Integration issues

We can define the process of integration as "the process of bringing the parts of a system together to produce a deliverable" through a proactive management approach that encourages people to worry about whether "the left hand knows what the right hand is doing." Integration is made necessary because to design and build a project deliverable, that deliverable must be broken down into its "configuration" parts and produced from the bottom up. The "rolling up" of a deliverable is called integration because it requires both vertical and horizontal activity to bring pieces together from work package all the way up to the final project outcome.

We can further describe the integration process as coordinating:

1. The work of the project with the plans and ongoing operations of the performing organization, and

2. Product and project scope.

Integration at the highest level, business and strategic planning, involves the coordination of company and business planning with project selection and financial planning. This means that the beginning of project integration is making sure that the project itself is aligned with the company's strategy and plan for growth, whether written or is simply a shared vision of company leadership.

Analysis of weaknesses in the strategic planning process, for instance, would be performed in the light of the company's past performance and market analysis. Integration of business plans with marketing plans means that a project is selected with a full view of how the project will serve the company in its growth objectives. From a personal standpoint, this means that the company leadership coordinates and communicates with program and project managers, and has access to information that facilitates project integration management.

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