Integration management is included as a subject group in the ISO 21500 International Project Management Standard.

What is Project Integration Management?

Project Integration management is more than just a single subject group in ISO 21500. Integration management works as an integrated management system for all the other subject groups in Project Management. And as in all integrated management systems there is someone in charge as a integration manager: the Project Manager. This integrated management approach is what ties together all the other subject groups, and will result in successful project deliverables and products. Following this idea, the integration management plan is provided via the Project Plan (which involves all the project plans and delivers an overall integrated project management plan).

The integration management subject group includes the processes required to identify, define, combine, unify, coordinate, control and close the various activities and processes related to the project.

Integration management initiating processes

Develop project charter

Develop Project Charter is the first process in project integration management. Once there is an assigned project manager, the first step will be to write down a Project Charter for getting formal approval from the project sponsor, and therefore getting the green light for initiating the project or a new project phase.

The project manager requires the following inputs: the business case, the contract, the project statement of work, and previous project phase documents (in case of a new project phase). Based on all these documents, he will write down the business needs and expectations in terms of value and deliverables, how project objectives will be met, project budget, and main project stakeholders (including the project sponsor, project manager, customer representatives, etc).

The output of this process is the project charter document itself. It is important that this document is linked to corporate/business strategy, as part of a project program or the project portfolio. The corporate project management office (PMO) may provide the project manager with a project charter template and project charter example. Later this may also be used as a project charter sample for new projects.

Integration management planning processes

Develop project plans

Develop Project Plans is the second project integration management process, that in this case belongs to the planning phase of a project. The core plans are the scope management plan, time management plan, cost management plan, and quality management plan. There are also other subsidiary plans such as the procurement management plan, human resources plan, communication plan, and the risk management plan. As we mentioned before, these project plans will be carried as an integrated management approach via an integration management plan: the ‘project management plan’.

The project manager requires as inputs the business case, project charter, approved changes, and lessons learned from past projects or previous phases.

The output of this process are the project plans documents themselves, including the project plan (i.e. the technical view) and the project management plan (i.e. the management view).

Integration management implementing processes

Direct Project Work

Direct Project Work is the third project integration management process. It is performed in the implementing phase of a project. So, what is project work? it is all the project works included in the project plan. So the project work plan will act as a ‘project statement of work’, with detailed information about how to do project work. Additionally, the project manager may use a project work plan template for describing each project work topic, including a detailed description for each project work package (WP).

The project manager requires the following inputs: the project plans, and approved changes over the project work plan (which may affect the project works).

The outputs of this process are progress information of the project works, the issue register, and the lessons learned on any project work topic.

Integration management controlling processes

Control project work

Control Project Work is the forth project integration management process. It is performed in the controlling phase of a project. What is project control? it is where the project will be followed up agains project controls. For making this process possible, it is required to establish those project controls (define what are the tolerances and escalation thresholds for the project manager) and a CCB (Change Control Board) committee that will act as project controller.  So, the more accurate it is the project milestones plan and each of the project management plans, the more effective project controls will be possible.

The project manager requires as inputs the project plans, progress information, quality control results, the risk register, and the issue register.

The outputs of this process are change requests, progress reports, and project completion reports.

Control changes

Control Changes is the fifth project integration management process. It is performed in the controlling phase of a project. Change project is very usual. The point is how do we drive change. Project changes must be driven through a project change management process. Project change management is described in the project change management plan, usually performed by the Change Control Board (CCB). It is recommend to have a project change log in order to have traceability of all the changes managed along the project.

The project manager requires as inputs the project plans, and change requests.

The outputs of this process are approved changes, and the project change log register.

Integration management closing processes

Close phase or project

Close Phase or Project is the sixth project integration management process. It is performed in the closing phase of a project. In ISO 21500, the project closure phase is reached with all project deliverables already accepted by the customer, and in many cases the project team has been already released. So, closing a project is 100% responsibility of the project manager. Basically, this is the formal project closure.

The project manager for closing a project requires as inputs progress reports, contract documentation,  and project completion reports.

The outputs of this process are completed procurements, formal released resources, and formal project or phase closure report.

Collect lessons learned

Collect Lessons Learned is the seventh project integration management process. It is performed in the closing phase of a project. The project management office (PMO) will provide a lessons learned template to the project manager. All along the project, lessons learned will be written down by the project manager and any of the project team members and stakeholders. In this process in the closing phase, the project manager will collect all these lessons learned, and will provide them in the corporate PMO standard lessons learned template, making possible to learn from experience.

The project manager requires as inputs the project plans, progress reports, approved changes, lessons learned, the issue register, and the risk register.

The outputs of this process is the lessons learned document.

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