Integration Knowledge Area

Small Projects Need Glue: Project Integration Management

Project Integration Management is the only Project Management Institute (PMI) Knowledge Area with processes in all five Process Groups.  This makes sense: it is the glue that unifies the separate parts of the project into one, cohesive whole and therefore it spans the entire period of performance.

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


Due to fewer resources and co-location, the Project Manager (PM) of a small effort may already feel everyone is on the same page and skip some of the rigor defined above.  In some cases, that’s a wise move because small projects do not have the labor, budget, or need to fully implement everything in this Knowledge Area.  In other instances, it will be detrimental to the success of the project.

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 talk about each process, 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.  Today I’ll discuss Develop Project Charter and Develop Project Management Plan.

Develop Project Charter

This process is crucial to complete for projects of all sizes because it establishes the high-level scope of work, identifies major milestones, lists success criteria, defines the budget, and examines risks, assumptions and constraints.  The output is a foundational document that will be used to build more detailed project materials as time progresses, such as the detailed Integrated Master Schedule (IMS).  Not only is the Charter invaluable because it sets the parameters of the project and may be used as a reference and guide, but it is also a useful on-boarding, orientation document for new team members.  No tailoring here.

Develop Project Management Plan

Here is where we begin to see some opportunities for tailoring.  Think of the Project Management Plan as a book with a chapter dedicated to each Knowledge Management Area.  This book contains specific information about how the project will implement Time Management, for example.  That chapter could discuss how the team will create the schedule, manage, and maintain it.  It may also identify roles and responsibilities.

In the case of a small project, it’s possible that organizational process assets will suffice for these specifics.  That is, if the company has already established and documented standards for schedule development and maintenance, then the small project can simply state it will follow them.  No customization required.


Next post I’ll address Direct and Manage Project Work.  See you then.

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  1. […] 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.  Part Two focused on […]

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