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Topics: Information Technology, Integration Management, Procurement Management, Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)
Tips on how to start an integration project
Can those experienced in system integration projects (with or without middleware) share their knowledge on how to best lead it. We are at a pre project phase and I am hoping to conduct a workshop amongst all parties to understand what the end goal is. Would be mighty helpful if someone can share the pitfalls, challenges and offer guidance on how to kick this off seamlessly. We are at a stage where no one even knows why they want to do it, except it seems like the hot new thing to have a hands free system. I am not technically qualified in any of the applications and am responsible for PMO (without project costing responsbilities) and primarily to aid the business processes, change management, communications and stakeholder engagement.
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Hello Dear Iakshmi,

Did your project have a Project Charter or equivalent that Describe the High Level Requirements, Budget, Performance, Schedule, etc ?
Because during Kick-off meeting people will meet (maybe for the first time) and try to understand each one role and the projects objectives (not necessarely in details) and schedule the next meeting to analyse available documents (Contracts, Agreements, Procuments Documents, etc.) and other available informations and requirements and starting with decompositions create a WBS.

In order find out gaps you should set up a Planning team quickly to have as soon as possible the WBS of the project (I always consider as the Heart of the project) and other thing will start fitting together afterwards.

During this meeting you can too provide some Ground Rules that you expect from your team.

Feel free to ask anything.

Best regards,
...
1 reply by lakshmi nair
Feb 26, 2018 11:34 AM
lakshmi nair
...
There is no project charter but a high level requirements document does exist although it has a pretty skewed view.I think I will focus on the charter and then WBS.

So far I have put together an agenda involving understanding of problem statement, as is (input/output, existing manual/automated data feeds, vision of to be end state with prioritisation, quantified business case, scope, business rules & exceptions to those.

The stakeholders are hard pressed for time and that reduces the overall engagement levels. But that's the story of my life on most projects :-|
If there is no vision, goal, intent, problem-to-be-solved; it will be very difficult from the start. Those items provide a single source of truth and a base from which everyone can begin to formulate the How. If this spans multiple business groups, ensure representation from each. From there, decomposing the result into the WBS will determine tasks and dependencies. And remember, it does not need to be one fell swoop of a project; can be smaller quick wins to continually prove the value.
...
1 reply by lakshmi nair
Feb 26, 2018 11:37 AM
lakshmi nair
...
Thanks will keep in mind to get all the relevant participants identified to make it more productive a session and stick with baby steps where possible.

Client is in a hurry as always, although they seem clueless on where they are hurrying to. Lol, likely not a good place from the looks of it.
I'm working on integration project right now, in this kind of project you need to find out the requirements / output from key stakeholders.After that each activity of the project jolt down in presence of activity owner so that scheduling of activity identified.After start of execution, respective stakeholder should be pursued regularly and also any barrier which can come across to project activity must be mitigated.Management review meeting should also be done so that every activity owner should feel responsible in himself/herself.
...
1 reply by lakshmi nair
Feb 26, 2018 11:39 AM
lakshmi nair
...
I only have a "hands free system" requirement so far but I should be able to get more out of the next session - fingers crossed.

Stakeholders are difficult but wouldnt life be too boring, if that werent the case.
I think this will help you as a guide to take into account the whole picture (if you think it is a tecnology focus project then you are lost, believe me): https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-pos...-right-solution
https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-pos...th-stakeholders
Our project is also in the planning stage. Thanks for sharing your inputs and this should be helpful
...
1 reply by MANDA SATSHISHINGA
Feb 26, 2018 8:54 AM
MANDA SATSHISHINGA
...
Dear Mr. Muthukrishnan ,

Did you have already the WBS created ?

Regards.

MS
Feb 26, 2018 8:49 AM
Replying to Muthukrishnan Ramakrishnan
...
Our project is also in the planning stage. Thanks for sharing your inputs and this should be helpful
Dear Mr. Muthukrishnan ,

Did you have already the WBS created ?

Regards.

MS
Feb 26, 2018 5:34 AM
Replying to MANDA SATSHISHINGA
...
Hello Dear Iakshmi,

Did your project have a Project Charter or equivalent that Describe the High Level Requirements, Budget, Performance, Schedule, etc ?
Because during Kick-off meeting people will meet (maybe for the first time) and try to understand each one role and the projects objectives (not necessarely in details) and schedule the next meeting to analyse available documents (Contracts, Agreements, Procuments Documents, etc.) and other available informations and requirements and starting with decompositions create a WBS.

In order find out gaps you should set up a Planning team quickly to have as soon as possible the WBS of the project (I always consider as the Heart of the project) and other thing will start fitting together afterwards.

During this meeting you can too provide some Ground Rules that you expect from your team.

Feel free to ask anything.

Best regards,
There is no project charter but a high level requirements document does exist although it has a pretty skewed view.I think I will focus on the charter and then WBS.

So far I have put together an agenda involving understanding of problem statement, as is (input/output, existing manual/automated data feeds, vision of to be end state with prioritisation, quantified business case, scope, business rules & exceptions to those.

The stakeholders are hard pressed for time and that reduces the overall engagement levels. But that's the story of my life on most projects :-|
Feb 26, 2018 6:18 AM
Replying to Drew Craig
...
If there is no vision, goal, intent, problem-to-be-solved; it will be very difficult from the start. Those items provide a single source of truth and a base from which everyone can begin to formulate the How. If this spans multiple business groups, ensure representation from each. From there, decomposing the result into the WBS will determine tasks and dependencies. And remember, it does not need to be one fell swoop of a project; can be smaller quick wins to continually prove the value.
Thanks will keep in mind to get all the relevant participants identified to make it more productive a session and stick with baby steps where possible.

Client is in a hurry as always, although they seem clueless on where they are hurrying to. Lol, likely not a good place from the looks of it.
Feb 26, 2018 7:05 AM
Replying to Muhammad Ahmad Malik,PMP
...
I'm working on integration project right now, in this kind of project you need to find out the requirements / output from key stakeholders.After that each activity of the project jolt down in presence of activity owner so that scheduling of activity identified.After start of execution, respective stakeholder should be pursued regularly and also any barrier which can come across to project activity must be mitigated.Management review meeting should also be done so that every activity owner should feel responsible in himself/herself.
I only have a "hands free system" requirement so far but I should be able to get more out of the next session - fingers crossed.

Stakeholders are difficult but wouldnt life be too boring, if that werent the case.
In most aspects, a system integration project is pretty much the same as other implementation projects.

Some aspects to be careful about:
1. Scope creep needs to be discouraged from the highest levels not only on this project, but on the systems being integrated. Any addition to scope - even minor - potentially impacts three (or more) projects.
2. Contingencies need to be prepared for data mapping and migration exercises. This needs to be planned and communicated. The risk is that, at a data level, there is always a chance of something not going according to plan.
3. Periodic verbal communication amongst all teams is critical. Preferably face-to-face. Issues are usually minor that can be addressed by just speaking to one another. If an email ping-pong game is played, the issue can drag on forever.

All of these elements need to be added into the charter, the plan, and the overall project strategy. All stakeholders are to be convinced of these factors and need to explicitly sign off on this.
...
1 reply by lakshmi nair
Mar 06, 2018 10:07 AM
lakshmi nair
...
Thanks! Very helpful all tips. I had a short session today to pin down the high level agenda for the workshop keeping in mind all the advise I received. I will probably post separately about what next seeing as the initial response from business has been less than lukewarm.
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