9-4. The project manager has to recognize the existence and the necessity for these communication links. Rather than fight them, the project manager should endeavor to make use of these relationships.
Systems integration consists of assuring that the pieces of a project come together at the right time and that it then functions as an integrated unit. However, to accomplish the integration process, all the various types of interfaces must be monitored and controlled, because integration, for the most part, is just another way of saying interface management. In addition, the number of interfaces can increase exponentially as the number of organizational units increase. The life of the project manager can become very complex.
It makes little difference whether "the system" is a missile, a nuclear power plant, a petroleum refinery, or a transportation system, the principles of systems integration are applicable. Similarly, it makes little difference whether the project manager has a pure project organization or is in a matrix organization, the integration function is the same (although interface problems are greatly intensified in a matrix organization).
A number of positive actions that the project manager must make to assure that integration takes place have been suggested. The most important of these actions is that of maintaining communication links across the organizational interfaces. This once again proves that the principal function of the project manager is to serve as a catalyst to motivate the project team.