Integrated Project Management

Duncan Ross Russell
Every project is different; with a different variety of clients and stakeholders, a different variety of objectives and success factors and a different skill set within teams.

Achieving full integrated project management therefore involves piecing together a new jigsaw of expectations, skills and personalities for each project. Integrated project management is a philosophy that recognises the different make up of each project and applies strong leadership to a team, encouraging a collaborative working ethos with clarity of purpose and strategy to deliver a successful project.

It empowers the project team, cutting down on costly interfaces and driving creative efficiencies. Through integrated project management the team will deliver a better, timelier product that is more efficient and that will realise quality improvements and cost savings.

A Clear Purpose

Success is dependent on a clear understanding of the business benefit and the definitions of success from each stakeholders’ perspective. Only when the team shares an understanding of where they are going and what that destination looks like is there any hope of all getting there. Integrated project management leads the process of precipitating a shared understanding of the business benefits to be delivered, what success looks like and how it will be measured.

A Clear Strategy

Reaching your destination within the limitations of available time, budget and resources is dependent on the ability to identify both opportunities and obstacles. Knowing where you are going is only the first step; you also need to know how you are going to get there and have the skills, the resources and, perhaps most importantly, the attitude to deal with the unforeseen along the way.

Conventional strategic thinking focuses on the boundaries between professional disciplines and work breakdown structures which limits freedom of action. Integrated project management develops a project delivery strategy that empowers team members to understand their freedoms in identifying opportunities and obstacles, which encourages innovation.

Collaborative Working

Integrated project management provides the glue that holds the team together in delivering success. Collaboration is a major element of this ethos; developing strong teams is the foundation of a successful project. By working together as ‘one team’, the experience and knowledge from all parties can be shared and exchanged and common goals and objectives can be established.

Strong Leadership

Successful projects are not simply managed but are lead in a way that integrates the needs of the task, individual and the team in order to maximise the opportunities of achieving success. Strong and effective leadership not only achieves excellence in delivery but also in team culture and behaviours. Mutual regard, trust, integrity, setting an appropriate example and encouraging team-based behaviours and positive attitudes creates a winning project environment.

Through integrated project management, leading effectively, establishing a collaborative ethos and making the necessary investment to define and communicate both a clear purpose and an achievable and flexible strategy, project success can be delivered.

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