Sambit is a good friend and colleague from CSC. He has over 12 years of experience in the areas of Project Management, Delivery Management and Software Development in the Health Care, Logistics and Manufacturing domains. He experience includes Project Planning, Budgeting, Reporting, Risk management and Team management. He maintains 2 blogs to share his knowledge on project management and methodologies @ – http://sambit-daspatnaik.blogspot.in/ and http://sdaspatnaik.blogspot.in/ After reading the article below, make sure you visit his blog to read his other well researched articles.
Sometimes back, I was taking a session on Project integration management when I realised that most of the attendees were treating integration separately as if it is a knowledge area in itself with no relation with other knowledge areas. This they did, to simplify and compartmentalise their learning to clear the PMP exam. Little did they realise that one needs to look at the whole framework and actually connect all aspects together… and Integration management helps doing that.
It helps one have a holistic look at the overall project management. The integration chapter actually helps connect all knowledge areas to give that broad perspective. Once this was made clear, they found the Integration management simpler.
What does Project Integration Management really focus on? Actually, in a nutshell, it is the core responsibility of the project manager… and obviously it encompasses almost all the project management processes.
To simplify Integration management, before dwelling into the core processes, one needs to understand the core responsibilities that the project manager needs to do to help him/her to carry out the core processes. The core responsibilities are:
- Getting authorised by the project charter to manage the entire project.
- Planning the work that’s going to happen throughout the project.
- Directing the execution of the work once it gets started.
- Monitoring & controlling the work progress and resolving the potential problems.
- Looking out for changes, understanding their impacts, taking them through the integrated change control board and progressing on the approved changes.
- Closing the project and making sure that all aspects are covered before delivering and that lessons learnt are also documented.
If you closely observe, it primarily focuses on the 5 core process areas: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Closing.
This is where the project manager is appointed. The project charter is created and signed off most probably by the sponsor (who finances the project). The project manager is authorised by the project charter to manage the overall project. The project charter is a very key and fundamental document (Refer my previous blog http://sambit-daspatnaik.blogspot.in/2012/12/struggling-to-create-project-charter.html ). This is also the time when all key stakeholders are identified.
This is where the project manager is involved in the total end to end planning. The overall plan is appended with the individual plan of each of the knowledge areas such as Scope Management Plan, Time Management Plan, Cost Management Plan, Quality Management Plan, Risk Management plan, Communication Management Plan, Human Resource Management Plan, and Procurement Management Plan. Each of these Management plan contains the planning approach to each of the knowledge areas. In simple terms the Plans help clarify how to plan, and is not just a simple MS Project Schedule.
Once the plans are ready, the project manager directs the execution to ensure everyone does what he/she is supposed to do, to ensure that the project objective is achieved.
Monitoring and Controlling Process
Projects are always dynamic. They are full of changes. Deviations happen almost on a daily basis. It is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that all the changes are monitored carefully. If any changes are found, they are taken up with the integrated change Control and only approved changes are worked upon. Please note here again that the changes can happen in any knowledge area. But all changes are routed through the Integrated Change Control Board only.
The tasks and objectives of the project are completed. Closing is where verified deliverables / products are handed over to the customer. Also, while executing the project, there might have been lots of deviations and lots of lessons learnt from mistakes or better ways of doing a work or task. These are constantly documented during closing process of each phase. Another important aspect of closing process at the end or key milestones of the project is to ensure that everyone gets paid!!
pmp certification chennai , project integration management pmbok , Sambit Daspatnaik