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Integration Management: Dos and Don’ts

Integration Management: Dos and Don’ts

UPDATEDJun 27, 2023

Cross platform integration software is becoming more advanced than ever before. More and more tech companies are creating software solutions with the intent of supporting integration from the get-go, making their products more accessible and desirable to the corporate world. However, because integration has become so synonymous with descriptors like “streamlined” or “simplified,” project managers often forget about the growing pains that come with cross-platform integration management.

Whether your professional services organization is looking to embrace software integration for the first time or are simply looking to refine current integrations between your existing solutions, it’s crucial that you adhere to certain integration management dos and don’ts to prevent avoidable complications.

Don’t Data Silo

A data silo refers to a form of digital storage that is disconnected from other storage systems used by the organization. Information in a data silo can easily be forgotten, as the information stored there isn’t shared with the rest of the system and many employees may not even know it exists. Without frequent manual checks and updates, it’s very possible that key data may be “lost” in favor of simplifying integration management.

Do Create Backup Procedures

In cases where a data silo can’t be avoided, it’s important to implement backup and update procedures to make up for the lack of a communication feature. This can take form as a regularly scheduled manual download or any other method of manually transferring data. Ideally, this should be a temporary solution until an automated integration management option becomes feasible.

Don’t Go Overboard on Integration

A big selling point for data integration is the idea of cross platform communication. Data can be recorded in one tool and then accessed in another for easy reference and use. However, it’s easy to get blinded by too much integration management. Does your organization actually need to integrate 40 or more tools? Or have you focused on potential use rather than actual use? Consider what valuable and dependable data is actually needed for your day-to-day operations.

Do Pick and Choose Your Tools

You know the tools of your trade, and you know exactly which programs you need to complete a project. Carefully curate the tools you want to integrate and find software that can support those integrations. In other words, would you rather pay for 30 integrations you’ll never use or the core 10 that make up your business?

Don’t Get Lost in Data

Integration management helps to assemble all your data in a single platform. With all your data in one place, it should be easier than ever to discover trends and identify areas for improvement. Unfortunately, we can often be overwhelmed by large groups of data and struggle to pinpoint what is actually relevant and what is just white noise.

Do Moderate Your Experience

Project and resource management software that supports integration also offers users the ability to moderate and customize their experience. Users can create dashboards or reports that record and analyze data sets in relation to each other. Not only does this help filter out extraneous data, but it can also help contextualize related data that was previously separated into different platforms. 

Don’t Struggle with UI

At the end of the day, the newly implemented and integrated platform is still a piece of software in its own right. Learning how to properly use and access all of its features will take time. You can’t expect instantaneous program literacy and some team members will struggle to learn the program without outside instruction. Consider the training provided by the solution to improve user experience and prevent complications that cost both time and money

Do Learn the Program

Give team members the time and resources they need to learn and understand the new platform. It’s tempting to immediately launch into making use of all of the shiny new integrations, but using a new project as a guinea pig will only result in frustration and resentment from team members. Letting team members adjust to the program without the stress of deadlines will improve their retention and make their first real use of the program that much more effective.

Ultimately, integration management requires research and patience before you can access the advertised streamlined simplicity. Keep these tips in mind as you shop for resource and project management software that will be integrated with your larger tech stack and remember to keep the natural learning curve in mind.

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