Project Management

Project management refers to the organization of tasks, unified in purpose, manner and plan, incorporating people, processes, technologies and other resources in to meet goals agreed upon stakeholders.

Project Management Articles

Project management tips for system integration

Seven tips: Practical advice about project management can help with a control system integration project. Project management for system integration differs from project management in other areas.

Control system integration project management (PM), when considered from project inception, can add significant value to an implementation. Seven sometimes overlooked tips about project management for automation and control system integration follow.

Seven overlooked PM tips

Determine if project management be handled internally or is outside help needed. Project management for control system integration can differ widely from PM for other areas.

Decide when to involve a system integrator to help with project management.

Use project methodologies to help mitigate risk.

Decide if the project needs a process redesign or if applying automation to the current process will be enough to meet goals.

Recognize that project management can influence technology selection.

Understand that some projects may be beyond reasonable help and should end.

Determine what measures will be used for success during project planning. Return on investment may not be the highest measure of project success.

Project planning, estimates

Planning ahead is incredibly important for an automation project, according to Don Roberts, an auditor for the Control System Integrator Association (CSIA) and a consultant and principal of Exotek LLC, a management-consulting firm focused on the engineering and systems integration industry. Roberts said, “Spend the time and the money on a good functional specification. It is much cheaper to do this than to change things later in the project.”

Dennis Brandl, founder and chief consultant at BR&L Consulting Inc., specializes in helping companies use Manufacturing IT to improve production, laboratory, and logistics processes. Brandl said for projects involving software, the best project management is done using an agile or DevOps [development operations management] method, because it is easier to estimate value versus effort and to decide when it is time to finish the project and know exactly what is complete and what is not complete. It also helps to accurately measure functions achieved (value) versus time spent (budget and schedule), Brandl said.

Roberts added, “The CSIA produces an excellent resource for anyone involved in system integration projects. The CSIA Best Practices information is available for members only but is well worth the price of membership.” See related system integration research in this issue.

Mark T. Hoske, content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media,


Key concepts

  • Project management (PM) for control system integration can differ from other projects.
  • PM can overlook if or when system integration help is needed.
  • Planning and estimates should be considered with PM.

Consider this

How much time and aggravation might you save with better project management?

ONLINE extra

Link to five project management articles for system integration below.

Project Management FAQ

  • What is the role of the project manager in manufacturing industry?

    The role of a project manager in the manufacturing industry is to plan, execute and finalize projects according to strict deadlines and within budget. This includes acquiring resources and coordinating the efforts of team members and third-party contractors or consultants to deliver projects according to plan.

  • What are the 5 principles of project management?

    The five principles of project management are:

    1. Scope management: This principle involves defining and managing the scope of the project, including what work needs to be done and what the deliverables will be. This includes creating a detailed project plan, identifying the project objectives and setting clear milestones and deliverables.
    2. Time management: This principle involves managing the project schedule, including setting deadlines, creating a work breakdown structure and identifying and resolving any schedule conflicts.
    3. Cost management: This principle involves managing the project budget, including identifying and controlling project costs, forecasting future expenses and ensuring that the project stays within budget.
    4. Quality management: This principle involves ensuring that the project meets or exceeds quality standards, including identifying and controlling quality risks, monitoring progress and conducting quality reviews.
    5. Resource management: This principle involves managing the project resources, including personnel, equipment and materials, to ensure they are available and used effectively. This also includes managing any third-party vendors or contractors that are working on the project.
  • What is an example of project integration management?

    An example of project integration management would be the launch of a new product by a manufacturing company. The project manager is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the project, including the planning, execution, and closure of the project.

  • What is systems integration in project management?

    Systems integration in project management refers to the process of bringing together different systems and technologies to form a cohesive whole. This often involves combining different software and hardware systems, as well as processes and procedures, to enable the efficient flow of information and data between among systems and applications.

    In project management, systems integration is often used to connect different project management tools and systems, such as project scheduling software, project budgeting software and project tracking software, to ensure that all project data is accurate, up-to-date, and easily accessible to all stakeholders.

Some FAQ content was compiled with the assistance of ChatGPT. Due to the limitations of AI tools, all content was edited and reviewed by our content team.