PMP Certification Exam Prep – Project Integration Management


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Project Integration Management is the first knowledge area of project management.

It includes a group of processes required to ensure that the various elements of the project are properly coordinated.

Based on chapter 4 of PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition, here you will find:

  • all-in-one project management graphic of Project Integration Management, a quick reference guide to its definition, processes, and key terms
  • Project Integration Management basics, must-know tips to avoid common mistakes during your PMP certification exam, and keywords—by Project Integration Management processes

Read on!

Image titled Project Management Process Groups 101

Project Integration Management Processes – Basics, Tips, and Keywords

1. Develop Project Charter

Icon titled Project Integration Management Initiating Processes TipsographicBasics of Develop Project Charter

  • WHAT Develop Project Charter Is. This is the process that creates the project charter, the foundational document for the project. The project charter provides political and financial support for the project, since it tells everyone in the company why the project is needed and authorizes the project manager to do her/his work.
  • WHY Develop Project Charter Is Important. The project charter is the green light that gives the project manager the authority to expend organizational resources to achieve project objectives.
  • WHEN Develop Project Charter Is Executed. The design— and signing— of the project charter is the first process that is completed for the whole project.
  • HOW Develop Project Charter Operates.
Inputs Tools and techniques Outputs
  • Project statement of work
  • Business case
  • Agreements
  • Enterprise environmental factors
  • Organizational process assets
  • Expert judgment
  • Facilitation techniques
  • Project charter

Tips on Develop Project Charter

  • Sponsor Vs. Customer Vs. Project Manager. The sponsor of a project is in charge of creating the project charter. The sponsor of a project pays for the project—in consulting or procurement situations is often the same person as a customer or client, the person who uses the product of the project. The project manager manages the project.
  • Agreements. The exam sometimes mentions the agreements as “contracts“, even though not all projects have contracts.
  • Project selection. There may be three types of questions in the exam about project selection:
    • direct, project selection mentioned openly as core of the question
    • indirect, project selection relates to business case
    • distracting, project selection concepts as distractions in questions on other topics, to mislead you.
  • Deviations from baselines. Incomplete risk identification and risk management often cause changes from the baselines created during planning. So, choose the answer that implies a review of the risk management process whenever the exam asks you what to do if a project deviates remarkably from the performance measurement baseline.
  • Develop Project Charter Vs. Identify Stakeholders. Develop Project Charter and Identify Stakeholders are the two initiating processes in the PMBOK® Guide. Develop Project Charter process, though, must be executed first because its input—project charter—features as output for the Identify Stakeholders process.
  • Project statement of work (SOW). Important but not mandatory input, there is no need for SOW in presence of business case, contract, or agreement.
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors Vs. Organizational Process Assets. In a certain way, enterprise environmental factors are elements limiting the project, while organizational process assets support it.

Keywords for Develop Project Charter

  • Assumptions. Factors that are considered to be true, real or certain without proof or demonstration.
  • Constraints. Factors that limit the project team’s options to complete the project and produce the required deliverables.
  • Opportunity Cost.The benefit ($$$$) lost by selecting another project.
  • Sunk Cost. Money already spent that cannot be recovered.
  • Law of Diminishing Returns. Productivity and resources are not linked in a 1:1 relationship; at some point adding resources does not yield a corresponding increase in productivity.
  • Working Capital. The funds available for use by an organization.
  • Depreciation. Accounts for the fact that assets lose value over time.

2. Develop Project Management Plan

Icon titled Project Integration Management Planning Processes TipsographicBasics of Develop Project Management Plan

  • WHAT Develop Project Management Plan Is. The Develop Project Management Plan is where the project manager defines, prepares, coordinates and then integrates all the subsidiary project plans into a single document.
  • WHY Develop Project Management Plan Is Important. The project management plan is the master document that points to everyone what needs to happen when they perform the project work.
  • WHEN Develop Project Management Plan Is Executed. A project manager outlines the project management plan progressively—not all at once—after the subsidiary plans from the other knowledge areas are completed.
  • HOW Develop Project Management Plan Operates.
Inputs Tools and techniques Outputs
  • Project charter
  • Outputs from other processes
  • Enterprise environmental factors
  • Organizational process assets
  • Expert judgment
  • Facilitation techniques
  • Project management plan

Tips on Develop Project Management Plan

  • Gantt chart. The Gantt chart is a scheduling and communication tool, not  the project management plan.

