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  • rhymanson

Integration project framework: project overview

The first step in building your integration project framework is creating your project overview. What many will refer this to be is creating your set of requirements that needs to be achieved.

Goal

The goal of this step is to understand your integration requirements, specifically which use cases need to be satisfied. For an integration, this involves identifying the data elements needing to be exchanged between the systems.


Word of advice: you need to get specific. Too often I hear "the goal is to integrate with XYZ Time and Attendance system". But what does that truly mean?


Does it mean data from payroll needs to be exchanged with XYZ? (new hires, employee changes, organization groups, etc..) If yes, what elements are required:

- Employee name?

- Employee ID?

- Rate?

- Home organization group?


Does it mean data from XYZ Time and Attendance system needs to be exchanged with payroll?

- Is it summarized hours for a pay period or detailed punches?

- Will things like tips, commission, expenses or other dollar amounts be included?


How to achieve your goal

Point being, you need to get detailed during this step to achieve your desired outcome. I'd suggest you do the following:

  1. Identify every data flow/use case that needs to be completed. And think big! I tell people all the time, identify your utopia - your dream scenario of what needs to be accomplished.

  2. For each use case, create a data dictionary of the specific data elements which need to be exchange. Your data dictionary should include:

    1. Field name

    2. Data type (string, integer, decimal, date, etc...)

    3. Standard format (how many decimal places, what date format is used, etc...)?

    4. Is it required or optional?

  3. For each use case, identify the triggers which initiate the need to exchange data.

    1. Is it user initiated by performing a specific action?

    2. Is it a scheduled event which needs to occur daily, weekly, monthly, etc...?


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