Project Management

Project Integration Management: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

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Project Integration Management: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
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Project Integration Management: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

If you’re reading this you’re probably familiar with the basics of project management. But just in case you’re new to the term, project integration management is the process of bringing all the elements of a project together into one cohesive whole.

It’s the job of the project manager to make sure that all the different pieces of the puzzle fit together perfectly.

And why is this so important? Well, imagine you’re building a house. You’ve got the foundation laid, the walls up, and the roof on. But there are no doors or windows. Or maybe the windows are in the wrong place. Or the doorways are too small. You get the picture.

Without proper integration, all your hard work could come tumbling down. The same is true for any project, no matter what the size or scope. That’s why project integration management is so important. It’s the key to making sure that all the different pieces of your project come together seamlessly and that the end result is a success.

At its core, project management is all about bringing people and resources together to achieve a common goal.

But as any seasoned project manager knows, it’s not always that simple. Projects are complex undertakings, with a lot of different moving parts that need to be managed. That’s why integration is such an important part of project management.

Project integration management can be a daunting task, especially for large and complex projects.

Without proper integration, all your hard work could come tumbling down. The same is true for any project, no matter what the size or scope. That’s why project integration management is so important. It’s the key to making sure that all the different pieces of your project come together seamlessly and that the end result is a success.

At its core, project management is all about bringing people and resources together to achieve a common goal.

But as any seasoned project manager knows, it’s not always that simple. Projects are complex undertakings, with a lot of different moving parts that need to be managed. That’s why integration is such an important part of project management.

Project integration management can be a daunting task, especially for large and complex projects.

What is Integration Management

What is Integration Management?

Integration management is the process of combining all the different elements of a project into a cohesive whole.

This includes everything from developing the project charter and creating the project management plan, to monitoring and controlling project work and closing the project (or project phase).

In other words, integration management is what ties all the other processes in project management together.

6 Frequently Encountered Project Integration Management Problems Resolved

When done well, project integration management can solve a lot of common problems that project managers face. Here are six of the most common problems that integration management can help with:

Problem #1: Duplication of Effort

When different team members are working on the same task without knowing it, or when two different teams are working on similar tasks but not coordinating their efforts, it causes duplication of effort.

Duplication of effort is a waste of time and resources that can easily derail a project. But fortunately, it’s also fairly easy to solve with effective integration management.

Wasted Resources

Problem #2: Wasted Resources

Wasted resources come in many different forms, but they all have one thing in common: they’re not being used effectively.

For example, imagine that you have a team of 10 developers working on a project, but only eight of those developers are actually working on project-related tasks.

The other two developers are working on tasks that are unrelated to the project, or they’re not working at all. In this case, the resources (i.e. the two developers) are being wasted.

This is a problem because it means that the project is not getting the full benefit of the team’s skills and abilities. Fortunately, effective integration management can help prevent this type of resource waste.

By ensuring that all team members are working on project-related tasks, and that those tasks are properly coordinated, you can avoid wasting resources and keep your project on track.

Problem #3: Lack of Coordination

When different teams or individuals are working on the same project but not coordinating their efforts, it’s very difficult to make progress.

For example, imagine that you have a team of engineers working on the design of a new product. But the team members are not coordinating their efforts, so each member is working on a different part of the design.

As a result, the team is not making any real progress. The design is a mess, and it’s going to be very difficult to put all the pieces together into a cohesive whole. This is a serious problem, but it’s also one that can be solved with effective integration management.

Misaligned Goals

Problem #4: Misaligned Goals

This happens when different teams or individuals are working towards different goals, instead of towards a common goal.

For example, imagine that you have a team of salespeople who are working on a new product launch. But the sales team’s goals are misaligned with the rest of the company’s goals.

The sales team’s goal is to sell as many products as possible, while the rest of the company’s goal is to make sure that the product is high quality and meets customer’s needs.

This misalignment of goals can cause serious problems, because it can lead to conflict between the different teams. The sales team might try to sell a product that is not ready, or they might make promises that the product cannot deliver on.

Fortunately, this problem can be solved with effective integration management. By aligning the goals of all teams and individuals working on the project, you can ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

Problem #5: Scope Creep

Scope creep is when the scope of a project starts to balloon out of control.

This can happen when team members start working on tasks that are outside of the project’s scope, or when new features and requirements are added to the project without properly evaluating the impact on the schedule and budget.

