More Detail on the Pmi Pmbok Standard for Project Integration

The PMI standard for project integration has fundamentally changed from its early form—a narrow focus on project-only issues—to a broader treatment of project integration from an organizationwide and global view. Project integration is now a Project Management Knowledge Area, published in 2005, that includes the processes and activities needed to identify, define, combine, unify, and coordinate the various processes and project management activities within the project management groups, e.g., initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing. In the project management context, integration includes the characteristics of unification, consolidation, articulation, and integrative actions that are crucial to project completion, successfully meeting customer and other stakeholder requirements, and managing expectations. Integration, in the context of managing a project, is making choices about where to concentrate resources and effort on any given day, anticipating potential issues, dealing with these issues before they become critical, and coordinating work for the overall project good. The integration effort also involves making tradeoffs among competing objectives and alternatives.

What this means in simple terms is that integration has become the essential pulling together of project and organizational systems and processes for a multi-project, portfolio approach to project management. Integration is essentially the function of program management, running several projects at once using all the organization's support systems.

The need for integration in project management becomes evident in situations where individual processes interact. For example, a cost estimate needed for a contingency plan involves integration of the planning processes described in greater detail in the project cost management processes, project time management processes, and project risk management processes. When additional risks associated with various staffing alternatives are identified, one or more of those processes must be revisited. The project deliverables also need to be integrated with ongoing operations of either the performing organization or the customer's organization, or with the long-term strategic planning that takes future problems and opportunities into consideration.

Most experienced project practitioners know that there is no single way to manage a project. They apply project management knowledge, skills, and processes in different orders and degrees of rigor to achieve the desired project performance. However, the perception that a particular process is not required does not mean that it should not be addressed. The project manager and project team must address every process, and the level of implementation for each process must be determined for each specific project.

The integrative nature of projects and project management can be better understood if we think of the other activities performed while completing a project. For example, some activities performed by the project management team could be to:

■ 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.

■ Document specific criteria of the product requirements.

■ Understand how to take the identified information and transform it into a project management plan using the planning process group described in the PMBOK guide.

■ Prepare the work breakdown structure.

■ Take appropriate action to have the project performed in accordance with the project management plan, the planned set of integrated processes, and the planned scope.

■ Measure and monitor project status, processes, and products.

■ Analyze project risks.

Among the processes in the project management process groups, the links are often iterated. The planning process group provides the executive process group with a documented project management plan early in the project and then facilitates updates to the project management plan if changes occur as the project progresses.

Integration is primarily concerned with effectively integrating the processes among the project management process groups that are required to accomplish project objectives within an organization's defined procedures. Figure 3-4 provides an overview of the major project management integrative processes. As seen in Figure 3-4, the integrative project management processes include:

a. Develop project charter—developing the project charter that formally authorizes a project or a project phase b. Develop preliminary project scope statement—developing the preliminary project scope statement that provides high-level scope narrative c. Develop project management plan—documenting the actions necessary to define, prepare, integrate, and coordinate all subsidiary plans into a project management plan d. Direct and manage project execution—executing the work defined in the project management plan to achieve the project's requirements defined in the project scope statement

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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