Whether you love the thrill of leading a team towards the final goal post or you dread the deadlines, delays, and changes of scope that can come along with projects, we can all use some tips to manage projects better.That’s where Integrated Project Management comes in: a holistic framework to manage and complete your projects better.So let’s get right into it so you can get more out of your project management plan. We'll show you what Integrated Project Management is, its five stages, why it matters, and a couple other project management techniques worth considering.Let's dive in!
So what is Integrated Project Management?
Integrated Project Management (IPM) is a holistic project management methodology for tracking and managing projects of medium to large scale. The basic MO of IPM is to make certain that all stakeholders, from the IT team to the creatives, understand the elements of each project and are on the same page.IPM serves to solve the problem of different internal teams dragging elements out of control. And yes, you can say it’s easier said than done — this is why a good project management consultant is worth their weight in gold.But by learning some of the core concepts of Integrated Project Management, your company can accomplish more and make sure your upcoming projects finish on or below budget and on time.
What are the stages of Integrated Project Management?
So glad you asked. While these are not set in stone, typically you can see an IPM broken down into these five stages of the project lifecycle.
- Vision and goals
- Project monitoring
Vision and goals
It starts with the Integrated Project Management charter. This clearly defines the goals, vision, and the roadmap for the project team. The initiatives and deliverables have to be clear, and the scope must be clearly defined.It should incorporate the project risks and unknowns as well as clear milestones for each project section. If some random person read the project charter, the project goals, and project lifecycle should be immediately clear.Parts of the project, like the project scope for example, are checked against "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge" (the PMBOK Guide). (That ranks as one of the top acronyms ever.)
In the planning stage, the framework or infrastructure of the project goals have to be met while taking into careful consideration the time constraints, budget constraints and resource management obstacles. This needs to get into the specifics on how the project will be done on time. Team members and risk management (this is a big one for new project managers) need to be defined carefully.
Project execution is where the rubber meets the road and the long-haul work starts. Each task should be divided into smaller pieces using a work breakdown structure (WBS) to make sure every required action is accounted for. It’s helpful to set up workflows to measure and monitor tasks completed by team members.
As management expert Peter Drucker said, “What gets measured gets managed.” This is why knowing the current project status at every step is critical to its success.The management process at this stage will determine how successful the project is later. To have a successful project portfolio management, you need to know which metrics are canaries in the coal mine alerting you to potential roadblocks or issues. An experienced project management consultant can help oversee the entire project.Project monitoring can track expected hiccups, delays, budget demands, and more so those blocks or delays are handled to get things back on track again.For example, have there been several change requests to the project? If so, certain methodologies like change control are implemented (where each change is evaluated then either accepted, rejected or deferred.)
At the closure stage, the deliverables are handed to the stakeholders, and the project is closed out. (Hopefully on budget.)Any issues that came up with the project will need to be addressed for future projects. It’s a great stage to add in what you’ve learned in the PMBOK knowledge areas you might be lacking or were unaddressed during the project management lifecycle. This helps streamline and systemize your processes for future projects. Always consider which elements you can streamline for future projects.Then we start again with the next project.
So why is Integrated Project Management important?
Projects are prone to bloat. Whether that is different departments bickering over who did more, or human resources demanding new hires to finish on time, projects are an unwieldy beast.As in life, there are setbacks, compromises, milestones, successes and failures. (And maybe a few too many Gantt charts.)Integrated project management helps assure that at the end of the project, you have achieved what you set out to achieve by breaking down a project into a cohesive, thorough framework that offers accountability.Project integration management helps you make sure things don’t fall through the cracks. It offers transparency and oversight in a way that WeWork could have used. When using Integrated Project Management as a system, you should be able to replace any cog (or Project Manager) and have the project continue on successfully as planned.
Other project management techniques
IMP is not the only game in town. For example, some people subscribe to Waterfall project management, a linear method that requires meticulous planning and does not thrive as well under project hiccups.Agile is another method that some businesses use. Agile is an iterative approach to managing projects and deliverables and breaks them down into smaller subsections called sprints.No matter which project management philosophy you use, you need to have clear project objectives from the outset.
Start planning successful projects with IPM
Integrated project management is a methodology that helps you get optimal results from your projects without the scope, cost, or time bloating out of control.The IPM life cycle includes these five stages:
- Vision and goals
- Project monitoring
Try using it with your next project and see how IPM can take your project to the next level.Managing projects is always going to be stressful. So try to limit stressors and friction inside your company that you can. Another big stressor can be meetings — transcribing the meeting notes and highlighting the takeaways can feel like you are doing busy work rather than focusing on the stuff that really moves your project forward.Take away the pain of taking notes in meetings with Anchor.aiAnchor AI not only effortlessly transcribes your meetings, but it also uses advanced artificial intelligence to extract the most important, actionable items from your meetings — to help you focus on what really matters.So now that you know how to get more out of your projects, get more from your meetings with Anchor.AI.