3. Direct and Manage Project Work

Image titled Project Integration Management Executing Processes Tipsographic

Basics of Develop Project Management Plan

  • What Direct and Manage Project Work Is. Direct and Manage Project Work process is where the project manager and the rest of the project team members execute and complete the work described in the project management plan to produce the deliverables.
  • Why Direct and Manage Project Work Is Important. The Direct and Manage Project Work process is where the project manager and her/his team do the actual work. It absorbs much of the project budget.
  • When Direct and Manage Project Work Is Executed. A project manager and her/his team perform the Direct and Manage Project Work process any time they create deliverables, repair defects in deliverables, or make sure any change in the project management plan is reflected in the deliverables. It is not a one time process throughout the whole project.
  • How Direct and Manage Project Work Operates.
Inputs Tools and techniques Outputs
  • Project management plan
  • Approved change requests
  • Enterprise environmental factors
  • Organizational process assets
  • Expert judgment
  • Project management information system
  • Meetings
  • Deliverables
  • Work performance data
  • Change requests
  • Project management plan updates
  • Project documents updates

Tips on Direct and Manage Project Work

  • Direct and Manage Project Work. If the exam mentions the direct and manage project work, it may not mean the entire executing process group but it may refer to the integration piece of executing.

Keywords for Direct and Manage Project Work

  • Stakeholder. Individuals and organizations involved in or affected by project activities, such as project managers, sponsors, and clients/customers.
  • Project Documents. Documents not part of the project management plan that are used to manage the project such as: Project Charter, Contracts, Agreements, Statements of Work, etc., Work Performance Reports, and Risk and Issue Logs.
  • Kickoff Meeting. First meeting with the project team and the client of the project.

4. Monitor and Control Project Work

Image titled Project Integration Management Monitoring Controlling Processes Tipsographic

Basics of Develop Project Management Plan

  • WHAT Monitor and Control Project Work Is. Monitor and Control Project Work is what project manager does day by day to track, review, and report the progresses against the project management plan.
  • WHY Monitor and Control Project Work Is Important. Monitor and Control Project Work is where a project manager notices a problem and assesses any corrective actions to minimize the impact on schedule, cost, and resources.
  • WHEN Monitor and Control Project Work Is Executed. Monitoring and controlling work is done throughout the life of the project from initiation to closure.
  • HOW Monitor and Control Project Work Operates.
Inputs Tools and techniques Outputs
  • Project management plan
  • Schedule forecasts
  • Cost forecasts
  • Validated changes
  • Work performance information
  • Enterprise environmental factors
  • Organizational process assets
  • Expert judgment
  • Analytical techniques
  • Project management Information system
  • Meetings
  • Change requests
  • Work performance reports
  • Project management plan updates
  • Project documents updates

Tips on Monitor and Control Project Work

  • Expert Judgment. Subject matter experts provide the expert judgement mentioned in the PMOK Guide. Whereas they may include also the project manager, the expert judgement is not an executive decision of his.
  • Validate Vs. Verify. Validation implies that the product, service, or system meets the needs and requirements of the customer and other important stakeholders—kind of external process. Verification entails that the product, service, or system complies with documented regulations, specifications, or imposed technical conditions—kind of internal process.
  • Flow of information. Progressive development of information from work performance data to work performance information, concluding with work performance reports.

Keywords for Monitor and Control Project Work

  • Corrective Action. Changes made to bring expected future performance of the project into line with the plan.
  • Preventive Action. An action to ensure the future project performance does not deviate from the project management plan.
  • Defect. An imperfection or deficiency in a project component where that component does not meet its requirements or specifications and needs to be either repaired or replaced.
  • Defect Repair. The action to modify a defective product or product component.
  • Lessons Learned. The learning gained from the process of performing the project.
  • Percent Complete. An estimate, expressed as a percent, of the amount of work that has been completed on an activity or a work breakdown component.
  • Deliverable. A unique and verifiable product, result or capability to perform a service that must be produced to complete a process, phase or project.

