Performing Integration Management in a project is to keep the complete interconnected project as one unified set of activities. This is a project manager’s key role. Effective execution of this role is determined to be a critical success factor for the project manager.
To be successful in the PMP exam, you have to think about integration management from the perspective of a large-scale project. This project could be a multi-locational project involving cross-functional, cross-cultural collaboration, having a potential saving of millions of dollars. Individuals who are performing Integration Management effectively on large projects will not face many challenges in giving a hassle-free PMP exam. During the ongoing course of a project, the team members are heavily involved in completing designated tasks (work packages), project leads and sponsors continue to monitor the project to avoid any changes and resource challenges and the project manager continues to integrate project activities. He keeps the interconnected project as one unified whole thus resulting in quicker results, economic activities and lesser resources and also ensures that project goals are met.
Project Integration Management is all about maintaining equilibrium in all areas of a project (time, scope, cost, quality, human resource, communication, risk, procurement, stakeholder, among others). These are interconnected processes and cannot be performed in silos. To create a project charter, for example, we would need to detail business goals and its linkage to the project goals, we would also need to carve out the problem statement, scope statement, cost-benefit analysis (financial calculations), among others. Likewise, for incorporating additional scope after the project was initiated, we would need to identify the need for additional resources, schedule changes, increase in project activities, among others. The project manager is mainly keeping this interconnected project as a unified set of activities in all of the given examples.
In the PMP exam, you can get from 12 to 15 questions from the Integration Management knowledge area. It deals with the work done by a project manager at a very high level. Other chapters explain the detailed work done by a project manager. If not prepared well, questions from this topic it can be difficult for you to handle.
While going through this topic, your perspective should be to think about a project executed at a large-scale. You may have to revisit this topic again after going through all the chapters to get a better understanding of Integration Management. A detailed review of this thrice would enable effective understanding of this chapter. It should be noted that the primary role of a Project Manager is Integration Management, hence, this is one of the most important and critical chapters.
Another important point to note is that Integration Management occurs in all the process groups i.e. Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling and Closing. The project manager continues to integrate the project to keep it interconnected and unified across all phases.