PMP Certification Study Notes 4 – Project Integration Management

PMP Integration Management

Introduction: This part of the PMP® exam study notes is based on chapter 4 of PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition. More information on my PMP® certification exam preparation can be found at my PMP® exam and certification journey here.

  • integration management is needed when processes interacts
  • to identify,combine, unify and coordinate various processes/activities and manage the interdependencies
  • communication is most important
  • a PM Plan not meeting requirements is a defect

Develop Project Charter

  • formally authorize the project and allow the PM to apply organizational resources
  • well-defined project start and project boundaries
  • project charter is a several page document including high level information of the project: project background, business case, goals (S.M.A.R.T. specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound), who is and the authority of the project manager, budget, risk, stakeholders, deliverables, approval criteria, etc.
  • can link the project to other works in the organization through portfolio/program management
  • signed off by the sponsor (the one who supply the money/resources)
  • agreements: either a contract (for external parties), letter of intent, service level agreement, etc. (can be legally binding or NOT)
  • a charter is NOT a contract because there is no consideration
  • PMO may provide the expert judgement
  • Facilitation techniques includes brainstorming, conflict resolution, problem solving, meeting, etc.

Develop Project Management Plan

  • the project management plan is a formal written document on how the project is executed, monitored and closed, including all subsidiary management plans (scope, requirements, change, configuration, schedule, cost, quality, process improvement, human resource, communication, risk, procurement) and documents (cost baseline, schedule baseline, scope baseline, performance measurement baseline, cost estimate, schedule, responsibility for each deliverable, staff requirements) and some additional documents/plans (selected PM processes and level of implementation)
  • the contents to be tailored by the PM (tailoring) to suit each project
  • created by PM, signed off by destined KEY stakeholders (e.g. project sponsor, project team, project manager)
  • may be progressively elaborated in iterative phases (outputs from other processes), this must be the final process/iteration to consolidate the PM Plan
  • when the project management plan is baselined (i.e. validated and then signed off by key stakeholders), it is subject to formal change control and is used as a basis for comparison to the actual plan
  • after baselining, the senior management must be consulted if these high level constraints are to be altered (whether to use the management reserves)
  • can be re-baselined if significant changes are seen (scope change, internal changes/variances (for the project execution), external factors) <- needed to be approved by sponsors/stakeholders/senior management, must understand the underlying reasons first (built-in costs is not usually a legitimate reason)
  • cost baseline (specific time-phased budget), schedule baseline (-> knows when to spend money), scope baseline (includes scope statement, WBS, WBS dictionary): whether preventive/corrective/defect repair actions are needed
  • the performance measurement baseline (PMB) is an approved scope-schedule-cost plan for the project work (to use in earned value management), it includes contingency reserve but excludes management reserves
  • configuration management (works with change control management plan), document all change versions of project deliverables and completed project components, PMIS includes: Configuration Management System (contains the updated deliverable/project specifications and processes) and Change Control System (contains formal documents for tracking changes)
  • configuration management system contains the most updated version of project documents
  • other project documents NOT included in the project management plan:
  • Kick-off Meeting: at beginning of the project/phase, participants including project team+stakeholders, element including project review, responsibility assignment matrix, participation of stakeholders, escalation path, frequency of meetings

Direct and Manage Project Work

  • create project deliverables, acquire/assign/train staff, manage vendors, collect data for reports, document lessons learned
  • implement approved process improvement plans and changes, change requests include corrective actions, preventive actions, defect repair and updates (all considered to be change requests)
  • if the PM discovers a defect, he/she should instruct the team to make defect repair during this process (need change request but may be approved by the PM only (if stipulated in PM Plan for minor change))
  • approved change requests – approved in the perform integrated change control, may include preventive, corrective and defect repair actions
  • change requests may arise as a result of implementing approved change requests
  • PM should be of service to the team, not a boss
  • a work authorization system (part of EEF) defines approval levels needed to issue work authorization (to allocate the work) and is used to prevent scope creep as formal approval must be sought before work begins
  • Stakeholder risk tolerance is part of EEF
  • Face-to-face meeting is considered to be most effective
  • The PM Plan can be considered as a deliverable
  • most of the time of project spends here

