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What is an Integrated Master Plan?

An integrated master plan is a top-level document used to help organize, structure, and manage projects. The plan contains three main elements:

  • Events 
  • Accomplishments
  • Criteria

In an integrated master plan, the desired results of a project are outlined. Each one of these deliverables is tied to an event. This event is not a calendar date, but rather a specific point of assessment that marks the completion of a significant accomplishment. The criteria include the evidence that an accomplishment has been achieved. 

The integrated master plan is not to be confused with the integrated master schedule. The latter is based on actual calendar dates and provides extra details to help execute the original plan.  

An integrated master plan example could be a national healthcare system’s roadmap for administering a vaccine. The vaccination of an entire age group would count as a significant accomplishment, with an event occurring after the last person in each group is vaccinated. The criteria would include official certification of vaccination, which would be uploaded to the nation’s online health records.

What is included in an integrated master plan?

Each integrated master plan consists of five sections. They are: 

  • Technical Approach Summary (TAS): The TAS outlines the key objectives of a project. This incorporates the available resources needed to achieve the project goals. The TAS also includes any regulatory, licensing, or technical requirements involved. 
  • Contract Work Breakdown Structure (CWBS): The CWBS is a detailed map that breaks down all the tasks to be completed in a project. It provides specific details on the processes and services that will be carried out. Unique identifiers can be used in these tasks to create quick reference points. 
  • Schedule: Here, the tasks outlined in the CWBS are arranged in a linear structure to show when exactly they will occur. The schedule will link tasks together to highlight the relationship between different activities. Project managers will usually get input from vendors and subcontractors here to align with their availability. 
  • Cost and budget: The costs of the integrated master plan are included in a time-based format. The budget aligns with the schedule to ensure that cash flow is available for expenses as they are needed.
  • Risk management: In this section, risks are identified and their probability is calculated. Then, a mitigation strategy is formed to prepare for potential threats and manage risk impact if needed.

Why should you make an integrated master plan?

An integrated master plan is an important part of project management as it creates a detailed roadmap of the tasks ahead. As the PMI points out, the integrated master plan “also acts as a mechanism to help unify teams.” It is easier to motivate team members when they are all working towards a singular vision. 

For a project to be successful, the objectives and activities must be clearly outlined, and project managers must appropriately manage time, budget, and potential risks. All of these factors are incorporated in the integrated master plan, making it the ideal solution.

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