O integration management is a step that permeates all 5 project management process groups. It is a key activity, gear oil, whereas, it promotes project execution in the most efficient and effective way.
"The knowledge area called Integration aims to balance the demands and constraints of the project, define its objectives and coordinate the execution of all the project management processes of the other areas of knowledge throughout the life cycle of the project."
Integration management works at the beginning of the project, in the scoping process. During execution it assists in the monitoring and control of the project. Finally, in the closing phase, it contributes to the organization of project materials and the recording of lessons learned. According to the process flow of the PMBOK are:
- Develop the project launch term
- Develop the project management plan
- Guide and manage project work
- Manage Project Knowledge
- Monitor and control project work
- Perform integrated change control
- Close the project
TIP: An important part in the initial phase that can be applied in integration management is the project feasibility assessment process. This step consists in using techniques and tools to assist the sponsors in the decision-making process on project implementation. They can be used from economic models to mathematical models to verify the potential of a project.
Next, we will approach each of the integration management flows and present a conceptual map containing the main inputs, outputs, and tools and techniques.
So where to start? Develop the Project Opening Term, the so-called TAP, is the kickoff to delineate what is expected of the project.
What should TAP contain?
TAP contemplates the main information about the project and is the letter that will guide the execution of the other processes.
Project Management Plan:
The project management plan details the strategies for monitoring project execution. This is an important step in defining how project management will be conducted, as it should consolidate all possible subplanes contemplated in the project so that they can be performed synchronously. The plan of project management It is the conductor who must lead the orchestra in harmony to achieve the expected result: a beautiful symphony, or rather a project.
Guide and manage project work:
This step involves the specifications and orientations regarding the execution of the activities and tasks foreseen in the project. It tracks project details regarding resource allocation, technical aspects, project performance information, required acquisitions, changes, reports, and possible corrective actions.
Monitor and control project work:
Monitoring and control of project work defines coordination of all actions involving the identification, collection and systematization of information on the performance of the project as a whole. Very important step to assist in the process of identifying potential in time, scope, resources and expected results of the project.
Perform integrated change control:
Usually, change already causes discomfort. Thus, performing integrated control of changes in project execution is a sensitive activity and has high impact power on its performance.
It involves identifying the needs for change, assessing change requests, verifying their viability and, if necessary, promoting their implementation. It should be emphasized that the communication of change must be done in an objective and clear way for all involved, avoiding, therefore, possible noise in the process.
TIP: Ever heard of "baseline"? So whenever there is any kind of change in the project, be it resources, schedule, activity, among others, it is necessary to register this in the tools that are used to manage the project. These tools typically create so-called "baselines," which record when the last project changes were made.
Close the project:
Finally, a little spoken flow, closure of the project. Integration management should also consider the phase of project closure. This phase can greatly contribute to the improvement of future projects. It involves closing all project tasks and activities, recording lessons learned, and evaluating project deliverables.
So we can see how integration management is important for project execution. Defining a good management plan will certainly contribute to the effectiveness of the steps envisaged in the project and, consequently, its deliverables.
By Andréia Lopes.