Monitor and Control Project Work

  • validated changes – actions taken as a result of the approved change requests are validated against the original change requests, to ensure correct implementation
  • corrective and preventive actions usually don’t affect the baseline, only affect the performance against the baseline
  • defect repair: considered as rework, deliverable not accepted, either rework or scrap, strongly advise defect prevention to defect repair
  • the work performance info is fed from all other control processes (e.g. control schedule, control stakeholder engagement, control communications, control costs, control quality, etc.)
  • variance analysis is NOT a forecast method

Perform Integrated Change Control

  • the PM should influence the factors that cause project change
  • changes arises as a result of: missed requirements, views of stakeholders, poorly designed WBS, misunderstanding, inadequate risk assessment
  • all the process is documented in the change log
  • tracked using a change management system, also affect configuration management system
  • configuration control: changes to deliverables and processes
  • change control: identify/document/approve changes
  • configuration management activities: configuration identification, configuration status accounting, configuration verification / audit to ensure the latest configuration is adopted and delivered
  • for a change request: 1) identify need, 2) assess the impact, response and alternatives, 3) create CR, 4) Meet with stakeholders, 5) obtain approval from CCB (change control board) or PM as defined in roles and responsibility document/PM Plan, 6) request more funding if needed
  • customers/sponsors may need to approve certain decisions by CCB (if they are not part of CCB)
  • communicate the resolutions (approve or reject) to change requests to stakeholders
  • Burnup chart vs Burndown chart

Close Project or Phase

  • ensure all procurements are closed (in the Close Procurements Process) before formal closure of the project/phase
  • create the project closure documents
  • formal sign off by designated stakeholders/customer
  • obtain formal approval to close out the project/phase (administrative closure)
  • obtain approval and deliver the deliverables (maybe with training)
  • finish and archive documentations, lessons learnt and update to organizational process asset
  • if the contract comes with a warranty, make sure that changes during the project are evaluated against the origin clauses, ensure alignment of the warranty and changes
  • to close a project as neatly and permanently possible
  • for multi-phase projects, this process will be performed once for every phase end and once for the whole project (5 times for project with 4 phases)
  • litigation can be further pursued after the closure


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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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6 Responses

  1. Neyda says:

    Hi Edward,

    There is a lot of emphasis on ITTO from all learning institutions. Do you have any tricks to learn these? I have spreadsheet with the breakdown, but I’m not going to try and memorize 250+ ITTO items. Thanks!

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Neyda,

      In the real PMP Exam, the ITTO’s do not account for a large part of the paper. I only had below 5 questions that asked about which ITTOs for which process, etc. There is no need to recite them all. If you have already acquired the knowledge required for the PMP Exam by going through the PMBOK Guide and PMP exam prep courses/book, you should have enough knowledge to answer most of the ITTO’s questions correctly.

      Wish you PMP success!

  2. Kevin says:

    Can you explain this sentence?
    Microsoft Project is considered by PMI as close to a bar chart, not an PMIS

    • Edward Chung says:

      I heard this comment from a PMP course that I have attended. PMIS is defined as a computer-driven system/paper-based system for facilitating project development and control. It should include more capabilities than just the Microsoft Project. This comment aims to alert project managers not to think Microsoft Project as the only PMIS.

      However, in hindsight, since PMI does not actually limit what the PMIS should include, for very small project, Microsoft Project should suffice as the PMIS. I have already deleted the sentence from the above.

  3. Hina says:

    excellent PMBOK summary. you saved my study time 🙂

  4. Greg says:

    Do project document updates require a approved change request before making the change to the project document / update ? In the real world all project documents are in the configuration management system, and would request a approval to push in a change. However, I don’t find any reference to this in PMBOK5 while updating the stakeholder/risk register or other documents ? Appreciate your explanation with some examples of project documents.

November 12, 2013