Integration Management – Don’t Let Your Plates Fall
The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) A Guide to The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), Third Addition states Project Risk Management includes “the processes and activities needed to identify, define, combine, unify, and coordinate the various processes and project management activities within the Project Management Process Groups (p.77) PMBOK also states, “Integration, in the context of managing a project, is making choices about where to concentrate resources and effort on any given day, anticipating potential issues, dealing with these issues before they become critical, and coordinating work for the overall project good (p.77).
A common pitfall that Program / Project Leaders often incur is keeping an eye on all of the balls associated with your program and/or project. Many of you may not be old enough to remember the Ed Sullivan show (back in the 1960’s) but, there was a guy (I don’t remember his name) who spun multiple plates on sticks and kept them all spinning without losing a plate. I cannot think of a better description of the Program/Project Leader’s job. Think of each plate being as a project management knowledge area like scope management, time management, cost management, etc. Often, Program/Project Leaders are so focused on the problem of the hour, other “plates” don’t get the attention and fall. The result, the Program / Project Leader spends their day going from one crisis to another and does not get to enjoy the journey of the Program / Project.
As a Program or, Project Leader, you need to remind yourself daily, to think about all of the knowledge areas associated with your project, so that you don’t find out about an area that requires a little attention. Remember, in my Troubled Project Blog I mentioned bad news is like Accounts Receivable, it gets worst with age. Loosing focus on each of the project management knowledge areas get worst with age. On any give issue, you will always have to do more work tomorrow, than you would have today. So, keep your focus not only on the issue of the day but, also on the big picture.
If you follow these hints, you will find that you will have fewer dropped plates on your program and projects.