Stevens Institute of Technology Integration in Project Management Putting together all the little pieces Peter EbrahimBT 353 Project ManagementProfessor Paul Rohmeyer 11/29/2017Table of contentsPages 3-8: Project Integration Management overviewPage 8: The Importance of Project Integration Management Pages 8-10: Reason 1Pages 10-12: Reason 2Pages 12-13: Reason 3 Page 14: ConclusionPage 15: BibliographyProject Integration Management Overview: One of the key knowledge areas in the study of Project Management is Project Integration Management. Over the course of completing any given project the project manager will have to deal with a myriad of tasks to insure that the project is completed on time, and under budget.
A manager must coordinate the people, plans, and work that are essential to finishing the project, and at times this can become very challenging. To navigate these obstacles managers engage all of the process groups that go into a project using key Integration methods to produce favorable outcomes.The successful management of all of these process groups, and their associated tasks is known as Project Integration Management.As the center of Project Management, Management Integration touches on all five process groups that go into successfully completing a project. As defined by PMBOK (The Project Management Body of knowledge) the five process groups outline the areas of competency which must be engaged by the effective project manager in order to successfully execute a project. These groups are Initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, and closing. Mastery of these process groups enable the manager to make effective use of the resources he or she has access to in order to complete the project in an efficient matter which meets or exceeds requirements. Beyond addressing these groups Specific Project Management Integration processes help to further further insure the project manager can fully coordinate all of the individual elements of the project.
According to the PMBOK guide there are six main processes which constitute the Project Integration Management. First a project manager initiates the project by developing the Project Charter. The Project Charter is developed in conjunction with all of the stakeholders in the project, and serves to formally authorize the project. It also lays out the objectives of the project in a way that clearly establishes the deliverables, and the resources that are allotted to the project including a basic budget estimate. This also entails establishing a basic summary schedule of planned start and stop dates and perhaps even a milestone schedule on smaller projects. The project charter may also lay out the business plan for the project if it still in the pre-approval phase of execution. The project charter also establishes the project manager and his subordinates to lay out the hierarchical structure of the project’s executive team.
The project charter may also be specific enough to be establish many things yet still generic enough to allow for flexibility in accounting for changes the future. Finally the project charter is authorized by someone who is of higher authority than the project manager to formally sign off on the plan and begin the planning phase of the project. The second process in the Project Integration Management Cycle is the development of the Project Management plan as part of the planning phase of the project.
The project management plan is developed by the project manager with input from the team that will be working on the project as well as the executive staff and other stakeholders. The main section of the Project Management plan is the overview. The overview serves to establish the purpose of the project, it’s scope and objectives. It also clearly defines the deliverables of the project, gives an in depth project schedule with milestone dates, and includes a budget summary with breakdowns of individual costs. Furthermore the project management plan should have contingency plans in case of setbacks or budget overruns with clearly defined corrective measures planned ahead.
The third process of the Project Integration Management cycle is the direction and management part of the project work as part of the execution phase of the project. The first step in undertaking this process is coordinate the planning with the actual execution of the project. For best results coordination should emphasize that those who plan the work should be those that carry out the work.
This creates eliminates the need to communicate plans with another group of executors and promotes skill diversity within the team to create agility. During this phase the project manager is critical because he or she has to be a strong leader to help keep the project moving along and navigate the potential snags that the project may run into. Furthermore, in this phase of the project it is important that the project manager creates a culture that is supportive and open. It is in this part of the project that the team is most likely to run into setbacks and other issues.
Having a supportive culture is critical to keeping team members motivated and open to reporting setbacks and conflicts. In addition to being a strong strong team leader the project manager must possess the political skills that are often times necessary to overcoming snags at this phase of the project. Furthermore, the skilled project manager is also technically gifted so that they are competent enough to step into any of their subordinate’s positions if necessary and be able to effectively translate technical reports to status reports for the stakeholders. The project manager must also have excellent judgment, and be able to make executive decisions within a reasonable period of time. Part of this ability to make quick judgements may stem from the manager’s own technical experience. For example knowing which programming language to use when building certain applications or knowing which subcontractor is the best pick to do work on a construction project. Another important element which is pivotal to the execution phase of this project is the implementation of Project Management Information Systems to track progress and plan out the various phases of a project’s execution. This can be as simple as creating a Gantt chart and as complicated as meticulously planning out each step of the project in Microsoft Project ™ .
