Tips To Make Your Integration Move Fast

Keeping Your Integration Moving Fast!

Here are some tried and true tips and suggestions to ensure your initial integration goes fast and smoothly.

Tip 1: Keep Project Scope Small and Tight

By keeping your project's scope small and tight, you'll be reducing the amount of overall work required to get up and running. This will ultimately allow your program to launch faster.
Also, consider making some of your project's scope a "phase 2" project to focus on post-launch. This way, it will still be delivered but without slowing down the initial launch.

Tip 2: Make Sure All Parties Know Their Roles and Responsibilities

By ensuring all parties know their roles and responsibilities early on, you'll help eliminate future surprises and confusion — and thus delays — about what work needs to get done and by whom.

It's also critical to make sure all parties are fully aware of all deadlines, deliverables, and dependencies right out of the gate. This will also help avoid surprises and also help teams better plan for the work they'll need to complete and by when.

Tip 3: Active and Reliable Participation By All Parties 

This one probably doesn't come as a surprise, but if the project team isn't attending meetings, reviewing documentation, and asking questions, they're likely not fully aware of what work needs to get done.
If they're not aware of what they need to do, you can be sure your project will suffer from confusion and delays.

Tip 4: Ensure All Parties Prioritize The Project

Some projects require many stakeholders from multiple departments and organizations to complete the work. Additionally, some projects require a great deal of effort from various participants, and if they're not prioritizing this work into their schedules, the project will likely move slowly.

It's recommended that early on, all participants are made aware of the project, and the proper priority is given to it to avoid slowdowns.

Tip 5: Provide Fast Turnaround and Beware of Project Dependencies

All projects will have dependencies where one party cannot finish their work until another party finishes theirs. Think of it as a relay race — if party A is slow at handing off the baton to party B, it will delay when party B can start running, ultimately slowing down the entire team.
The faster each party can complete their work, the sooner the next party can lead to a faster project. 

To accomplish this, make sure all teams provide a fast turnaround on approvals, deliverables, and other project tasks/requirements.

Tip 6: Avoid Mid-Project Change Requests

If the projects' previously agreed upon requirements change, or new requirements are added, you're moving the goalposts and adding more work for the project team. More work and changing goals will slow the project down. 

By taking the proper amount of time upfront to prepare, plan, and agree to the requirements, then you'll be able to avoid constant change and slowdowns once the project is in motion.

Tip 7: Identify a Project Owner and Have Them Manage It Tightly

Integrating new technology into your e-commerce platform should not be approached with a set-it-and-forget-it mentality. Depending on your project's scope, it can be a complex endeavor that requires a heavy lift from multiple stakeholders.

As such, you must identify a project owner who is accountable for directing traffic, blocking/tackling, ensuring needs/issues are addressed, and ultimately moving the project forward.
In our experience, projects that have a clearly identified owner always move faster and more seamlessly.

Tip 8: Thorough and Early Review of All Documentation

The sooner stakeholders of the project come up to speed on what work they'll need to complete, the sooner they'll get their questions answered, issues resolved, and ultimately be ready to start.

Conversely, if project stakeholders wait until the project is well underway before they begin to review the plans and documentation, then it's possible surprises will be discovered in the 11th hour, which will slow down the project.
The sooner all parties are brought up to speed; the less likely late surprises will be uncovered.