4. Project Integration Management – A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), Fifth Edition

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PROJECT INTEGRATION MANAGEMENT

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. In the project management context, integration includes characteristics of unification, consolidation, communication, and integrative actions that are crucial to controlled project execution through completion, successfully managing stakeholder expectations, and meeting requirements. 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. The project management processes are usually presented as discrete processes with defined interfaces while, in practice, they overlap and interact in ways that cannot be completely detailed in the PMBOK® Guide.

Figure 4-1 provides an overview of the Project Integration Management processes, which are as follows:

4.1 Develop Project Charter—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.

4.2 Develop Project Management Plan—The process of defining, preparing, and coordinating all subsidiary plans and integrating them into a comprehensive project management plan. The project's integrated baselines and subsidiary plans may be included within the project management plan.

4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work—The process of leading and performing the work defined in the project management plan and implementing approved changes to achieve the project's objectives.

4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work—The process of tracking, reviewing, and reporting project progress against the performance objectives defined in the project management plan.

4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control—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.

4.6 Close Project or Phase—The process of finalizing all activities across all of the Project Management Process Groups to formally complete the phase or project.

These processes interact with each other and with processes in other Knowledge Areas as described in detail in Section 3 and Annex A1.

The need for Project Integration Management is necessary in situations where individual processes interact. For example, a cost estimate needed for a contingency plan involves integrating the processes in the Project Cost, Time, and Risk Management Knowledge Areas. When additional risks associated with various staffing alternatives are identified, then one or more of those processes may be revisited. The project deliverables may also need integrating with ongoing operations of the performing organization, the requesting organization, and with the long-term strategic planning that takes future problems and opportunities into consideration. Project Integration Management also includes the activities needed to manage project documents to ensure consistency with the project management plan and product, service, or capability deliverables.

Most experienced project management practitioners know there is no single way to manage a project. They apply project management knowledge, skills, and required processes in a preferred order and with varying rigor to achieve the desired project performance. However, the determination that a particular process is not required does not mean that it should not be addressed. The project manager and project team need to address every process and the project environment to determine the level of implementation for each process within the project. If a project has more than one phase, the level of rigor applied within each of the project phases should be appropriate for each phase. This determination is also addressed by the project manager and project team.

The integrative nature of projects and project management can be understood by thinking of other types of activities performed while completing a project. Examples of some activities performed by the project management team are:

  • Develop, review, analyze, and understand the scope. This includes the project and product requirements, criteria, assumptions, constraints, and other influences related to a project, and how each will be managed or addressed within the project;
  • Transform the collected project information into a project management plan using a structured approach as described in the PMBOK® Guide;
  • Perform activities to produce project deliverables; and
  • Measure and monitor the project's progress and take appropriate action to meet project objectives.

The links among the processes in the Project Management Process Groups are often iterative in nature. For example, the Planning Process Group provides the Executing Process Group with a documented project management plan early in the project and then updates the project management plan if changes occur as the project progresses.