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Project Integration Management and Its Process Groups
How well the project is executed depends on its various elements, including teams working on it, stakeholders, resources required, and so on. A project can’t be completed successfully unless all these elements work together to produce the best results. It’s about making tough decisions when the project is not on track.
For instance, if there has been a delay in completing certain tasks, you may have to decide between spending more on human resources to finish the project by the deadline and delaying it. Evaluating the situation and making the right decision are the most important elements of proper project integration management. Let’s learn more about this concept and its role in completing different projects efficiently.
What is Project Integration Management?
Project integration management refers to the set of procedures used to ensure proper coordination between several elements of a project to ensure the team is on the right track and all tasks are being executed as planned. When a project is planned, all the sub-procedures used to finish it are combined into a single, comprehensive process. The concept is an indispensable part of project management. It shows us how various components of the projects relate to each other and how coordination between them can streamline different processes.
Another reason project integration is an absolute necessity for the successful execution of any project is—since projects are critical and complex, it’s difficult for managers to factor in each aspect to ensure a smooth workflow. A project involves risk, resources, deadline, teams, scope, stakeholders, clients, and more. You need to take everything into account to ensure the clients’ requirements are met.
Processes of Project Integration Management
Now, let us discuss the process involved in this management style.
Developing a charter
A project charter is the first step in starting a project. It includes the basic details of the project, like the description, start & end date, resources used, etc. Here’s what to include in the charter.
How will the project benefit the company (as a whole)? Or, what’s the goal of this project?
What is the budget for the project? Is there any scope for going above the set budget?
The parameters will define whether your project is of good quality and completed according to your planned schedule.
List the names of stakeholders, clients, employees assigned different roles for the project, the project manager, and more.
Authorities of a project manager, i.e., their involvement in the project
There’s more information based on the nature and complexity of the project. You can decide what you’d like to include. The more details, the better. It gives your teams and stakeholders a clear picture of how the work should be executed.
Developing a plan
Once you have created a project charter, you can use it for the planning stage. It’s nothing but a combination of various sub-processes, such as risk management planning, cost, schedule, quality control measures, stakeholders and employees involved in the project, and so on. All these factors need to be combined into a single final process.
It isn’t going to be a rigid plan, though. Based on how the project turns out, you can make changes to the original plan after discussing it with the stakeholders. At this stage, you select the most viable framework and project management methodology you will use to finish the project on schedule.
Once the planning is over and you have received an approval letter from higher authorities, you can start working on the project. Your team will execute the processes as planned. If you had divided the project into smaller, manageable sprints, they would finish one sprint, have everything checked, and move on to another once they get a green light.
As you go ahead with the project, your team might want to change certain processes. That’s not always the case, but in most projects, people suggest changes to complete the project faster while staying within budget.
Monitoring and controlling
The most crucial step of project integration management is regular monitoring and controlling. Once you have started working on a project, you need to monitor each employee’s performance, the overall progress, and whether each step has been executed as planned. It’s easier to notice when someone seems out of track or isn’t following the planned strategies for the project.
If you notice any deviation, you may have to revisit the actual plan and make changes. This must be done after applying for a change in the project management process and seeking approval for the same. Once your request has been approved, you can implement the changes to the original plan and update the project charter accordingly. This isn’t just one phase that will pass after you have made small changes to the project plan. It’s rather an ongoing process that must be executed throughout the project cycle.
Every project might have a different set of criteria for completion. For example, some projects are marked completed once you have got a customer’s signature that shows they are satisfied with the output.
You can end the procurement agreement once the project is finished. You can have a team meeting where you discuss the challenges you faced during the project, which steps were most challenging, what you did to overcome them, and what can be done to make the process more efficient in future projects. Your stakeholders will also give you insights into the overall process and whether the results were satisfying. At this point, you must match the project with the planned project charter.
This was the detailed project integration management process, starting from initiation and ending with the closing. Now, keeping track of each process and monitoring all resources at different stages of the project can be pretty overwhelming for managers. They can delegate the monitoring and execution part to individuals specializing in these particular areas and those capable of doing it effectively. Note that the above phases of project integration management are quite important to ensure that the project is executed successfully and each element is handled as required.
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