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6 Ways to Excel at Project Integration Management

Topics Covered on the PMP® Certification Exam

Project integration management touches all five phases of a project:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Monitoring and controlling
  5. Closing

Integration Management involves all 10 Knowledge areas. These areas are extensively covered in our PMP® certification courses in NYC.

6 Ways to Excel at Project Integration Management

Integrated project management (or, IPM as it is known to some) is a term that has come to mean a number of different things. Despite its common usage, however, a large number of business professionals understand what integrated project management explicitly includes. To strengthen your skills as a project manager, it is essential to understand not just what project integration management means, but some of the most common ways in which you can excel in this area.

What is Integrated Project Management?

Integrated project management refers to the act of gathering various processes that are then used to determine that a project has been properly coordinated. Part of this involves managing the participation of all stakeholders that are involved with the project as well as all available resources. Part of integrated project management also consists of making decisions about competing objectives. Although the exact details of what is involved with integrated project management changes based on the scope of a project, integrated project management contains several basic elements:

  • Project Charter - Within the charter, details about a project's objectives, scope, and participants are included. Not only does a project charter provide all involved stakeholders with an idea of the project's objective and available resources, but it also specifically defines the duties of the project manager.
  • Project Scope - During this phase of integrated project management, the project scope is created. This document details both the long-term goals of a project as well as more specific targets.
  • Project Management Plan - In this document, all the plans, and processes that are connected to a project.
  • Project Execution - While the project management plan lacks specific details about the execution of a project, project execution documents define the processes for executing elements in a project plan.
  • Project Monitoring - During this phase, a project manager compares the baseline that was completed before the project's execution to the project's actual results.
  • Change Control - Whether it is a change in the number of available resources or stakeholder requests, it is very common for circumstances to change as a project progresses.

While project integration management is particularly complicated, there are several important pieces of advice in this area that project managers have realized maximizes the chances of a project's success.

# 1 - Personalize Processes for Each Project

It is critical to understand that project integration management is not a one size fits all technique. Instead, it is crucial to tailor processes around each project's requirements as well as the goals that you hope to meet. The more clearly that a process can be shaped around the resources and risks of a project, the more likely that a project will be able to reach its goal while effectively using resources.

 # 2 - Know the Difference between Project and Process

Organizing all processes and knowledge throughout an organization is critical. To do this, it is important to understand the difference between a project and a process:

  • A process involves an ongoing and changing activity that is repeatable.
  • A project is a multi-step an activity that will reach an end. In the case of a process, it is capable of being used by numerous teams and even departments. Projects, however, are localized to a specific group of workers.

# 3 - Create Detailed Project Plans

A project plan is the keystone of most successful project. As a result, the more details that project managers can include in these documents, the more likely that a project will be successful. As a result, the project plan should cover areas like Documentation, Quality Assurance, Risk Management, and Issue Management.

# 4 - Optimize Project Teams

Each project team's ability to effectively use available resources makes a significant impact on the outcome of a project. As a result, it is a wise idea to create specific guidelines regarding how the team will operate including regular meetings and status reporting. One of the most important things that project managers should do while implementing project plans is to routinely make sure that project teams are following established guidelines.

# 5 - Manage Stakeholder Involvement

One of the primary responsibilities of a project manager is communicating updates about a project to stakeholders. Failure to involve stakeholders in every step of a project can significantly jeopardize the project's success. Instead, the best project managers make sure that stakeholders stay up to date with a project's status.

# 6 - The Power of Project Portfolio Management

Projects are frequently just a small company's existence. Instead, there is often an entire world at the company outside the life of the project. Project portfolio management involves grouping similar projects together and managing in the same way that one would control a portfolio. By staying aware of other ongoing projects, it is possible for project managers to achieve goals for companies outside the life of just one project.