Interface Management is the process of, unsurprisingly, managing interfaces! When multiple teams, or companies, work on a common project, questions will arise where one team needs an answer or information from another team. The process of managing these questions is Interface Management. Some of these questions may convey confidential information, contain outdated information, or go unanswered. An interface management process ensures that all inquiries are addressed, authorized and ultimately closed out.
One of the first steps to managing interfaces is defining an Interface Management Procedure (or Interface Management Process). This should be a controlled document that is part of the overall Project Execution Plan. The IMP should be signed off by the client and overall PM, and require that qualifying requests must follow the process. The IMP should define:
Managing interfaces for a large project can quickly become overwhelming with each new subcontractor added to the project. Unmanaged interfaces will exist in the form of emails and phone calls. These are unauditable and difficult to ensure validity and closure. The most basic form of interface management software would be a controlled register in the form of an spreadsheet. This is a good first step since you can now maintain due dates, responsible parties, and statuses. However, a spreadsheet interface register can suffer from some common problems when the project scope increases. Common problems include:
Using a dedicated interface management system can solve all of these problems, in addition to adding a large number of benefits that greatly simplify managing interfaces.
You can find resources that will help you research the processes and benefits of Interface Management here.
Understanding and defining the roles and responsibilities of project team members is a critical step in properly managing interfaces. The role of each person affects how information flows amongst different individuals, and whether they are an active or passive participant in closing out interface requests.