Knowledge Area Executive Summary
This Knowledge Area is focused on the coordination of all PM Processes and Project Management activities to achieve a successful project outcome.
- Process Groups covered by Integration Management:
- Monitoring and Controlling
- Processes in this Knowledge Area
- Develop Project Charter
- Develop Project Management Plan
- Direct and Manage Project Work
- Manage Project Knowledge (New in PMBOK® 6th Edition)
- Monitor and Control Project Work
- Perform Integrated Change Control
- Close Project or Phase
- Major or important ITTOs
- Business Case
- Benefits Management Plan
- Project Charter
- Assumption Log
- PM Plan
- Data Gathering
- Approved Change Requests
- Change Log
- Work Performance Data
- Work Performance Information
- Work Performance Reports
- PM Plan Updates
- Issue Log
- Final Product or Service
- Final Project Report
- Lessons Learned
- Critical concepts
The main role of the Project Manager on any project is to be the project integrator. This means you are primarily responsible to the organization and the project to make choices and trade-offs about competing resources and objectives of the project. There are many interdependencies within and outside of the project, and using good Integration Management means that you are looking at all aspects of the project (internally and externally) to ensure that the project is a success. Make no mistake; your project succeeds and fails because of your ability to utilize good Project Integration Management techniques.
Integration Management takes a “whole project” view and is often considered the macro-level of Project Management. The other Knowledge Areas deal with the details of their namesakes, but Integration Management is a complex methodology towards the overall project goal. This starts with the Project Charter. This document formally authorizes your project and gives legitimacy to you, the PM to plan, control, and execute the project. The Charter is the high-level link between the project and your organization’s strategic objectives and to fill a business need. That is the main reason that its major inputs include the Business Case and the Benefits Management Plan.
These two documents, often referred to as the Business Documents, outline one or more of the seven reasons that projects are initiated:
- Market Demand
- Organizational Need
- Customer Request
- Technological Advancement
- Legal Requirements
- Ecological Impact
- Social Need
Once the reason for the project has been determined and it becomes fully authorized with you at the helm, you have to find the best way to manage the many competing interests that will affect your project. This is where the PM Plan comes in. The Develop Project Management Plan process develops the strategy and plans for how your project will be executed, monitored and controlled, and eventually closed. This plan is controlled closely by the first of two Monitoring and Controlling processes in Integration Management; Perform Integrated Change Control.
The Perform Integrated Change Control process takes a look at the PM Plan, Change Requests, Work Performance Reports, and other Project Documents and determines the legitimacy of the Change Request. Using the many change control tools and decision-making techniques, you will both have Approved Change Requests (and subsequently update your plan as needed), or you will have change requests that are not approved (and are simply logged into the Change Log for historical record).
Another Integration Management process, called Direct and Manage Project Work, focuses on the creation of deliverables for the project. It is performed continuously throughout the project. This will feed heavily into a new PM process in the PMBOK 6th Edition; Manage Project Knowledge. This new process is heavily focused on ensuring that the knowledge gained throughout the project is properly documented and is distributed appropriately for team members to create, share, and integrate their knowledge across the entirety of the project.
The second of the two Monitoring and Controlling processes in Integration Management is Monitor and Control Project Work. This process is performed any time that project work is being conducted. Its main function is to determine any variances between planned results and actual results. This process is primarily focused on taking the Work Performance Information and analyzing it to generate Work Performance Reports for stakeholder awareness.
The last process in Integration Management is Close Project or Phase which is performed to determine if the project or phase objectives have been met. This process looks back at the Project Charter and business documents to ensure the alignment of project outcomes with the stated objectives. Project documents such as the Lessons Learned Register are reviewed and updated and project resources are released.
Knowledge Area Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Since the Project Charter is the official document authorizing the project and naming me as the Project Manager, shouldn’t I be involved in its development?
