Project Integration Management includes the processes and activities to identify, define, combine, unify, and coordinate the various processes and project management activities within the Project Management Process Groups. In the project management context, integration includes characteristics of unification, consolidation, communication, and integrative actions that are crucial to controlled project execution through completion, successfully managing stakeholder expectations, and meeting requirements. Project Integration Management includes making choices about resource allocation, making trade-offs among competing objectives and alternatives, and managing the interdependencies among the project management Process.
The need for Project Integration Management is necessary in situations where individual processes interact. For example, a cost estimate needed for a contingency plan involves integrating the processes in the Project Cost, Time, and Risk Management Knowledge Areas. When additional risks associated with various staffing alternatives are identified, then one or more of those processes may be revisited. The project deliverables may also need integrating with ongoing operations of the performing organization, the requesting organization, and with the long-term strategic planning that takes future problems and opportunities into consideration. Project Integration Management also includes the activities needed to manage project documents to ensure consistency with the project management plan and product, service, or capability deliverables.
Most experienced project management practitioners know there is no single way to manage a project. They apply project management knowledge, skills, and required processes in a preferred order and with varying rigor to achieve the desired project performance. However, the determination that a particular process is not required does not mean that it should not be addressed. The project manager and project team need to address every process and the project environment to determine the level of implementation for each process within the project. If a project has more than one phase, the level of rigor applied within each of the project phases should be appropriate for each phase. This determination is also addressed by the project manager and project team.
The integrative nature of projects and project management can be understood by thinking of other types of activities performed while completing a project. Examples of some activities performed by the project management team are:
The links among the methods in the Project Management Process are often iterative in nature. For example, the Planning method provides the Executing method with a documented project management plan early in the project and then updates the project management plan if changes occur as the project progresses.