Topic 10: Project integration management

Project integration—an overview

Project integration management is where it all comes together. Project integration is the activities a project manager carries out to pull together the project scope, schedule and cost processes, as well as all the human resource, risk, communications and procurement management activities they complete to deliver a quality outcome. This is where the project manager earns their money. The activities the project manager undertakes as part of project integration management can be summarised as:
* determining what is required
* planning how to achieve what is required
* managing the team to achieve what is required
* finalising all expenditures and proving that what was required was delivered.

To achieve this the PMBOK Guide describes project integration management as comprising:
* develop project charter
* develop project management plan
* direct and manage project execution
* monitor and control project work
* perform integrated change control
* close project or phase.

Project integration management tools and techniques

The key and virtually only technique for project integration management is expert judgement. Whether the judgement is expert or not remains to be seen at the project's conclusion.

The 'golden triangle' of project management says that scope, schedule and budget are linked.

Project management is not so much about project planning, but project planning enabling project management. The effort undertaken in developing the plan brings its rewards in enabling the project manager to understand and correct deviations as they occur.

Projects fail in one of two key ways: suddenly and dramatically, or slowly and consistently.

The life cycle planning activities, and the quality and stakeholder management activities, ensure that the project is doing the right thing, and that at each milestone or phase, has achieved the necessary artefacts to deliver in accordance with the project's deliverable

Given that all activities vary slightly, the project manager must be able to determine what activities are of concern and how to fix those activities, while not adversely impacting the other activities. Also, the project manager receives past performance information and not the current or future performance.

While a Gantt chart shows performance against schedule, a WBS shows performance by deliverable. The WBS also shows the budget hierarchically, as the budget at any one point in the WBS is the sum of the WBS elements' budgets below that point.

The examples we have discussed so far are not the only ways a project manager can analyse a project's performance. However, they do show that a project manager needs to go through a sequence of:
* obtain accurate and timely status information (monitor project work)
* report the performance (monitor project work)
* analyse the reasons for the performance (monitor project work)
* change only those areas that need changing (manage project execution and perhaps perform integrated change control).

The project manager is faced with a variety of changes that need a variety of management approaches. These include:
* Minor internal changes to the work plan
* Engineering change requests
* Organisationally-driven changes
* Customer-driven changes

Fundamental to the control of changes is the concept that a project manager can uniquely identify the status of all artefacts before and after a change.

The project manager and the team must be able to know which item is in which state. To do this, projects use four key tools:
1. configuration identification
2. versioning
3. change status accounting
4. configuration management.

Versioning tracks changes to an artefact or product.

Project integration management artefacts

The key inputs to project integration management will include the:
* project statement of work
* business case
* contract
* inputs from planning processes.

A contract provides four key pieces of information:
1. what is agreed to be delivered (the scope)
2. what approaches or conditions have been agreed (conditions, and perhaps milestones, payment milestones, etc.)
3. the commercial and legal framework (which might state or imply certain standards or approaches)
4. the agreed price (which is not budget).

The project management plan both sets the scene for, and encapsulates, all the sub-plans such as WBS (work plan), schedule (time plan), communications plan, quality plan, etc. The project management plan cannot be completed until all of the subordinate plans have been developed, and integrated into the work schedule, budget and organisational responsibilities.

The key outputs of the project integration management are:
* project charter
* project management plan
* baselined plans
* deliverables
* work performance information

Project integration management process

The process for project integration management comprises:
* develop project charter
As the project manager is the recipient of this document, the person accountable for developing it is usually the project sponsor, business owner or program manager.

* develop project management plan
The purpose of the project management plan is to define the project and how the project will be executed, monitored and controlled. Once the project management plan has been released (Version 1.0), it is communicated to all key personnel, and then rapidly updated to keep pace with the changes in scope, team, interfaces, external events, risks and actual performance.

* direct and manage project execution
Directing and managing project execution is all the activities involved in ensuring that the project team understands and does the work required to achieve the deliverables in accordance with the project plan. The major output of this ongoing activity is the work occurring to plan. Interim outputs are changes to the project documents and the project management plan. Where work cannot
progress according to the plan, for example, when the project team finds that two requirements are in conflict, the project team can initiate change requests.

* monitor and control project work
Monitor and control project work are the ongoing group of activities associated with measuring progress against the plan and then controlling the work to ensure that the work remains on track. The project manager requires accurate and timely information to make correct decisions about how to control the project work. However, a project manager can usually have one, but not both of these.

* perform integrated change control
Integrated change control is one of the more interconnected elements of project management. A change request can come from virtually anywhere, and affect virtually anything on a project. The PMBOK Guide catch-all elements of 'organisational process assets' and 'enterprise environmental factors'.

* close project or phase.
Closing the project of phase means handing over the products and formally closing all of the documentation for the project or phase. Depending upon the organisation, this usually involves closing financial accounts, formally returning any assets or equipment, archiving
all of the documentation, producing a lessons-learnt report, and writing up a summary of the project.