how to improve work processes
For the successful management and completion of the project, you need to consider what actions need to be performed at each stage. Basically, there are 5 stages in PMBoK:
These 5 stages are also called process groups. You can find out more about them in a general article. To move the project forward, specific processes are performed at each stage. But the leader does not invent them on his own. There are 49 processes in total, they are fixed in PMBoK and divided into 10 areas of knowledge.
Each stage consists of processes that belong to one or more knowledge areas. Let’s represent the relationship of 3 terms in the form of a table:
Knowledge Area #1
Specific process 1.1.
Specific process 1.2.
Specific process 1.3.
Knowledge Area #2
Specific process 2.1.
Specific process 2.2.
Specific process 2.3.
In this article, we’ll talk about project integration management. This is one of the most underestimated areas of knowledge, but at the same time important. Let’s analyze what its feature is, and what processes it consists of.
What is Integration Management
Imagine that the project is a house, and we are trying to build it. Then the integration processes are the foundation that is needed so that the building does not collapse during construction. Project integration management includes steps that are aimed at identifying, combining and regulating various processes within the 5 stages of the project, and also includes issues of distribution of funds, search for agreements.
The purpose of integration is to make sure that all aspects of the project are thought through and aligned. If shortcomings are found, integration helps to eliminate them quickly and with minimal losses. In general, this is what the manager should be doing throughout all the work on the project.
If the leader pays due attention to this area of knowledge and its processes, then the remaining 9 areas will work together and bring benefits, not harm. Let’s consider each process separately.
A project charter is a document that captures information about a project: concept, scope, team composition, and responsibilities of its members.
Creating a charter is the first process in project management. Without it, performers will not be able to start work, and the customer will not have an idea about the timing and necessary resources.
shows purpose and results;
legally approves the start of the project;
determines the time frame;
identifies risks and determines ways to prevent them;
simplifies the interaction of stakeholders.
Stages of creating a charter
Thanks to a properly drawn up charter, the initiation will be completed successfully and will give rise to the further development of the project. Let’s see what steps are needed to generate the document:
Form an idea about the project . At this stage, we define goals and purpose. It is important to formulate at least 5 goals for the system SMART and list their results. Example: build a country house for rent.
Identify stakeholders . When building a house, they can be customers, sponsors, future residents and team members: builders, interior designers, window installers.
Hand out duties . Create a chart that lists who is responsible for the project, their roles and responsibilities. For example, Dmitry is an electrician, he needs to run electricity throughout the house, install sockets and connect a meter.
Highlight the main stages and the designation of terms . For example, laying the foundation, erecting walls and roofing.
Designate required resources. Indicate all the resources that will be needed in the project: special equipment, wood, roofing, street lights. The more detailed the resources are described, the more accurately the budget will be calculated.
Calculate budget. Make a list of expenses: delivery of materials to the site, work of builders, creation of a 3D model of the house.
Risk Analysis. Plan your work with risk in mind. For example, the delivery of building materials will be delayed or their prices will increase.
Project management plan
The project management plan is a document that describes how to carry out the project, how the success of each stage will be evaluated, and what actions need to be taken to complete the project.
The plan cannot be made according to a template. Its content depends on your goals, available resources, complexity of tasks and direction of activity. Please note that the plan may change. For example, new criteria for evaluating profitability will appear or you will have to look for new suppliers. Always keep in mind that things can go wrong. Another field of knowledge helps to cope with this – Management of risks.
The management plan is developed through a series of integrated processes until the end of the project. Without it, the work will not move forward. The plan is needed to:
establish interaction with stakeholders;
coordinate the work of the team;
solve potential problems before the start of the project;
choose the right programs, techniques, tools and team.
The output of the process is a management plan that the team updates as necessary.
Types of management plan
The management plan consists of basic plans and workers.
Basic Plan takes into account the progress of the project. It can be modified by the change management committee or by the customer. This only happens if the edits are consistent.
Based on the baseline, the team creates work plans, which regulate the individual parts of the project: deadlines, resources. Their purpose is to describe what actions need to be performed and how, as well as to determine the composition of the team. The manager makes changes to the work plan.
Leadership and performance management
The process involves the implementation of the actions that are indicated in the project plan. This step is aimed at:
Recruitment, training and management of team members. Example: to build a house, we choose builders with at least 5 years of experience and a good portfolio.
Risk management and elimination. For example, if the deadlines start to fail due to the sudden rainy season.
Supplier management. The project team monitors the regular supply of wood and the quality of materials.
Working on changes. For example, it turned out that the terrain is complex, and the house must be built on piles.
Monitoring and control of works
Project work monitoring and control is a monitoring process that helps to control and regulate the implementation of all activities to achieve goals.
The purpose of monitoring is to analyze the processes in the project area. This includes capturing, measuring and communicating performance data. Constant monitoring helps the management team to look inside the project and identify problem areas. The process involves the following steps:
Comparison of the actual progress of the project with the plan. For example, a month after the start of the project, the foundation and walls should be built near the house. But that did not happen.
Evaluation of implementation to identify the reasons that prevent the project from moving forward. The construction of the roof was delayed due to the lack of materials.
Generate forecasts to update current project cost and schedule information. The project of the house will be delayed for one month and another 70,000 rubles will be required.
Overseeing the processing of approved changes as they become available. The customer decided to use imported materials for the roof. It is important to follow how these changes will be made to the documents.
Performing overall change control
As the project progresses, circumstances may arise that will prevent the project from moving forward. For example, the price of building materials has risen sharply. It is impossible to predict all risks at the planning stage. It is important not to skip the change management process so that work is not put on hold.
Change management is the process of reviewing any proposed changes: financial, temporal, technical. It is based on the formation of change requests, their approval and execution, as well as the work of the change committee.
The project does not change at the click of a finger. Stakeholders should first familiarize themselves with the new proposals and evaluate their necessity. To do this, customers, contractors and sponsors get together and find out why changes are required to the project, what they will affect and whether new risks will arise. All edits are recorded in documents.
The meeting usually has a change management committee, which is formed and approved in the early stages. If the changes are minor, the manager can make a decision on his own.
Getting the finished product does not mean completing the project. It is impossible to consider that all work on the project has ended until the customer approves the result. The manager must analyze whether all the stages have been completed in full and whether the goals have been achieved, as well as compare the desired outcome and the actual one.
It is important to close all financial issues, draw up a report. And most importantly, get feedback from the customer and analyze the shortcomings and errors that the team encountered. In some cases, organize support for the final product.
Project integration management is the backbone of successful project building. Each of the 6 processes will help to avoid failure, and if risks arise, quickly eliminate them. Don’t forget to monitor and follow up on product compliance to bring the project to completion and get a quality result.