Knowing where to start with a project is often the hardest part, and that’s no different for print integration projects.
To help you avoid this challenge, we asked two experienced integrators, Chris Smyth and Cheryl Corbett, to share their experience of creating connected workflows in their print business and how they got started.
First things first, define the purpose of the project
Prior to project kick off, you need to create a strategy that clearly outlines everything you’d like to achieve during the project. This should also cover the pain points your business is facing, and the reason you’ve decided to start this integration project in the first place. This document should then be shared with everyone involved, so they’re all on the same page.
This strategy will be your North Star and should be referred to at every stage of the project. Without it, challenges and blockers are likely to appear, and the project will be more easily sidetracked.
Make sure all the necessary people are involved from the beginning
When asked who needs to be involved in the integration project, Chris and Cheryl advise that everybody internally should be involved in one way or another. These people will bring fresh new ideas to the table and might have noticed integration opportunities in their department that you’ve missed.
It’s also important to get your external support involved too, whether that be your MIS partner, third-party development resource, or any others relevant to the project. They'll have expert knowledge that will be useful for your project, so don’t be afraid to ask them to be part of it.
To scope, or not to scope? That is the question –
- and the answer to that question is ‘yes’, you should scope the project. Just don’t plan it down to the nth degree.
You already have your project strategy and a vision of what you want to achieve, so don’t worry if you don’t know exactly how you’ll get there. The advice from the experts is to be agile and flexible enough to change the way you’re doing something if you find a better way.
Collect data and hold regular meetings with the project team to review progress against your objectives. It’s also likely that requirements will change as you get further into the project, so just make sure you’re following that North Star and focusing on one area at a time.
By approaching your print integration project like this, you’ll surely see some great results!
The Integration Lab 🧪
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