All too often the idea of creating a repository for Integration Management gets put on the back burner when the thrill of starting a new Integration takes hold. This play puts the topic back on the table as a forerunner objective to be done right before the integration kick-off.
A central document repository is essential for three main reasons:
The sum of its parts means having operational tenets that imbue a sense of collectiveness. Sharing information and capturing it becomes a part of the program from the very beginning and sets the culture during Integration kick-off.
Building a document repository does require you to work with your in-house IT team to use approved tools and systems. Additionally, your selected tool or system must have:
There are some nice-to-have features like connectors or APIs to Slack, Microsoft Teams, Trello, etc. that create high levels of productivity. This play does not include details of these integrations.
Being prepared in this play for the IMO document repository will take more than the actual planning and deployment activities. And it is important not to skip any of the following preparations otherwise delays will occur as you have to stop or redo work. Below is the order, priority, and relevance to collating the Materials:
Head of Integrations, Information Technology Department
A selected document repository tool or system, a list of key team members needing access to the repository, your company standard End User Compute policy, the beginnings of your Integration kick-off deck and Workstream structure, an approved budget (cost center if you are using an in-house tool, or PO for outside tool to be requisitioned), and any logos you want for the document repository splash page.
Planning: 60 minutes | Design: 120 minutes | Deploy: 120 minutes (if you are using an in-house tool or system), TBD if using an outside tool or system
Using your Workstream Structure as a starting point, put pen to paper on how you want to organize the folder structure for this Integration program.
Most modern tools will have very good search capabilities so making the structure too complicated is not necessary. Good practices normally have two to three levels deep of sub-folders.
Several considerations for a thorough folder structure would be:
Before getting into your system, it is a good idea to whiteboard the folder organization with other members of the IMO team. There is a good amount of value to getting perspectives from the teammates who are assigned to Workstreams.
This design exercise can take about 30 minutes. At the end, make sure to get sign-off on the draft. Bake in the flexibility to make changes as the Integration moves along with you as the IMO lead being the gate keeper to changes.
Now that your draft structure is complete, we can leverage it along with your Member List for the design of the member access and permissions matrix.
Having this is a very important step to mitigating a lot of rework if you dove right in to configuring the permissions in the system. Many an IMO office have returned to the drawing board weeks into the Integration when they failed to put a strong strategy together for access and permissions.
Key teammates to include in the design session:
This design exercise can take between 60 - 90 minutes.
At the completion of the design, make sure to get sign-off on this initial access and permission matrix.
Even if you do not get to 100% of all members that is OK.
There will be new teammates who join and others who fall off the Integration program. What you need to achieve is a consensus of the operating model ahead of any actual setups in the system.
Coming out of this exercise will be several key deliverables: (1) a draft access and permission matrix with teammate assignments, (2) a legend to what each permission level means, and (3) approvals to take the next step.
Setting up the folders and permissions will be much easier after the design sessions.
Depending on which system you eventually choose, the level of effort can start at easy such as with a straight-forward folder structure and team assignments. Some document repositories can be quite elaborate with advanced security features.
The range of time can be from the easy setups being about 60 minutes to the more complex systems being 150 minutes or more.
While it is certainly important to communicate that you do have an IMO Document Repository, it is not necessary to do so the moment the system is live.
Here is a simple reason – with brand new systems, you will want to take a pilot group and have them test the permissions are set up correctly. This can be 30 minutes or less but is an important step before releasing a new system to the larger audience.
Once you feel comfortable with the permissions then a simple communications plan can be the right way to secure team acceptance: