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5 Elements of a Successful Solutions Integration

Faiz Safdar
April 5, 2022

So you’re ready to integrate that new solution your company just purchased. The ink just dried on the contract – what comes next? Here are five steps to follow for successful integration.

1. Assemble your A-Team before the integration kickoff

Integrating a new solution requires the cooperation of many different teams, and often those teams can have competing priorities. It’s important that the executives of your company assign a project manager specifically for integration and green-light them to prioritize resources. Who comprises that A-Team? Developers, project managers, executives, and other team members that may be relevant to integration. Mr. T can take the day off this time.

2. Bring all stakeholders and the development team to the kickoff

The success of your project relies on every stakeholder being involved in the integration as early as possible. 

Effective implementers have learned to engage with the people who need to use and support the project outcomes.*

This means assembling your A-Team (developers, project managers, executives) all in the same kickoff meeting as early in the process as possible. Doing so enables clear expectations of project timelines and steps. It also saves you countless emails later in the process. Kickoffs can have a lot of information, and can often seem overwhelming, so encourage your team to compile questions in a slack channel/teams-chat/email/etc.

3. Utilize design consultations after kickoff

Things can move very quickly after the kickoff. Typically here at Prove, staging credentials and a developer guide are sent immediately after the kickoff. Similarly, other integration kickoffs may provide resources that your team may not have had before. Allow your team to digest the information and request consultations from your solution provider. At Prove, we offer our clients the option to meet with our technical delivery team. This enables your team to receive advice on best practices in design and exception handling. In my experience, the clients that utilize these consultations typically experience smoother integrations that result in faster go-lives and happier stakeholders.

4. Create a Culture of Communication

It’s no secret that communication translates to business success. 

Over 90% of the personnel officials at 500 US businesses stated that increased communication skills are needed for success in the 21st century.**

This means you need to build a culture of communication from the ground up. Every stakeholder should feel empowered to communicate delays, questions, and concerns to their project manager. The PM should, in turn, feel empowered to communicate directly to the solutions delivery manager. Here at Prove, we offer customers several open lines of communication. We often hold weekly calls with clients, and often have several email threads by subject lines such as “Design Questions,” “Development Questions,” “Troubleshooting,” etc.  Holding on to your questions or your concerns can sometimes result in unexpected delays. At Prove, we have Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) that can help guide you in your integration journey.

5. Celebrate Successes & Note Areas of Needed Improvement

Once your solution is live, it is important to engage existing stakeholders to monitor the solution’s performance. Take a moment to show appreciation to your team for the hard work they have contributed to a successful launch. Doing so improves communication, morale, and gives stakeholders well-deserved recognition. This may not be your last integration, so take note of the inefficiencies in the process so they can be avoided in the future. Conduct an internal poll to gauge what your team felt went well and what could be improved. The results of the poll may be useful to note for future integrations.

A Final Note

Integrating a new solution comes with many challenges, but you should not feel alone in your journey. Your team will greatly benefit from utilizing the resources provided to you by the solutions delivery team. As you race to the finish line, know that we are here to help you every step of the way.

* https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/managing-stakeholders-achieve-true-implementation-success-7406

**
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/330960

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