Establishing Integration Competency Center, part 5

Part 5: Communication and Tools

The first part of Establishing Integration Competency Center described an example set of roles that could be used in ICC. Parts from 2 to 4 described sample set of major processes. Those samples name the smallest set of processes ICC must run. And remember, every process you design, you’ll have to execute, follow-up, manage and eventually lean. Instead of having bookful of rules and processes, set up only minimum set of processes you are sure you can’t live without.

Sample ICC Backlog Cycle

Sample ICC backlog Cycle

As roles are bound to tasks and processes for which a role is responsible or accountable for, you’ll need a pre-defined communication plan. ICC manager is accountable for make communication happen, but no worries – lots of good plans are publicly available. Lets imagine that our ICC runs agile. Here is a sample agile communication item list.

Communication Artifacts, like Release Planning an Sprint Planning, are scheduled to calendar. Your ICC is continuous shared service, so make events recurring. The frequency of each item depends of course on the needs of your organization.

Remember, there are several ways or models of executing ICC. There is a faction who swear in the name of single agile team that can also implement everything in a project – including systems integration. In those cases ICC contributes required roles, guidance and acceptance for team’s deliverables. Other approach is to have developers inside ICC or from third-party and ICC manager acts as a scrum master as well. In this model ICC is typically internally more efficient as it have broader set of integration specialists but there is always the other side of the coin: we need to pay special attention in release management as we need to synchronize our ICC deliverables to projects needing them.

Independent Project Team

Independent Project Team

ICC oriented development

ICC oriented development

To summarize, create your communication items(Sample) and schedule them. Decide how you can use it and your ICC team and in your organization’s way of work (almighty independent projects or really shared services).

After this, your ICC is ready to run. I’m not wishing you good luck as it is not needed after careful ICC design and establishment.

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