Integration Projects

Written by Patricia Skinner
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Like everything else in life, good organization is key to running successful integration projects of any kind. Managers should begin by drawing up a schedule that takes into account the total budget and available resources, and also tries to take into account the possibility of unforeseen circumstances. Leaving yourself a little leeway so that the slightest change in schedule doesn't haul you off the tracks is sound practice indeed.

Establishing a new software system company-wide can present difficulties. You will need to decide whether the best procedure for your company would be to integrate all departments at the same time, or whether staggered integration would make more sense. Preparing a sufficient number of software training manuals so that staff can all have a copy is essential. The process of integration will progress a lot more smoothly if everyone has his or her own reference.

Integration Procedure

Learning about a collaboration software package, or similar, will involve getting to know the components of the system. If some kind of similar system was already in use by the company, then integration will be less of a challenge than if it's the first time any kind of knowledge management system has been used. New items might include tasks, progress reports, customer reviews, technical documents, configure logs, configure diagrams, workflow, requirements and modification, and may even include third party vendor configurations.

The first stage of any integration project will be to make sure all members of the team understand how the software works and what the potential is. Chances are you will always find that some resist change, while others can see the potential immediately and embrace the new technology with open arms. The larger your company, the more information will need to be entered into your system, and the more team members will be involved in the process. Expect that this procedure may take a little more time than you budgeted for and try to keep your expectations hopeful, yet realistic. If you have chosen well, your software will prove itself and even the most skeptical members of staff will be impressed once the new system is up and running.

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