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Integration projects: the fusion of business systems 7 min read
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Managing an integration project is a little like conducting a great symphony. Intimate knowledge of every instrument, immaculate time management, and a beautifully crafted plan are necessary to harmonize the orchestra’s efforts and produce a show worthy of thunderous applause.

Likewise, integration projects require careful planning and collaboration across several work fronts, departments, and multidisciplinary teams. Coordinating these teams, managing risks, balancing budgets, and hitting deadlines are challenging for these sorts of projects, but there are tried-and-true ways to manage it all without dropping a note.

In this guide, we’ll explore the complex topic of integration projects by looking at the many roles, challenges, and best practices associated with them. We’ll also see how can help you implement those practices. But first, let’s set the stage.

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What are integration projects?

An integration project combines two or more systems, processes, or technologies into a seamless and comprehensive solution.

Every integration project requires finding a unique combination of strategies, methods, and tools to bridge the gap between two disparate systems. These projects might involve integrating new software into an existing system, merging two databases, or bridging the gap between internal and external platforms.

It’s important to keep in mind that the objective of integration projects is improved performance with business processes and systems. The goal is to improve work efficiency through the seamless integration of multiple systems without losing quality in any single one. In short, integration projects bring systems together into a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

Integration projects are often large, complex endeavors that require careful coordination to prevent business impacts, both in the short and long term. These projects usually involve several teams spread across multiple departments. As you can imagine, this necessitates a team of people with various roles and responsibilities.

What roles are involved in integration projects?

Molding two or more systems into a seamless whole involves a team working together to plan, design, and implement the integration, as well as test it to ensure it meets expectations. Most integrations involve a project and technical lead, as well as key stakeholders from the departments impacted by the changes.

For example, if a business that sells physical products wants to integrate its primary financial system with its public e-commerce, its integrations team might include:

  • A project lead supported by key individuals from accounting, web development, marketing, and IT
  • Key members of the finance department, including business analysts
  • Solution architects, software developers, and quality assurance engineers
  • A talented support staff

Well-defined roles within an integration team help facilitate collaboration. While each team member brings expertise within their domain to the project, they’re essentially taking on new job responsibilities. As such, it’s crucial to establish clear communication channels, define roles and responsibilities, and establish processes for decision-making and problem-solving.

With an understanding of the roles of an integration project, let’s look at the example mentioned above in greater detail.

An example of an integration project

Melding a company’s physical and digital operations is a fairly common integration project. By integrating online and in-store inventory management, companies can better serve their customers and streamline their operations.

The benefits of integrating these applications can include improved efficiency and productivity, as well as better data sharing across the business, which leads to better decision-making. By having a single, integrated platform, the company has access to more consistent and accurate data since all sales information moves through a single channel.

Other benefits include improved customer experience, increased sales, and reduced operational costs. Better still, having a single platform makes it much simpler and easier to add new integrations and functionality in the future.

As with any project, however, there are tradeoffs. Integration projects are rarely simple, presenting a unique set of challenges in team management and technical considerations.

Challenges of integration projects

Often the biggest challenge of an integration project is bringing together different teams and stakeholders with different perspectives, priorities, and expertise. Buy-in from each contributor is essential for keeping the project aligned.

The other biggest challenge with integration projects is the technical considerations. These projects often involve combining complex systems that require deep domain expertise. There’s also almost always some form of data transfer necessary, which often necessitates custom software to connect and maintain.

Moreso than other kinds of projects, integrations require a careful assessment before planning begins to determine the technical challenges that lie ahead.

Best practices for integration projects

Given the technical challenges, integration projects require a careful assessment of existing systems and applications to determine the project’s precise focus. This includes making sure the integration is technically feasible and practical. In some cases, the pre-planning stage can take months before the actual project can begin.

Once the assessment is done, however, integration projects can follow a typical project timeline:

  1. Planning: With technical data in hand, the project planning stage can begin. This entails choosing key stakeholders, assigning roles and responsibilities, developing the budget and timeline, and defining the project’s goals.
  2. Execution: After planning comes action, and this stage is where the project starts moving at full speed. It also requires careful monitoring and attention from project leads to keep the team aligned and ensure the project is aligned with time and cost expectations.
  3. Analysis: Integration projects require extra diligence in analysis while progress unfolds. Since these projects often deal with mission-critical systems, it’s essential to identify problems ahead of time and address them.
  4. Closing: Once the integration is complete, the team will test the new integration and measure the results against the project’s objectives. While there may be a few bugs, an integration team is likely due for a little celebration at this stage.

Between technical and team requirements, integration projects benefit immensely from a flexible, fully-featured Work OS.

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Leveraging for integration projects

Between technical considerations and large, diverse teams, you’ll want tools that adapt to you and your team’s processes rather than grappling with a project management tool and your own internal systems. With, your team has access to collaborative task boards designed to adapt to the way you work.

Simple on the surface but with power features underneath,’s boards simplify the process of tracking every detail of integrations, from real-time communication and task monitoring to document and process management for all the technical details. And since the platform is securely hosted in the cloud, even when your internal systems go down for integration, project work progresses onward.

And speaking of integrations, is an open Work OS that features dozens of them. This means you can easily connect all of your favorite tools into a single platform. Fortunately for you and your team, our integrations only require a couple of clicks.

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Frequently asked questions

Looking to fully integrate your integration project knowledge? Here are the answers to a couple of common questions to help.

What is an integration project?

An integration project combines two or more systems, processes, or technologies to create a unified, comprehensive solution. It involves finding the right combination of tools, methods, and strategies to create a seamless user experience.

What’s the biggest challenge with integration projects?

The biggest challenge with integration projects is ensuring that disparate systems can work together without compromising existing operations or introducing instability. This requires a thorough understanding of each constituent as well as a great deal of coordination and communication between different teams and stakeholders, which can be difficult to manage.

Orchestrating integration projects masterfully

Like listening to the power of a symphony orchestra, witnessing multiple systems come to life as a unified whole following an arduous integration is exhilarating. And make no mistake, though a project team’s talents may not be classified as art, the efforts that go into any integration are no less masterful.

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