The fourth process of the Project Integration Management cycle is monitoring and controlling the project work. When dealing with a large scale project managers spend the majority of their time communicating with the different team members that do the actual work on the project and managing the various changes that occur in the project plan. Because changes are inevitable in the course of completing a project it is important early on to develop the process of assessing, monitoring and controlling changes in order to maximize coordination. This can be achieved by constantly soliciting feedback from the team members who are executing project plans. Tools for soliciting feedback include performance reports, status updates, and conferences. Finally after receiving the feedback the project manager must then carry out corrective actions to the project plan. This is done by formally requesting a change request. However, the effective project manager is wary when making changes of not getting to far away from the original plan or baseline.
The fifth project Integration Management process is performing integrated change control. This also falls under the monitoring and controlling phase of the project. Integrated change control involves a three step process for monitoring the changes that occur to a project over the course of its execution.
The first step in this process is to make sure that tradeoffs are being made whenever a new change is introduced to the project plan to insure that the project does not run over time or budget. The second step of this process is maintaining communication with the various leaders of the different project areas. This insures that the project manager is always up to date on all of the different changes that occur to the project plan and is able to communicate these changes and their impact to executives and other stakeholders.The final step to this process is actually dealing with the actual changes as they are occurring.
For the project manager this means working to minimize the number of changes that occur in the first place and then working to minimize the impact of necessary changes to the overall timeline, cost of the project and quality. Communication with all of the stakeholders is of paramount importance at this point and many times the project manager will be forced to make decisions without understanding some of the potential implications. In the end however all changes must be accounted for and assessed to insure that they have a positive impact rather than a negative one. The sixth and final step in the project Integration Management cycle is closing the project. In order to successfully close a project the project manager must finalize all activities related to the project and insure that all of the project goals have been achieved in the final product.
Along with the final product the team must also put together a final project assessment report where they document all of the work that went into the project, and offer insights into the lessons they learned during the execution phase. The project manager may also review the project as a whole to assess whether the project’s goals were actually met or not. In the end all deliverables are turned over to the executive team for review who in turn deliver the completed project ot the customer. (6)The importance of project Integration Management: Project Integration Management is undeniably one the most important knowledge areas in the study of project management. Specifically there are three main reasons why this practice is so important to the overall success of an organization’s project management capabilities. Firstly project Integration Management is essential because it is a driver of performance which pushes the project manager to continually oversee a project’s development and help the execution team overcome the myriad of challenges they may face.
Secondly, project Integration Management is important because it is the most universal of all the knowledge areas of project management and provides the project manager a toolkit of the key areas that should be monitored in the course of a project. The final reason why project Integration Management is so important is because it offers a framework through which any project can be managed in a consistent manner that delivers a high level of quality. These reasons are why project Integration Management is so important to the modern project manager (2).Reason 1:Project Integration Management is huge driver of performance when implemented in the course of a project.
Whether it is establishing the project charter or managing and controlling, the entire process is results oriented and that makes it a very useful tool for the project manager. The other project management bodies of knowledge may be of some use on their own but none of them is as comprehensive in driving overall project performance as integration. Throughout the entire Integration cycle there are checks that insure the project is coming along well and that the team is delivering the highest quality work available (4). Source: (6)One element of developing a successful project charter is implementing a balanced scorecard analysis of the proposed project. The balanced score aims to assess the proposed project to insure that the project will be performance oriented and driving home the value proposition to the customer.
The balanced scorecard model as per Integration Management puts the customer vision first ands establishes goals that put stakeholder satisfaction at core of everything that is being done. It is this sort of orientation towards performance that makes project integration a great methodology to implement when performance is one the chief concerns of stakeholders (4). One example of where lack of knowledge about project Integration Management process caused a company millions of dollars is the example of Kombs Engineering.
Kombs engineering is a engineering company focused in the energy sector where it held a contract with United States Department of Energy valued at 150 million dollars. However, the contract was due to expire and Kombs was informed that the department of energy would seek solicitations from competitors. Resting on their laurels Kombs did not change their bid amount betting that department of energy would remain loyal to them due their track record of completing projects on time and under budget. In the end they lost the contract to competitor who underbid them. By not taking into account the customer’s performance expectations they failed to drive home the value proposition and lost out on millions of dollars (1). Simply put, project Integration Management drives value by constantly seeking to meet and exceed customer expectations.
