Integration Management Overview I

July 2, 2010

Integration management is about an integrated approach to the complete project.
Thus, this must take into account all the management activities involved in all
the phases of a project life cycle. So the activities must encompass the
beginning phase that is defined by the project charter. Other major processes
involved in the overall process are developing the project management plan,
directing and managing a project execution plan, monitoring and controlling of
project work and closing of the project or a specific phase of it.
Changes happening throughout the life time of a project are a reality for any
non-trivial project. Managing these changes and integrating the approved
changes to the project are a crucial set of activities for ensuring project
success. Integration management is about integrating all these six processes
and manage these interacting and iterative processes well.
A Quick Look at the Component Processes
The integration activities need to start with developing of the project charter. The project charter is like an authorization of the project to go ahead. This
may also be for a specific phase to. It ll define the requirements that satisfy stakeholder needs and their
expectations. Since the project manager must be part of this complete planning
process and developing the charter, he would have been assigned before these
activities. The charter will formally define his authority of applying
resources to achieve the targets defined in the charter. The charter is, quite
often, the formal document of relationship of the performing organization and
the requesting organization for the project.
The project management planis the master plan of all the other plans related to the project activities.
The project management plan defines all the actions needed to create, refine,
coordinate and integrate all these other subsidiary plans. The project
management plan must define how the complete life cycle of the project will be
managed. That includes managing the initiation, monitoring the progress,
measuring the work performance, controlling and closing the project
systematically. Changes, controlled as they are through the integrated change
control, will let you update the plan, evolve the document as the project lives
through its lifetime.
The direct and manage executionof a project is about controlling the project activities to keep it on the
right track to deliver the outcomes expected of the same. A good project
information system is a very useful tool in collecting the relevant information
that includes time schedule data, cost estimates, work performance and all the
rest of relevant details. Approved changes and updates arising from them, etc.
also needs to be tracked. Automated information systems supported by software
that facilitate refined searches and quick finding of information is a
necessity. Deliverables, work performances, changes, project document updates
are some outputs the process needs to manage.
The process of monitor and control project work is to do with tracking, regulating and reviewing of the project progress. The
expected project progress is defined in the project management plan. The first
thing to do would be to compare performance against a defined baseline and
these baselines would include the schedule, cost baselines mainly. Any variance
detected will have to be judged to see if the variance implies a significant
trend and necessitate preventive and/or corrective actions. Analyzing the risk
scenario, detecting any significant one and reporting it as well as updating
the risk register are part of the activities of this process.
To perform integrated change controlis one of the most crucial activities in any significantly complex project.
While changes are to be expected always, inability to manage the changes can
lead to chaos and a project disaster. The process needs to start with reviewing
all change requests. You would need to determine the complete implication of
the changes, if it is first determined that the change is required and even
desired. Approving of the changes and making the consequent changes in the
project deliverables, project documents including the project management plan
and to the organizational process assets are an integral part of this process.
Quite often the project manager will carry the authority to approve or reject
change requests. However, then for more significant changes and that has
important consequences on the project time, cost baselines or in the risk
profile, a higher powered change control board(CCB) may be constituted to
manage the changes.
The last of the processes that is part of the integration management is the close of a project/phaseprocess. This process finalizes al activities across al the project/process
management. The project manager must ensure that, including all other earlier
phases if they apply, activities as planned have been completed. The project
manager must apply his sense of closure appropriately, to ensure the desired
activities documented in the project management plan have been completed. In
case of early closure for any reason of a project or one of its phases complete
justifications need to be recorded completely.

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