Integration Knowledge Area

Small Projects Need Glue: Project Integration Management (Part Two)

This is the latest in a series that addresses the unique circumstances of small projects within the framework of PMI’s Knowledge Areas.

In this post, I’ll explore how small projects can adapt some of PMI’s Integration Management processes.  Although I’ll write about each process in the Knowledge Area, not all can be tailored because to do so would be unwise and threaten the success of the project.

Given the breadth of Project Integration Management, this topic is split into three.  In Part One, I talked about Develop Project Charter and Develop Project Management Plan.  Today I’ll discuss Direct and Manage Project Work.

Initiating Process Group

Planning Process Group

Executing Process Group

Monitoring and Controlling Process Group

Closing Process Group

Develop Project Charter Develop Project Management Plan Direct and Manage Project Work
  • Monitor and Control Project Work
  • Perform Integrated Change Control
Close Project or Phase

According to the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (5th edition), “Direct and Manage Project Work is the process of leading and performing the work defined in the project management plan and implementing approved changes to achieve the project’s objectives” (p. 79).  In essence, this is the process of executing the work.

With that sentence, I’ve simplified a process that touches upon every other Knowledge Area:

  • Communication (Monitor performance to the Communications Management Plan)
  • Cost (Capture work performance data such as Earned Value, quality, and/or technical metrics)
  • Human Resources (Train and manage team)
  • Procurement (Monitor and manage suppliers; work to establish partnerships with them)
  • Quality (Capture work performance data such as Earned Value, quality, and/or technical metrics)
  • Risk (Track, monitor, and mitigate risk and response activities)
  • Scope (Perform activities.  Issue and implement change requests, as necessary)
  • Stakeholders (Monitor stakeholder engagement; adjust as necessary)
  • Time (Update the schedule with actuals and revised forecast data)

What can a small project tailor out?  Unfortunately not much.  With this process, the difference between a small project and a large one will be scale.  For example, the smaller project most likely does not have the same number of stakeholders with whom to communicate.  So, although the small project will still need to manage communications and stakeholders, it may take considerably less time and effort to do so.

Another area where the small project may be able to save time is in Procurement.  A smaller project may only require COTS or Commercial Off-The-Shelf materials, thus obviating the need to establish or manage partnership with suppliers.

Check this space in two days’ time.  I’ll conclude the Integration Management Knowledge Area with a discussion of the final three processes in Integration Management:  Monitor and Control Project Work, Perform Integrated Change Control, and Close Project or Phase.  See you then!

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