schwalbe (2014) states that project integration management ensures that all the elements of a project come together at the right time to complete the project successfully. It ensures that the project is properly planned, executed, and controlled, including the exercise of formal project change control (Heagney, 2012). As the term implies, every activity must be coordinated or integrated with every other one in order to achieve the desired project outcomes. Kelkar (2007) states that project integration management also ensures that the project work integrates with the organizational operations, and the project scope integrates with the product scope. According to the PMI (2013), project integration management includes making choices about resource allocation, making trade-offs among competing objectives and alternatives, and managing the interdependencies among the project management knowledge areas. Kelkar (2007) in his book said that the integration involves making trade-offs between conflicting objectives and/ or alternatives to meet or exceed the stakeholders’ expectations. Successful integration requires commitment and support throughout the project life cycle from the top management of sponsoring organization and the executive management of the performing organization (Kelkar, 2007).

Jainendrakumar (2015) describes that the project integration management is the knowledge area exclusively for the use of project managers as project integrators. According to Schwalbe (2014), the project integration management is considered as the key for the overall success of any project because it involves:

·           Taking responsibility for coordinating all people, plans, and work required to complete the project.

·           Focusing on the big picture of the project.

·           Ensuring availability of resources.

·           Monitoring performance against the plan.

·           Steering the project team towards successful completion.

·           Taking final decisions whenever any conflicts are involved.

·           Communicating key project information to the senior management.

·           Ensuring satisfaction of the stakeholders.

Project Integration Management Processes

According to the PMI (2013), project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements and requires the effective management of the project management processes. Based on the PMI (2013), there are six of project integration management processes, which follow:

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

Develop project charter is the first process in the project integration management (PMI, 2013), which comes under initiation process group in project management groups (Jainendrakumar, 2015). Nathan and Jones as cited in Ker and Yang (2013) define that the initiating process group as the natures and scopes of the project and is the key stage of beginning a project. While the TSC (2012) states that initiation process group performed to define a new project or phase of an existing project by obtaining approval to start the project or phase Katz (2007) in his study states that initiating process groups used to According to the PMI (2013), develop project charter is the process of developing a document that formally authorizes the existence of a project and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities. Schwalbe (2014) in her book describes that this process involves working with stakeholders to create the charter that formally authorizes a project.  Jainendrakumar (2015) states that the key benefit of this project is a well-defined project start and project boundaries, the creation of a formal record of the project, and a direct way for senior management to formally accept and commit to the project. Katz (2007) in his study describe that project charter provides a good starting point for the project but cannot be completed in full at the stage. Meanwhile, the TSC (2012) states that the project charter can be used to kick off the project by authorizing the project manager and project team to begin work.

The second process in the project integration management is the process to develop project management plan (PMI, 2013), which comes under the planning process group in project management groups (Jainendrakumar, 2015). Ker and Yang (2013) define that the planning process is to plan time, risk, cost and resources adequately to estimate the work needed to effectively execute project execution. Kerzner as cited in Ker and Yang (2013) suggests the tasks of planning may consist of developing the scope statement; selecting the planning team members; identifying deliverables; creating the work breakdown structure; estimating resource requirement, time, and cost for activities; developing activity schedule; risk planning; planning for communication and scope; and identifying roles and responsibilities. Jainendrakumar (2015) said that planning and communication are critical to successful project management because they prevent problems from occurring or minimize their impact on the achievement of the project objective when they do occur. According to the PMI (2013), developing a project management plan is the process of defining, preparing, and coordinating all subsidiary plans and integrating them into a comprehensive project management plan. Schwalbe (2014) describes that this process involves coordinating all planning efforts to create a consistent and coherent project management plan. Jainendrakumar (2015) said that the key benefit of the project management plan is that it defines the basis of all project work and how the project will be executed, monitored and controlled, and closed. According to TSC (2012), a project management plan is a fundamental tool for the project manager to manage the project successfully. It contains all subsidiary plans generated from other project knowledge areas, project methodologies and base lines (Jainendrakumar, 2015). Furthermore, it is also a guide for executing the project and a method by which to gain support from stakeholders and sponsors prior to commencement (TSC, 2012).

The third process in the project integration management is the process to direct and manage project work (PMI, 2013), which comes under the execution process group in project management groups (Jainendrakumar, 2015). Ker and Yang (2013) describe that execution process consists of the work defined in project plans to accomplish the project’s goals as it integrates and implements the activities of the project according with the project management plan. According to the PMI (2013), direct and manage project work is the process of leading and performing the work defined in the project management plan and implementing approved changes to achieve the project’s objectives. Schwalbe (2014) states that this process involves carrying out the project management plan by performing the activities included in it and the outputs of this process are deliverables, requested changes, work performance information, implemented change requests, corrective actions, preventive actions, and defect repair. Furthermore, the key benefit of this process is that it provides overall management of the project work as this process activities include but not limited to perform activities to accomplish requirements; create project deliverables; train & manage project team members, establish and manage project communication channels, generate project data such as cost, schedule, technical and quality progress, issue change requests, manage risks, and manage sellers and suppliers (PMI, 2013). The process to direct and manage project work also required review of the impact of all project changes and the implementation of approved changes for corrective action to realign the performance of the project work to the project plan; preventive action to ensure future performance to align with project plan; and defect repair to modify a non-conforming deliverable (Jainendrakumar, 2015).

