7 Steps For Effective Project Integration Management
Introduction to Integration Management
Management is not confined to an overall department or sector within a business. Even some projects and larger tasks require managers to execute preparation. However, this can be challenging for projects with numerous counterparts. With integration management, project teams can collaborate systems, schedules, and budgets seamlessly to promote smooth workflow.
What is Project Integration Management?
Project integration management involves organizing and compiling all elements of a project, such as resources, systems, and tasks. Integration practices impact every activity within a project, from the first initiative to the final closing. Therefore, integration managers need to understand a project's entire lifecycle before jumping into an integration project.
Another major element of project integration is understanding potential trade-offs and compromises the business may have to make. For example, if tasks end up exceeding the budget, managers need to decide whether to extend the deadline or budget. These events are difficult to project and plan for without proper integration management. With integration management, companies can adequately maintain stakeholder, client, and employee relationships, as well as mitigate risks.
7 Steps of Integration Management
The typical integration management project involves seven comprehensive stages that strive to organize tasks, so integration is seamless.
1. Create a Project Charter
A project charter describes the goals, steps, and initiatives of the overall project. The typical charter is one full-page that acts as an official document that stakeholders review and approve. After approval, project managers can reference the document to ensure proper resource allocation, employee designation, and budgeting. An adequate charter outlines every element so all team members and stakeholders are on the same page.
2. Establish a Preliminary Scope Statement
By establishing a scope statement, project managers can minimize the risk of scope creep. Scope creep is when a project's requirements seemingly increase over time as a result of poor planning. Scope statements counteract this threat by defining every methodology, resource, and tactic the project requires for successful completion.
3. Develop a Project Management Plan
Now it's time to create the master plan, which defines how exactly team members will execute the integration. A detailed management plan will outline every necessary component, including.
- Planning documents
- Estimated timeframe
- Project scope
- Expected costs
At this point, members need to consider what components require integration and the best respective approaches.
4. Manage the Project Execution
Finally, each team member can execute their individual responsibilities to deploy system integration. The project manager's responsibility is to oversee each employee to ensure they are accurately carrying out their duties. This is largely dependent on how well the team prepared the management plan. Therefore, inadequate planning will more than likely result in poor or disjointed implementation.
5. Control the Project Work
After integrating the project, managers can't simply let it be. They must actively monitor and track its progress to ensure success. Otherwise, problems could arise, and the business could remain completely unaware of any technical issues. This way, the team can eliminate emerging risks and ensure they meet the project objectives.
6. Integrate Change Control
Debatably, the most challenging part of any project is accepting change and making adjustments. However, it is an essential component to success and adaptability. Therefore, teams should review any feedback and change requests they receive and run them through an approval process. Changes that the team approves should remain compliant while improving the product's quality or yield. Common changes include schedule, budget, goal, and deadline adjustments.
7. Close the Project
Upon completion, supervisors should formally review the project and assess its impact. During this analysis, managers should focus on points of strength, weakness, risk, and opportunity. This information can help managers better prepare future projects.
Benefits of Integration Management
Integration management not only keeps teams motivated during projects but also provides several other advantages.
Integration management extends any project's scope, enabling members to adjust as needed without the worry of causing a disruption. This means that the mission can change throughout the process without disturbing the workflow. On the other hand, traditional project planning requires teams first to establish and continue the project based on the scope. However, this does not leave much wiggle room for adjustments.
With integration management, supervisors can clearly communicate the mission of the project with their team and change it accordingly. With this level of flexibility, businesses can avoid scope creep and changes that can potentially disrupt progress. It also ensures that members can meet deadlines and objectives.
Establish Open Communication
Communication is one, if not the most essential element of success for any team project. The more members involved, the more room there is for miscommunication, siloed data, and error. With integration management, teams establish an open line of communication between members.
Enhance Schedule Monitoring
Projects with several simultaneous tasks and systems can be challenging to manage and create schedules for. With integration management, supervisors can easily identify interdependent variables and establish reasonable deadlines. This enables members to actively monitor the schedule and account for each task to ensure prompt completion.
Because integration management has flexibility for adjustments, it also enables members to generate feedback freely. Therefore, if workers notice that some deadlines, budget restraints, or tasks are not reasonable, they can submit a change request. Employees can even give feedback to each other, promoting accountability and checks and balance.
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