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Integrated project management, or program management as it is sometimes called, involves selecting, coordinating, and synchronizing projects in a company or agency, so that all the key factors for success are optimized. Program managers see both the big picture and the details of program and project work—all at the same time.

Integration involves analyzing project business value at the high level; mobilizing team performance and dynamics; monitoring projects to assure midstream adjustment and project recovery; resolving technical, resource, and interpersonal conflicts at every level; managing program interfaces and multitasking; identifying organizational constraints and exploiting them; keeping tabs on accountability; and reporting to avoid ethical and waste problems. In an integrated project organization, program and project managers:

■ See projects as capital investments made by the organization to achieve corporate business strategy and competitive advantage.

■ Analyze a portfolio of candidate projects using net present value techniques in combination with risk assessment and other tools.

■ "Read" team dynamics as they relate to team leadership, motivation, effectiveness, decision-making process, and conflict resolution.

■ Formulate and evaluate alternative completion plans to optimize program quality, cost, and schedule. Select and apply appropriate project planning and tracking tools as well as project management leadership skills to recover the program.

■ Develop an appropriate program "interface event management" plan to integrate and manage the projects effectively, and resolve any complexities that result from multitasking, within the networks or on the part of the project manager. Interface events are key milestones requiring cross functional coordination.

■ Plan the development and implementation of suitable project management systems and methodology to support multiple projects. Identify best practices that lead to effective program management.

■ Develop and manage an integrated program schedule. This includes the elements of the schedule, different types of schedules, schedule development, and the processes of schedule management.

■ Work with the structures of schedules, based on the Integrated Master Plan (IMP), Integrated Master Schedule (IMS), supplier data integration, and the overall influences of the work breakdown structure (WBS).

■ Establish requirements and a clear "make buy" decision; the reader will be able to identify those necessary contractor elements to include and integrate into the program master schedule.

■ Work with networking basics, primary elements of the network, what a critical path is, the critical path method, and program networks.

■ Work with integrated product and process teams (IPT), their outputs, and their relationships to each other, and recognize key product and process team tasks, their relationships in a program schedule, and be able to analyze the performance aspects of an IPT.

■ Work to transition from IMP to IMS.

■ Manage the integration of production recurring schedules with the nonrecurring program level schedules.

■ Manage reporting of integrated schedule data to customers.

■ Understand when and where to use Earned Value Management (EVM), and how this system is used to benefit the project management effort.

■ Design and manage a resource assignment matrix (RAM).

■ Serve as an effective cost account manager, and understand how project cost accounting supports the cost account manager.

■ Provide a working level definition of a project/program baseline schedule to include the basic objectives of that schedule.

■ Implement the planning and budgeting process within the resource loading activities of the schedule integration process.

■ Produce a variance analysis report, and the process of arriving at the conclusions sited in the report.

■ Define and integrate risk management, and elaborate on the process of risk analysis and risk management.

■ Provide the definition for low risk, medium risk, and high risk, while being able to integrate the likelihood of the occurrence with the consequences of the occurrence onto the tailored risk matrix, and incorporate necessary mitigating elements.

Reviewing the current state of project management literature, it could be argued that the word "integration" is used in so many different contexts and applications that its practical usefulness is in question. Engineers integrate products and systems, managers integrate and coordinate their organizations, and planners integrate their plans. Yet despite its prolific use, the term still defines a critical aspect of successful organizations, projects, and teams—working together toward program and project objectives. The integration of product and system means that the components come together to produce product performance and customer satisfaction. They come together because people make them come together; integration just doesn't happen, it must be proactively encouraged by the participants in the program management process.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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