The fourth process in the project integration management knowledge area is the process to monitor and control project work (PMI, 2013), which comes under the monitoring and controlling process group in project management groups (Jainendrakumar, 2015). Ker and Yang (2013) describe that the monitoring and controlling process observes project execution so that potential problems can be identified earlier, and corrections can be taken in advance, while TSC (2012) describe that monitoring and controlling regularly measures and monitors progress to identify variances from the baseline project management plan so that corrective action can be taken, when necessary, to meet project objectives. Lewis as cited in Ker and Yang (2013) suggest that the monitoring and controlling process may include measuring the ongoing tasks, monitoring the factors that may have adverse effects on plans and project performance baselines, determining the preventive corrective actions and risks, and making sure only the approved changes are executed. According to the PMI (2013), monitor and control project work is the process of tracking, reviewing, and reporting the progress to meet the performance objectives defined in the project management plan. Schwalbe (2014) describes that this process involves overseeing project work to meet the performance objectives of the project and the outputs of this process are recommended corrective and preventive actions, forecasts, recommended defect repair, and requested changes. Jainendrakumar (2015) states that the corrective and preventive actions are taken to control the project performance to resolve and prevent deviation between project results and project plan. Jainendrakumar (2015) also states that measuring actual progress and comparing it to planned progress on a timely and regular basis and taking any needed corrective action immediately through performing integrated change control is the key to effective project control. Furthermore, according to the PMI (2013), the key benefit of the monitor and control project work process is that it allows stakeholders to understand the current state of the project; the steps were taken; and budget, schedule, and scope forecasts.

The fifth process in the project integration management knowledge area is the process to perform integrated change control (PMI, 2013), which also comes under the monitoring and controlling process group in project management groups (Jainendrakumar, 2015). Katz (2007) states that monitoring and controlling process group contain those processes used to ensure that potential problems are identified are early as possible, take preventive actions, and control changes. According to the PMI (2013), perform integrated change control is the process of reviewing all change requests; approving changes and managing changes to deliverables, organizational process assets, project documents, and the project management plan; and communicating their disposition. Schwalbe (2014) states that this process involves coordinating changes that affect the project’s deliverables and organizational process assets. This process reviews all requests for changes or modifications to project documents, deliverables, baselines, or the project management plan and approves or rejects the changes (PMI, 2013). The outputs of this process include approved and rejected change requests, approve corrective and preventive actions, approved and validated defect repair, deliverables, and updates to the project management plan and project scope statement (Schwalbe, 2014). In addition, the PMI (2013) states that the key benefit of performing integrated change control process is that it allows for documented changes within the project to be considered in an integrated fashion while reducing project risk, which often arises from changes made without consideration to the overall project objectives or plans. However, Jainendrakumar (2015) suggest that this process is not at all required if there is no change in the project plan, which is almost impossible in many of the projects.

The last and sixth process in the project integration management knowledge area is the process to close project or phase (PMI, 2013), which comes under the closing process group in project management groups (Jainendrakumar, 2015). TSC (2012) describe that the closing process group formalizes acceptance of the product, service, or result; brings the project, or a project phase to an orderly end; and transitions to operations or to the next project phase. Meanwhile, Katz (2007) in his study refer that this process group contains those processes that establish that the project or phase is completed and brought to a controlled end. Ker and Yang (2013) state that the closing process group includes the formal acceptance of deliverables and ends the project which administrative activities consist of archiving all the files of the project and documenting lessons learned. According to the PMI (2013), close project or phase is the process of finalizing all activities across all of the project management process groups to formally complete the project or phase. Schwalbe (2014) states that this process involves finalizing all project activities to formally close the project and the outputs of this process include final products, services, or results, administrative and contract closure procedures, and updates to organizational process assets. The key benefit of this process is that it provides lessons learned, the formal ending of project work, and the release of organization resources to pursue new endeavors (PMI, 2013). However, Jainendrakumar (2015) suggest after the conclusion of a project, the project performance should be evaluated to learn what could be improved if a similar project were to be undertaken in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

Project integration management coordinating all of the other project management knowledge areas throughout a project’s life cycle. These processes include developing the project charter, developing the project management plan, directing and managing the project, monitoring and controlling the project, providing integrated change control, and closing the project. The first process is developing the project charter that involves working with stakeholders to create the document that formally authorizes a project. The second process is developing the project management plan that involves coordinating all planning efforts to create a consistent, coherent project management plan. The third process is directing and managing project execution that involves carrying out the project plans by performing the activities included in it. The fourth process is monitoring and controlling project work to meet the performance objectives of the project. The fifth process is integrated change control that involves coordinating changes that affect the project’s deliverables and organizational process assets. The last and sixth process is closing the project that involves finalizing all project activities. Therefore, the project integration management is often viewed as the most important project management knowledge area since it ties together all the other knowledge areas. A project manager’s primary focus should be on project integration management.