Integrated project plan is made up of several plans in one (see Figure 30). The integrated project plan serves as the reference guide for the project manager and team members to manage and execute the project agenda. To create a comprehensive integrated project plan, you need the participations of the core project team and other key stakeholders. They help to identify and establish the key elements of the integrated project plan and provide the required commitments to implement the agreed plan. Figure 32 shows a sample workflow that guides the creation, review, update, approvals and baseline of the integrated project plan. Once the project kick-off meeting has been successfully completed, the next key step is the project planning meeting(s).
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein
Figure 30 : Deliver Result – Key Steps framework
Key steps to successful planning meeting(s), similar to the kick-off meeting, include:
- Establish clear meeting agenda. The project charter, or project agenda/mandate in the absence of a project charter, and the establishment of the core project team are prerequisites for conducting the project planning meeting(s).
- Identify and invite the key participants – the core project team and other stakeholders.
- Provide coordination and facilitation to ensure orderliness and avoid derailment of the meeting in order to keep things on track.
- Brainstorm, analyze and decide. Separate ideas/options generation from analysis in order to take advantage of diverse and alternate ideas/options.
- Obtain agreements from key stakeholders, particularly the core team, sponsor and champion, and ensure their commitments to the contents of the integrated project plan.
- Document discussions and inputs to create the plans.
- Communicate documentation and reports to participants. Follow-up on action items and resolve issues/concerns.
- Obtain feedback and conduct follow-up sessions, if required.
Integrated project plan is a comprehensive plan, which is required for the monitoring and controlling, executing and closing of the project. Integrated project plan could be prepared as a single document, and used as the authorized guide for end-to-end management of the project. However, for convenience, the plans can be kept as separate documents accompanied by a single index-type document for referencing the separate plans.
Figure 32 – Integrated Project Plan Workflow
The main elements of the integrated project plan include the following:
- Scope management (Deliverables / Work packages / WBS): work packages, usually expressed in a work breakdown structure, are the complete set of work components that need to be performed and completed to fulfill the desired project goals.
- Time management (project schedule): defines the work packages, activities, tasks, dependencies and resource assignment to ensure timely delivery of the work packages and associated deliverables.
- Governance: defines project organization structure and relationship, roles and responsibilities, and interfaces. It could be part of the communication plan.
- Communication plan: defines what, when and how information will be managed and shared with the stakeholders to ensure effective stakeholders, including project team, relationship management.
- Risks management plan: describes how risks will be identified, categorized, analyzed and mitigated; who will be involved and their roles, including the escalation procedure.
- Stakeholders / human capital management plan: defines human capital assignment matrix, availability and absence management, conflict resolution and stakeholder influence matrix (optional).
- Change management plan: defines how you will manage (respond to, analyze and control) changes, particularly scope change and its implications for cost, quality and time. It includes stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities in change management.
- Financial management / procurement management plan: defines procurement plan that is applicable to your project needs. Consider your organization procurement policies and procedures, vendors’ selection, request for information or proposal preparation, bid analysis, contract awards and administration guidelines. Define budget limits and associated delegation of authority to ensure fiscal responsibilities and include the financial approvals turn-around time as part of the planning process. Also, identify delivery and payment schedule, including billing and invoice payment process.
- Quality management plan: defines how to ensure the project deliver the product based on the agreed quality. It includes the guideline to ensure that the performance measures are controlled within the established performance thresholds.
- Project interdependency plan: identifies interdependencies between your project and other projects. It defines how to track and monitor interdependent activities to ensure that commitments between projects are fulfilled.
- You may adjust this list to reflect your organization standard. However, above list should suffice to enable you to effectively manage and deliver your project successfully.
Table 11 includes a reference or link to the integrated project plan template.
Once an integrated project plan has been created, it should be base-lined and approved by the authorized person(s). If the scope changed, particularly the project schedule, always re-baseline the integrated project plan.