A: Since the Project Charter can give the PM and project team great insights into the overall goals and business needs being filled by a project, it is always recommended to be a part of that process. That is why PMI lists Develop Project Charter as a PM Process and also expects the PM to understand the financial formulas associated with project selection. The Project Charter defines from the very beginning how success will be measured (i.e. what business need are we fulfilling and what high-level requirements are a part of the project) and you, the PM, will be evaluated at the end of the project on how well you aligned with those objectives.
Q: How many times will I perform Close Project or Phase?
A: That depends on the complexity of a project. You will only ever close the project one time, but depending on the phases, you may close a phase several times throughout a project. This is a little different between Predictive Lifecycle (Waterfall) and Adaptive Lifecycle (Agile) projects. In Waterfall projects, the project will end based on completion of all promised features and functionality (called out in the requirements document). In Agile projects, products are delivered in a functional state at the end of each iteration, meaning that a project can be terminated after virtually any phase and still have a useable product.
What to Memorize in this Knowledge Area
Project Integration Management covers all five Process Groups at a macro-level. Integration Management focused on the “Why” and “What” of a project and also the “How.” Since you are the project integrator, there are many concepts and formulas to memorize and ensure success on the test.
Let’s start with the “Why” and “What.” Here you’ll want to memorize the following items:
- The reason projects are initiated
- Formulas for Project Selection (Benefit Cost Ratio, Return on Investment, Opportunity Cost, etc)
- Purpose of the Project Charter
- Purpose and authority of the Project Sponsor
Now for the “How” which is the majority of Integration Management Processes. You’ll want to memorize the following:
- Components of the PM Plan
- Definition of a baseline
- Types of Project Knowledge
- Work Performance Reporting Flow
- How to Manage Change in a project
- PM’s responsibility in Change Control
Knowledge Area Critical Reasoning & Testing Skills
Q: You are the Project Manager on a project designed to upgrade a state of the art satellite guidance system, which is scheduled to be a two-year undertaking for your organization. About half-way through the project, you realize that you can save both time and money by purchasing some new technology rather than developing it. You believe that this would be a positive change overall and does not degrade or ignore the business need stated in the project charter. Who has the authority to authorize this change?
- Project Manager
- Project Sponsor
- The Procurement Department/Team
- The functional manager of the team needing that technology
EXPLANATION: This question is asking you about the overall authority of members of the project. This is where an understanding of the powers of your team and stakeholders are vitally important. Remember that PMI® assumes that you are operating under ‘normal’ project conditions. This means that you have the authority to make decisions in your project, but are following appropriate change control measures. This question discusses a make-or-buy decision which is discussed later in Project Cost Management. In a ‘normal’ project condition, the PM has the authority to request a change, but not to approve changes without oversight. The Project Sponsor owns the checkbook for a project. They are able to authorize any change on the project, though it may be first reviewed and recommended by a Change Control Board or Steering Committee. The Procurement Department/Team can review and provide assistance in selecting a vendor, but still does not have the authority to authorize procurements within the project. Functional Managers with the authority to ‘step outside’ the project and purchase a needed technology without approval could be disastrous for the PM, who is trying to control the budget. It may be beneficial in this particular circumstance, but they still don’t hold the authority for the decision. In this example, the BEST answer is B. The Project Sponsor
Knowledge Area Closing Summary
This Knowledge Area is extremely important to project success. It contains the processes that coordinate the activities and processes of the remaining nine Knowledge Areas. The interdependencies managed by the Integration Management Knowledge Area help to ensure constant project alignment and increase the odds that when you are ready to close the project, your overall project is aligned with the original objectives outlined in the Project Charter and Business Documents. You are the linchpin to the success in your role of project integrator. It all comes down to you. In order to successfully manage projects, you must understand the ways in which these processes work with the other Knowledge Areas. Let the professionals at PM-ProLearn help you find the keys to successful Project Management. It all starts when you register for one of the many training options available in the Course and Resource Catalogue. Just click below to choose the most effective, convenient Project Management Professional training option that fits your schedule and budget.