A data and integration project is only as successful as the strategy put into place before the project kick-off. Here are 8 signs you may need a new data and integration strategy for your current or future projects.
1. Data and Integration Project Doesn’t Meet Deadlines
If you are currently working on a complex integration project that is already delayed by months, chances are that you are a victim of integration challenges we often see when following a traditional strategy and approach. It could be a connectivity issue or an integration pattern, but the result is that the project is not complete and you feel like it will never end. While many aspects can cause these challenges, if it is due to integration, then you may need a new data and integration strategy to prevent never-ending projects in the future.
2. Data and Integration Business Requirements are Adrift
If you’re currently working on a project that started off with specific requirements and goals but has shifted over the course of the project to new objectives, chances are you are suffering from core project goal distraction and deviation. Core project goal distraction can happen because of the “shiny object” phenomenon, where the project has shifted focus from achieving its goals to the exploration of different technology and what it can do. This shift in goalposts is often due to a lack of governance, management, and discipline.
3. Project Data and Integration Governance Is Non-Existent
A project that has no rules, standards, or structure for delivery is an ‘anything goes’ scenario. Although it’s an excellent premise for a movie, in data and integration strategy this leads to a mismatch of incompatible solutions and approaches. Having proper governance in place to implement, make changes, and support data and integration initiatives is a crucial aspect to ensure project success. A lack of governance is a red flag that you need a new data and integration strategy.
4. Data and Integration Changes Are Being Resisted
Are you finding yourself on a project that takes forever to complete? If it’s a data and integration project, team dependencies on current functionality may exist that are almost impossible to change. Such platform solution dependencies can be complicated to shift because of how they are architected and the negative impact that a change would cause to team morale and workload. Teams may be concerned about the level of testing needed for the new project and would rather opt out of changing what they believe is working. The problem with this rigid mindset and dedication to ‘the way things have always been done’ is that it stifles necessary growth and innovation for the business.
5. Data and Integration Strategy Produces Unactionable Data
Embarking on any type of data and integration project must lead to data elements that are actionable. If you are not finding actionable aspects in your data and integration projects, you are doing it wrong. Actionable aspects can be source data, resulting data, derived data, or even metadata about the process involved with the project. All valuable data points should be used to inform a solution or to inform project improvements. A lack of actionable insights means a change in data integration strategy is needed.
6. Data and Integration Project Complexity Increases Unexpectedly and Rapidly
We often see companies engage in projects using a very tactical approach that is narrow in focus. Integrations that started as simple point to point integrations go so well for the target end users they naturally want more functionality. However, when more functionality is added using the same point to point approach, it starts to create spaghetti code, interdependent flows and becomes a nightmare to maintain. Complex requirements should be addressed with a strategic plan to data and integration initiatives.
7. Data and Integration Strategy is Experiencing Project Paralysis
If you are on a project that has lots of ambitions and goals but months later you have not made much progress, then you are likely suffering through project paralysis. Project paralysis is a troubling feeling because we all want to feel wins and success. Moreover, this effect really stifles innovation as changes, new features, and enhancements just cannot seem to get implemented. A new data and integration strategy, in this case, can help.
8. Each Data and Integration Project Is Just As Hard As The Last
Why must every initiative feel like you are reinventing the wheel instead of using what was already built to help you achieve success? We run into companies that end up going down similar solution paths that do not include assets that are reusable. Usually, this is because they did not create a project plan that leads to a solution that is reusable. Using a robust data and integration strategy will set you up with visibility into what aspects of your solution can be built generically and which elements can serve ongoing purposes, maximizing your ROI.
Your data and integration strategy is meant to set clear guidelines for your solution development, keep you focused on value, and properly manage the changes coming down the pipe, building a resiliency that lasts beyond your current Salesforce instance.
Are you displaying any of the 8 warning signs that you need a new data integration strategy? If so, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Silverline for guidance, and we can partner with you to get you on the path to data integration excellence.