This paper was submitted for publication 2/28/06 and is copyright to Colin Bentley© 2006.
Published hereJuly 2006.

Note | Introduction | The Guide, Chapter 1 - Introduction / General Scope of Project Management
Chapter 2 - Project Life Cycle and Organization
Chapter 3 - Overview of Project Management Processes for a Project / The Guide's Individual Processes
Chapter 4 - Project Integration Method | Chapter 5 - Project Scope Management
Chapters 6, 7 and 8 | Chapters 9, 10, 11 and 12

Chapter 4 - Project Integration Method

This chapter discusses how the various detailed processes interact with one another and how the creation or updating of a management product may require parts of several processes to be used. The Guide identifies seven management processes that will require this integration:

  • Develop Project Charter
  • Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement
  • Develop Project Management Plan
  • Direct and Manage Project Execution
  • Monitor and Control Project Work
  • Integrated Change Control
  • Close Project.

These seven are processes within the five Process Groups. This is most confusing and seems an unnecessary complication to repeat the seven - with their inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs - when they have already been described in the previous chapter. But the included flow diagram showing how they interact appears to be useful, in spite of a footnote that claims "Not all process interactions and data flow among the processes are shown."[19]

4.1 Develop Project Charter
This is similar to the PRINCE2 Project Initiation Document (PID), although in PRINCE2 the PID also includes the Project Plan and Scope. It is worth repeating that in PRINCE2 the PID is developed in the initiation stage and the dynamic parts of it reviewed at each end stage assessment. In The Guide, both of these occurrences are contained within the one process.

4.2 Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement
This section gives a list of the required parts of The Guide's scope statement, a list that reads like the table of contents to a "Project Brief".

4.3 Develop Project Management Plan
This describes the plan and its subsidiary plans. Subsidiary plans are not the PRINCE2 breakdown into "Stage and Team Plans", but components of the Project Management Plan, such as milestone list and resource calendar. Some of the items are dealt with in PRINCE2 in their own sub-processes, such as "Communication Plan", "Risk Register" and "Quality Management Plan", but essentially both methods cover the needs of the plan. There is nothing in this section of The Guide that suggests there might be a need for different levels of plan, or when these might be developed.

4.4 Direct and Manage Project Execution
This Project Management Knowledge Area matches The Guide's Executing Process Group. It contains:

  • Preventive and corrective actions
  • Approved change requests
  • Approved and validated defect repair
  • Administrative closure procedure

Together with Monitoring and Controlling Project Work it covers the Project Manager's work in implementing a phase of the project. In PRINCE2 this is covered by part of the Controls component.

Change control is also included in this Knowledge Area of The Guide whereas in PRINCE2 it has its own component.

An interesting item of concern is that under Direct and Manage Project Execution: Outputs, Work Performance Information (Guide subsection, it suggests gathering information on "percent physically complete of the in-progress schedule activities".[20] This concept has been derided in many project management circles as leading to the "90% complete" syndrome that tends to be very subjective and usually very optimistic.

4.5 Monitor and Control Project Work
This section of The Guide contains:

  • Performance against plan
  • Whether corrective action is needed
  • Risk analysis and management
  • Status reporting
  • Providing forecasts
  • Monitoring approved changes.

Both this and Integrated Change Control are Knowledge Areas that relate to the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group. It fits alongside the Knowledge Area: Direct and Manage Project Execution, and the two will be iterative and cyclical.

By comparison, PRINCE2 covers these items across three of its components: "Controls", "Management of Risk", and "Change Control". Again, this detailed process gives good detail of what needs to be done and what the work should cover, but it is not specific in terms of any division of responsibilities or how these things are done.

4.6 Integrated Change Control
This section includes mention of a change control board, similar to the PRINCE2 option of a change authority. It also touches on configuration management, but only briefly, whereas PRINCE2 dedicates an entire component to it. One concern is that aspects of change control are divided over this and the two previous detailed processes.

4.7 Close Project
Depending on the timing, this covers the closure of a phase or the closure of the project. PRINCE2 does not have a comparable component. Project Closure in PRINCE2 is dealt with as a process and the subject forms part of the Controls component. PRINCE2 does cover everything mentioned in the Close Project detailed process and, in fact, covers more documentation, such as Follow-on Action Recommendations and a Post-project Review Plan.

Chapter 3 - The Guide's Individual Processes  Chapter 3 - The Guide's Individual Processes

19. The Guide, p80
20. Ibid, p94
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