Project Integration is the “mother” to all other project knowledge areas and brings the knowledge and processes together where there is overlap, synergies and flow between other knowledge areas. It has the most processes of any knowledge area at 7 and spans the entire set of process groups.
Looking at the Integration knowledge area in more depth, it can be broken down into the 7 processes that define it. Each process is examined in this video and a summarized outline is provided below. Understanding Project Integration and how it fits within the 7 knowledge areas and 5 process groups is a key set of knowledge that will help you pass your PMP exam and practice good project management.
Project Integration across the process groups:
Develop Project Charter: every project must have a Project Charter, which defines the vision, mission, objectives, spending thresholds and other components of a project (including considering risks, schedule, staffing and so forth). The project charter is generally created by the project manager in consultation with other stakeholders: an executive sponsor, one or more subject matter experts, industry/company experts, business analysts and support team managers. The project charter defines the project in principle, and generally from a high level. The project management plan is where the details will go.
Develop Project Management Plan: the project management plan is a top-down/bottom-up detailed document that covers all aspects of the project on which you are about to embark. The project manager (along with schedulers, coordinators, controllers and other professionals on larger projects) will need to estimate time, effort and cost of work. Once this is done coordination of tasks, sequencing work packages and defining stakeholders are amongst the next priority items to consider. As we go through the 10 knowledge areas in this series, you’ll see how each one of them contributes to the overall plan (for example, how to consider and document risks and risk mitigation in your project plan).
Direct & Manage Project Work: This sounds straight forward, but really requires significant focus, tenacity and experience. Part of what this means is holding project participants accountable to tasks, deadlines and risk mitigation efforts; however, this also means understanding the road ahead and
adjusting well in advance of critical issues (under/over estimating schedules, missed risks, insufficient mitigation of risks, under staffed project work, etc.)
Manage Project knowledge: Tacit / explicit knowledge
Monitoring & Controlling
Perform integrated change control: oversee all change requests and requirements. Escalation to the CCB (change control board, sometimes a steering committee, operating committee, or working group)
Monitor & control project work: Assess/evaluate project work that’s underway, and this really ties into other knowledge areas. Questions to ask: what’s the critical path? Are we missing any scheduled dates? Are there any risks coming to light now that the project is underway?
Close project or phase: the process of closing a project can often be underestimated from a cost and schedule perspective. Depending on the project you’re running, whether it’s a full project closeout or a phase in a larger project, project closeout can be extensive: site cleanup; drawing, document and records management; or, process transition to operations. These are a just a few examples, but each industry and project type has its own set of protocol, administration and nuances.