Scope creep can easily derail a project, so it’s important to be on the lookout for it.

Problem #6: Missing Deadlines

Missing deadlines is when team members start working on tasks that are not part of the project’s schedule, or when the project’s schedule starts to slip.

For example, imagine that you’re managing a project with a very tight deadline. The team is working hard to meet the deadline, but then one of the team members decides to take a two-week vacation.

Or, imagine that the project is running behind schedule, so the team starts working overtime to try to catch up. But instead of catching up, they just end up further behind.

Both of these examples illustrate how missing deadlines can cause problems for a project.

Effective integration management can help prevent this by making sure that everyone is aware of the deadlines and by ensuring that team members are working together to meet those deadlines.

Get Started With Project Integration Management

How to Get Started With Project Integration Management

Now that we’ve seen some of the problems that integration management can help with, let’s take a look at how to actually do it. Here are seven steps that you can follow to make sure that your project is properly integrated:

1. Develop the Project Charter

The first step in any new project is to develop the project charter. This document provides an overview of the project, including its purpose, scope, timeline, budget, and key stakeholders. The charter should be reviewed and approved by all relevant parties before work on the rest of the project begins.

Usually this charter is a shared document between the project sponsor, the project manager and other important project stakeholders.

This can easily be done using google docs or a shared project management tool like Teamly. Pretty much any online collaboration tool will do.

2. Create the Project Plan

The next step is to create the project plan.

This document details the tasks that need to be completed, the resources that will be required, the timeline for the project, and the budget. The project plan should be reviewed and approved by all relevant parties before work on the project begins.

As with the project charter, the project plan is usually a shared document between the project manager and other important project stakeholders. The project management plan should be reviewed and approved by all relevant parties before work begins.

What’s involved in creating a project management plan? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Define the project’s objectives and deliverables.
  • Identify the resources that will be required (e.g., people, equipment, materials).
  • Create a schedule for the project.
  • Estimate the cost of the project.
  • Create a risk management plan.
  • Identify who the project stakeholders are and what their roles and responsibilities are.

Assign Resources

3. Assign Resources

Once the project charter and project plan have been created, it’s time to assign resources to the project. This includes assigning team members to tasks, as well as identifying any outside vendors or contractors that will need to be brought in to help with the project.

The project manager is responsible for ensuring that all resources are properly assigned to the project. This includes making sure that team members have the skills and knowledge necessary to complete their assigned tasks, as well as ensuring that outside vendors and contractors are aware of their roles and responsibilities.

4. Manage Project Information

Projects generate a lot of information—from meeting notes and requirements documents to design files and test results—that needs to be properly managed throughout the course of the project. This includes storing information in a central location where it can be easily accessed by team members, as well as disposing of obsolete information on a regular basis.

The project manager is responsible for ensuring that all project information is properly managed. This includes creating and maintaining a central repository for project information, as well as disposing of obsolete information on a regular basis.

Monitor and Control Project Work

5. Monitor and Control Project Work

Throughout the course of the project, there will undoubtedly be some unforeseen challenges that arise—it’s just a fact of life.

As such, it’s important for project managers to continuously monitor progress against milestones and identify any potential issues early on so they can be quickly resolved before they cause significant problems down the line.

To do this effectively, periodic status reports should be prepared and distributed to all relevant parties involved in the project.

6. Perform Integrated Change Control

Changes are inevitable in any project, but it’s important to manage them in a controlled and structured manner. This includes maintaining a central repository for all change requests, assessing the impact of each request on the project, and deciding whether or not to implement each change. After a decision has been made, the project manager should update the project management plan accordingly.

7. Close the Project

Once all the work on a project has been completed and all the deliverables have been delivered, it’s time to close out the project. This includes archiving all project information, releasing any remaining resources, and conducting a post-mortem analysis of the project to identify lessons learned. After the project has been officially closed, the project manager should prepare a final report summarizing the project’s successes and challenges.

Integrative Approach to Project Management

Conclusion

As anyone who has ever managed a complex project knows, there are a lot of different moving parts that need to be considered in order for things to run smoothly.

That’s where integration management comes in; by taking a holistic view of the project and managing it as a whole, you can avoid problems caused by silos, miscommunication, or duplicate effort—and increase your chances of successful delivery!

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