Navigating the FOGS (Fear of Getting Started)

Jamie Peers
Tackle Business Integration Requirements One Iterative Step at a Time

Integration projects require planning, strategy, patience, and preparation. It is a Mammoth task to integrate a new system, which is why so many organizations use the analogy of ‘eat the elephant, one bite at a time.’ For many companies, the complex nature of any integration fills them with the FOGS – the Fear of Getting Started. Is this task insurmountable? What’s out there? What are the risks? What plans are in place to deal with the unexpected? It’s not surprising that many businesses fear getting started with their integration projects because the entire process can be daunting.

But it doesn’t have to be.  

Integration doesn’t need to be a big bang investment that requires months of work, downtime, and complexity. It can be an iterative approach that takes intelligent steps towards a specific goal. Instead of leaping into a convoluted clockwork maze of moving parts where one broken cog will cause endless backlogs and delays the best strategy is to adopt an iterative step-wise approach.


Every Step is Smart

A step-by-step approach where the team focuses on getting one small sub-set of the project up and running quickly is more effective. Instead of looking to onboard the business process in its entirety and balking at the size of the project, start with integrating customer accounts data first. Assess how well it is working, how your business is responding, and then move on to the next step.

This is an iterative approach that constantly moves with your business.  This strategy not only catches errors right at the start, but it removes one of the biggest problems of the large-scale integration –  discovering a foundational error within your integration that impacts functionality at the end of your multiple months long integration project.  


Continuous Integration

This iterative approach to integration and solution development has another significant benefit. It allows for your business to continuously integrate and develop as you adapt to new markets and customer demands. It is agile and flexible, giving you room to adjust your strategy, or shift your focus if there’s an unexpected need.  

This is an invaluable benefit. The world isn’t static – markets and customers aren’t static. Your technology should be flexible enough to cope when you change your mind, or when you discover a better way of doing something.  

By approaching your integration project one step at a time, you can navigate through a sizable project with caution and confidence. You know that every part of the project fits into your business and meets your requirements and that you can pivot on demand. Instead of a nine-month mystery build that may or may not fit your parameters, your invaluable time can be better spent on continuous testing and development that delivers consistently and accurately.  


Changing Delivery Deadlines

Of course, you’re wondering if this iterative approach is simply another way of describing scope creep, and if it takes longer to implement. That’s a valid concern. Ongoing adaptations and testing do sound like they’ll take longer, but the reality is that this process is shorter because your service provider is moving with you. The changes are not made in bulk at the end, adding on unexpected delays, but rather on the fly – you iterate, test, and fix on demand.

But technology being technology, and implementation being implementation, there are times when delays are unexpected and problems more challenging to resolve. This is where your choice of integration partner will make all the difference. You need to know if a particular problem is going to cause delays, and how this will impact the project further down the line. For Synatic, this is part and parcel of our delivery strategy. We involve you every smart step of the way, including you in the development and testing phases, making changes you need as your requirements change, and keeping you in the loop with any project developments. The result is usually an integration project completed in a fraction of the time.

Rapid Time to Value is a core driver of Synatic and we pride ourselves in building solutions that allow you to hit the ground running in minimal time. In fact, one of our most recent developments with a company called Lendistry took a quarter of the time that was originally estimated thanks to our iterative and collaborative approach.  


Collaboration and Teamwork are Everything

For most companies, stepping onto the integration pathway is challenging not just because of the size of the project and the potential risks it involves, but the concern that they’re signing a blank check. It’s an understandable concern, especially in the current market. This is why you need collaboration and communication. These are everything in a big project, especially one that will have a long-term impact on your business.

Synatic has developed a strategy designed to put your fears at rest. We hold project status updates on a bi-weekly basis so that every third day of the week, you know where your project is sitting, what’s being done, and what’s planned for the next few days. This ensures that you always know where the hours are going, and you can keep tight control of the time spent as you move through the project. We’ve put a lot of tools and mechanisms in place so that the budget isn’t blown, and we collaborate closely with our customers to ensure that what we are building fits their precise requirements and expectations.  

Clark Haung, Head of Consumer Lending at Lendistry said “From the onset, our complex integration project seemed like an impossible mission but with integration and automation partners which included the likes of Synatic, we were confident that as a collective they would be able to get the job done.”

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