6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Project Integration Management

I am starting a project of going through the 6th Edition of the PMBOK® Guide and blogging about its contents.    The 6th Edition was released on September 22nd by the Project Management Institute, and now that I am done reviewing the first three chapters on projects, the environment in which they are done, and the role of the project manager, I am excited to start the fourth chapter today on the first of the 10 knowledge areas, that of Project Integration Management.

Before going through the 7 processes that are included in this knowledge area, I wanted to state some preliminary ideas presented by PMI in their 6th Edition of the PMBOK® Guide.

Project managers integrate both horizontally and vertically

This point is described on p. 66 of the Guide.

Horizontal integration:  A project manager integrates the team to work together on the project, and integration here also means integrating the various processes from the 10 knowledge areas.   For example, each knowledge area produces its own management plan which is then integrated into the all-encompassing Project Management Plan in one of the key Integration Management processes, 4.2 Develop Project management Plan.

Vertical integration:   A project manager works with the project sponsor to understand the strategic objectives and business case of the project to ensure that the project objectives and the deliverables that are the outcome of the project remain aligned with those of the program, portfolio, and business operations of the organization.

Project managers integrate at three levels:  cognitive, process, and context

This point is described on p. 67 of the Guide.


Cognitive level:   project managers needs to be proficient in all Project Management knowledge areas, in business management skills, and in leadership skills.   These are the components of the PMI Talent Triangle® which a project manager needs to integrate in order to have “full-spectrum competence” (my term).

Process level:   project managers need to integrate the various processes in all knowledge areas and process groups.   That is why integration management is so important a knowledge area for project managers because that is exactly what it does.

Context level:   as mentioned in the previous comment on vertical integration, a project manager needs to be aware of the project context (the strategic objectives and business case that are the basis of the project being done), and the organizational context (the various departments of the organization, the various business units in the organization based in different locations, or even multiple organizations for projects being done in partnership).

If this all this seems daunting, don’t worry:   take it one step at a time and master Integration Management!   Before we get into the weeds by discussing the various processes in Integration Management, lets discuss some of the trends and emerging practices in Integration Management.   That will be the subject of the next post…


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