An Introduction to Integration Planning

In this chapter, you will learn the following:

  • How to break down your integration into manageable phases for planning and execution purposes.
  • What factors to consider as you develop timing parameters for your integration project.
  • The importance of business vision and strategy in laying the foundation for successful integration planning.
  • How to assess the need for external integration help and what to look for in evaluating firms and resources.

As previously mentioned, the purpose of this handbook is to provide a workable approach to integration to fit most scenarios. This chapter offers you the five key stages of the integration life cycle.

Some integrations may require that you break down the five stages into further categories, depending on the complexity of the assignment, but the five stages will provide a good start for any integration team.

Timing is also variable, since some integrations require more time than others. A good basic rule is to try to accomplish the bulk of the integration activity within 120 days, or sooner, if possible, because integrations are hard work and can be a distraction from day-to-day operations. Integration planners should have a strong bias for urgency: a desire to get tasks accomplished on time, or sooner, if possible.

Because of the intensity of most integrations, the 120-day guideline serves to prevent integration fatigue, which occurs when the day-to-day grind of the integration carries ...

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