An essential tool of project integration is the master schedule. Figure 6.1 shows the integrated tier concept and relationships between master schedule, program element, team production, and work packages at the lowest work breakdown structure (WBS) level.
Top-down integration builds a master schedule to drive the work breakdown to tier 4—the work package level. Vertical integration, or "bottom up" planning, builds the cost estimate and schedule linkages from the lowest level up, rolling up to the master schedule. In practice, this is an iterative process. Bottom up also addresses the validation of the process, aligning lower-level tasks with upper-level activities in the master schedule. Status reports begin at the work package level, along with revisions of work package and level of effort tasks.
The horizontal integration occurs as tasks are outlined against a calendar and linked, as in a Gantt chart. Project integration occurs when baselined schedules and actual work are monitored with horizontal and vertical issues in mind.
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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.