Projects are facts of life. A project is an effort to create a unique product or service with a desired outcome that is precisely defined and a completion that can be demonstrated.
Project management does not work nearly as well as it should. Projects end up costing far more than expected, they finish late, and often the finished product is not precisely what it was originally intended to be. Some projects are abandoned altogether and left to die. The ideal project goal of finishing on time, within budget, and to specifications is seldom met.
Mistakes in project management affect projects large and small and are costly: overruns of time and money often reach, or exceed, 500 percent. According to survey data, around 30 percent of projects are never completed.
 P. M. Network, (Newton Square, PA: Project Management Institute, Publishing Division, September 1996): 24 (Selin Corp. Reports for 1995).
A body of knowledge on project management exists that explains the various steps and procedures to accomplish a project. Software for planning, budgeting, resource leveling (not assigning more than 100 percent of a person's time), and monitoring a project is also readily available. Yet something is still missing; the projects continue to get into trouble. Does this mean that the ideal project goal of finishing to specifications and on time is impossible? Should the goal be abandoned and project management be left in its current mess? Or, should the missing information be pursued and added to the existing body of knowledge? This book will offer the information and practices that are currently missing.
How is Integrated Project Management different from other project management methods? IPM follows the same steps and concepts found in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®), however IPM adds new procedures for following these steps, and these procedures make a big difference. IPM also adds a special method of creating useful time buffers, or "risk factors." But most importantly, IPM employs step-by-step activities whereby the project manager involves everyone who is responsible for project tasks in planning the project.