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Integration Management

Integration Management consists of the following processes. See also Knowledge Areas - Integration Management.

Process Project Phase
    Develop project charter       Initiating
    Develop project management plan       Planning  
    Direct and manage project work       Executing  
    Monitor and control project work       Monitoring & Controlling  
    Perform integrated change control       Monitoring & Controlling  
    Close the project or phase       Closing  

Merriam-webster's dictionary defines integrate as "form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole: unite." Integration Management is the coordination of the components of the project into a cohesive whole.

Sounds simple enough, right? However, for many it is the most challenging part of the exam. And since is the most critical part of the project manager's role, it's important to spend some time understanding this topic.

Project Charter

From the PMBOK, a project charter is a document that formally authorizes a project. It is not created by the Project Manager. Instead, it is issued by the sponsor to empower the project manager with the authority to begin the project and obtain resources for project activities. The project charter should include at a minimum the following:

Not having a project charter hinders the project manager from being successful in the role, thus impacting the overall success of the project. Thus, projects should not begin without one. And if you find yourself in the situation where you don't have one, you should ask yourself then why are we even doing the project? And a lesson learned. Be sure you get one.

I'll share a lesson learned from my career.

"Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.”   Oscar Wilde

It was my first week on the job, and my new manager informed me that I was assigned to a very high-profile, critical project. I asked if there was a project charter. I was told no, and summarily instructed to "just go get it done." Being new to the company, I was determined to make a good impression and decided to move forward without one. And as you can imagine, I did make an impression.

WhoAreYou?

As I walked out of the first meeting with the project team, my business partner took me aside and said, "Interesting meeting, but who the heck are you?"

After thinking about it further, I realized his real question was "What gives you the authority to tell anyone what to do?" (aka, Who died and made you boss?)

A tricky situation to maneuver. And your answer may diminish any chances you will have for success or your ability to "win over" and get buyin from the team. So it's best to circumvent such sticky situations before they happen.

A lesson learned. Make sure a project charter exists. It empowers you in your role and formally authorizes you to begin the project activities and obtain the resources to support and work on it's activities. Otherwise, you run the risk of people not knowing what your role is.

Preliminary Scope Statement

The preliminary scope statement is the initial definition of scope. At this stage, not all information will be known about the project to write a final scope statement. However, it should provide as much information as possible from the sponsor to allow for initial planning, such as a description of the project, expected outcomes, acceptance criteria, and approach, etc. The preliminary scope statement will later be further elaborated and developed into the project scope statement during the Planning phase.

Project Management Plan

The project management plan defines how the project is executed, managed, and monitored. It includes the following elements:

Direct & Manage Project Work

Direct and manage project execution involves doing the work defined in the project management plan to achieve the project goals.

Monitor & Control Project Work

Monitor and control project work involves tracking and reviewing the progress of the project.

Integrated Change Control

Integrated change control involves managing changes as they occur throughout the project. This process ensures that approved changes are reflected in project scope and that only approved changes are implemented. Thus, when change requests are recieved, the project manager must evaluate the impact of the change to the project (ie, impacts to the triple constraint).

Close Project

This is the formal completion of all project related activities and close of project. Even projects that get cancelled or end unsuccessfully should follow the process to close the project and release the resources.

Additional Information

Visit the Integration Management Bookshelf to search for books available for purchase.

For more information on Integration Management deliverables, refer to the other Knowledge Areas on this site.

Also, you may want to refer to some other sources of information available on the internet:

   "The Importance of Having a Project Charter" as published in Way2PM.com, a PMI Registered Education Provider (REP)

   Project Integration Management on Wiki

   Project Integration Management Processes

   Project Integration Management Sample Questions

   Cert Champ Project Integration Management Sample Questions

   PMP Study Project Integration Management Sample Questions


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