5. Perform Integrated Change Control

Basics of Perform Integrated Change Control

  • WHAT Perform Integrated Change Control Is. A project manager uses the Perform Integrated Change Control process to evaluate how a problem affects the project constraints—time, cost, scope, resources, risks, and quality—and figure out if it’s worth making the change.
  • WHY Perform Integrated Change Control Is Important. Perform Integrated Change Control process is where a project manager considers all changes to any part of the project— change requests from all the other monitoring and control processes— and decides whether or not to make them. Anyway, the last word on changes to the project’s scope lies on the change control board side, that will approve or reject the project manager’s decisions.
  • WHEN Perform Integrated Change Control Is Executed. Like all monitoring and control processes, Perform Integrated Change Control process is completed throughout the whole project.
  • HOW Perform Integrated Change Control Operates.
Inputs Tools and techniques Outputs
  • Project management plan
  • Work performance reports
  • Change requests
  • Enterprise environmental factors
  • Organizational process assets
  • Expert judgment
  • Meetings
  • Change control tools
  • Approved change requests
  • Change log
  • Project management plan updates
  • Project documents updates

Tips on Perform Integrated Change Control

  • Project Constrainsts. A project manager can always make a change to its project without implementing change control if this modification has no impact on the project constraints—cost, schedule, and scope.
  • Work Performance Data Vs. Information Vs. Reports.
    • work performance data, raw information
    • work performance information, raw information analyzed, contextualized, and incorporating the integrated nature of project management
    • work performance reports, information customized for a particular group of stakeholders.

Keywords for Perform Integrated Change Control

  • Earned Value Management. A management methodology for integrating scope, schedule and resources and for objectively measuring project performance and progress.
  • Performance Measurement Baseline. An approved plan for the project work against which project execution is compared and deviations are measured for management control.

6. Close Project or Phase

Image titled Project Integration Management Closing Processes Tipsographic

Basics of Close Project or Phase

  • WHAT Close Project or Phase Is. Close Project or Phase is the process of completing all work for the entire project or just a phase in the project life cycle.
  • WHY Close Project or Phase Is Important. By performing the Close Project or Phase process, a process manager ensures that the project is closed properly and that the future projects will be able to leverage on the records originated from the closing—future organizational process assets.
  • WHEN Close Project or Phase Is Executed. In the real world, the Close Project or Phase process is used when closing a project prior to deliverable handover, or when completing a phase of a project prior to awaiting approval to proceed to the next phase. In the exam, it is assumed to take place at the end of the project or phase.
  • HOW Close Project or Phase Operates.
Inputs Tools and techniques Outputs
  • Project management plan
  • Accepted deliverables
  • Organizational process assets
  • Expert judgment
  • Analytical techniques
  • Meetings
  • Final Product, Service, or Result transition
  • Organizational process assets updates

Tips on Close Project or Phase

  • Closing. Every project always needs to end, regardless of the context under which it stops, is terminated or is completed.
  • Flow of Deliverables.
    1. Created in Direct and Manage Project Work process
    2. Verified as correct in Control Quality
    3. Inspected and accepted by customer in Validate Scope process
    4. Formal recognition by client with sign off in Close Project or Phase process
  • Lesson learned.
    • The Project Management Institute (PMI) values lessons learned as one of the most important organizational process assets in project management.
    • A project manager should collect lesson learned information at the end of each phase and not to wait until the end of the project.
  • Flow of Contractual and Administrative Closure. A project manager completes contractual closure first, then administrative closure.

Keywords for Close Project or Phase

  • Configuration Identification. Identifying uniquely all items within the configuration.
  • Configuration Status Accounting. Capturing, storing, and accessing configuration information needed to manage products and product information effectively.
  • Configuration Verification and Auditing. Establishing that the performance and functional requirements defined in the configuration documentation have been met.
  • Change Control Board. A small group of stakeholders who will make decisions regarding the disposition and treatment of changing requirements.
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