One key part of the integration cycle that directly relates to this is the balanced scorecard model which serves as a scorecard of performance expectations. Stakeholders are inherently only interested in the deliverables of the project and that those deliverables perform in the way that they expect. Project Integration Management drives performance by constantly assessing the progress being made and making adjustments to maximize value for the customer.
This is what makes knowledge of the project management integration cycle an invaluable tool for the project manager(2).Reason 2:Project Integration Management is arguably the most universal body of knowledge within the study of project management. From planning to executing Integration Management is literally a microcosm of the entire project management body of knowledge. Integration Management is also flush with key progress assessment methods that help keep the project on track. Integration Management also helps pull all aspects of the project together by emphasizing the importance of coordination in the course of executing the project plan. It is for these reasons that Integration Management has long been thought of as the primary toolkit of the project manager for effectively overseeing and controlling a project and its deliverables.
Acting as a microcosm of project management the Integration cycle cover all the aspects of successfully managing a project. From the beginning and writing the project charter to the end and actually delivering the project Integration Management covers it all. If someone could only study only one of the project management bodies of knowledge Integration Management would probably be the one to study. Integration Management covers writing the project charter, creating the project management plan, directing and managing project execution, monitoring and controlling the work being done on the project and finally closing the project. Integration Management is also chock full of tools which help assess the relevance of the project as the process is ongoing (3).
One such tool is the weighted scoring model of picking a project for when first developing the project charter. The weighted scoring model is tool that provides a systematic process of selecting projects based on variety of criteria. The criteria may include factors such as meeting organizational goals, addressing problems, opportunity potential, and the projected financial performance of the project. Then weights are assigned to each criteria by order of importance (weights should all sum to 100%). Then a score is assessed for each of the relevant criteria repeating this analysis on multiple potential projects can help the project manager choose which one to pursue (5).Summarily the second reason why project Integration Management is important is because it serves as a universal guide to project management within its own cycle. By utilizing the skills taught in Integration Management the project manager can learn how to properly assess a project, create the project plan, execute the project and coordinate all of these efforts together.
It is an invaluable resource for anyone who is involved in coordinating or overseeing a project of any size. It is the undeniable baseline on which all of the other project management bodies are built upon. The final reason why Integration Management is important is because it enables the project manager to effectively coordinate all of the areas of the project’s execution (5). Reason 3: The final reason why project Integration Management is so essential to the project manager is because it offers him or her the tools to coordinate the execution phase of the project. The execution phase of any project is arguably the most critical part of the project. This is because at that stage the potential for failure is the greatest. By utilizing the skills taught in Integration Management the project manager learns how to lead and create an environment that promotes and actively seeks results. This is accomplished by coordinating planning and execution as well as capitalizing on a set of project execution techniques which are taught under project Integration Management.
At the phase of execution the project is at its greatest risk of failure. Up until that point everything that the project is be it the charter, or the project plan has been theoretical. Sometimes a project may seem like a good idea on paper but when it comes to execution it is an entirely different animal.
With companies putting time and money on the line it is imperative that projects succeed and that the project manager do his best to make them work. Project Integration Management mitigates this risk and that is why it is such an important part of project management (2). The key element to overseeing a project’s coordination is to lead from the front as the project manager. Consequently having good interpersonal and leadership skills and creating a culture which is open are an important part of successfully executing a project. This means having an open relationship with the team members and effectively communicating progress through the chain of command on a regular basis. Cultivating this kind of dialogue as described by Integration Management is a key step in effectively carrying out a project’s goals.
Integration Management also offers a tool to keep the execution phase of the project coordinated (5). Project Integration Management proposes the use of project management information systems to keep everything coordinated. This entails creating Gantt charts and work breakdown structures which should be distributed to team members.
Furthermore the use of software such as Microsoft Project ™ can also be used to create an interactive version of the work breakdown structure with task completion dates and milestones. The importance of this cannot be understated as it creates an roadmap for the project and along with effective communication are the methods used to keep a project coordinated during the execution phase. These are the reasons why project Integration Management skills are essential to the project manager (4). Conclusion:In conclusion project Integration Management is the most important knowledge area in the entire study of project management. These are three main reasons why this body of knowledge is so important to the success of a project manager. Firstly it’s universality makes it a microcosm of the entire study of project manager as it spans the project from the creation of the charter to handing over the deliverables to the executive team. Secondly it provides the project manager many practical tools that he or she can actually implement to better manage any project.
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