One topic which causes the most confusion, particularly in PMP exam questions, is that of the Integration Knowledge area.
In this short article, I want to compare and contrast the two processes, Monitor and Control Project Work, and Perform Integrated Change Control.
Let’s start with Monitor and Control Project Work.
The main objective of this process is to check that the work being performed to create the project deliverables, and that the methods being used plus the progress remains in line with the baseline plan.
Whenever progress is not in line with the plan then the project manager will need to take some form of corrective action.
The key to understanding integrated change control is that this compares actual work results against the plan, and then makes any adjustments required in order to ensure that the plan and the actual results are in harmony.
These actions or take place within integrated change control. In summary, Monitor and Control Project Work Is all about managing the way that the project scope is executed.
As an example, suppose that you need to change the number of resources being used on future work, then you could issue and change request to modify the use of such future resources. The main inputs to integrated change control are the performance reports that will provide the evidence that such changes are necessary, and allow you to determine if it is necessary to take any such corrective actions.
Included in these performance reports are the forecasts of future project performance, and these will help you determine appropriate preventative action to ‘head-off’ such problems before they arise in the first place. Project Managers need to be proactive!
The two major outputs from integrated change control are the change requests mentioned above, and the main output will be updates to incorporate such changes within the project management plan.
Every single change that is requested or otherwise, will be processed through the Perform Integrated Change Control process.
Integrated change control is where the impact of any change is assessed against the project, and this is the reason why this is called ‘integrated’.It is because if a change were to occur in one part of a project, it needs to be assessed across the whole of the project.
The main difference between integrated change control and Monitor and Control Project Work, is that whereas Perform Integrated Change Control focuses on managing any change to project scope – Monitor and Control Project Work focuses on managing the way that such scope is executed.
For example, if a new application is requested to be added to an IT solution project, then such a change request would need to be re-evaluated via the Perform Integrated Change Control process to ensure that the impact to the rest of the system is known and understood before or such a change is approved or otherwise.
The main inputs here in the above situation would be the change request itself, and the main tool/technique used where the be change control board used to make a decision.
The main outputs will be the change requests status update, which is a decision on what to do next. Changes can either be approved or rejected.
In the case of the former, they will be fed back into the Direct and Manage Project Execution process within the Executing process group.
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David spent 25 years as a senior project manager for US multinationals and now develops a wide range of project-related downloadable video training products under the Primer brand. In addition, David runs training seminars across the world, and is a prolific writer on the many topics of project management. He currently lives in Spain with his wife Jude.