August 2017

It sometimes comes as a shock to Project teams, to find that with 8 weeks or 6 weeks till ‘go live’, that there might not be time for all the advanced integrations they wanted.

For well run IT projects, the integration is documented first, and often before the core central system.

Usually the things you are INTEGRATING WITH are well established neighbouring systems or manual processes.

Where you have the implementation being provided by tender, the core implementation is probably the larger part of the project.

Next I will use supermarkets as a way of thinking about the integration planning.

The last 3 months of a large IT implementation are usually mostly devoted to testing, proving, and user acceptance. It is not a great idea to be trying to make changes or other demands on key project staff during that final run-in.

What this means is that there is usually compromise required, because there just isn’t the time to test complex hooks and integration, while also completing the vital run-in activities

Equating project time to supermarket money, I label ‘much project time’ as ‘Waitrose’ and ‘little project time’ as the fictional budget supermarket ‘poondbazaar’

Users who have left integration too late (not documented, late stage variance, etc) will have to accept that they have not the time budget for ‘Waitrose’, and have instead walked themselves into ‘Poondbazaar’

But, but, we cannot have a user experience that is not perfect!

Likelyhood is that without significant spend to boost the project team with folks experienced with driving ahead in very short timescales, then ‘Waitrose’ is going to have to be post implementation and in the first suite of enhancements.

Once the project gets to 6 weeks or 4 weeks to ‘go live’ it is nearly impossible to bring in an additional body and get much more production out of the team+1 setup. It is simply too late.

Plan your integration early in the project life-cycle or be forced into budget shopping (in time terms)


*Disclaimer: This is not an article about Waitrose IT systems, or even the supermarket itself. I neither shop at Waitrose nor work with their IT systems, but choose to use them as an example amongst several supermarkets to describe a project problem



Working with a centrally installed library of Scientific software creates a situation where the user is detached from the install process.

So you might have to press y/n or ‘I accept’ on the users behalf when install Zero Cost software.

But there is a subtlety in there that is caused by small ‘you must’ requests being added to the terms of download

Firstly I understand why people might want to say ‘you must cite my software’.

But it is the word ‘must’ here that creates the problem – it is an implied license term outside the clear definitions of ‘Free and Open Source’ and library of established licenses for FOSS.

A large number of Academics understand what ‘Free and Open Source’ software means and that it goes beyond ‘zero cost’. Unfortunately there are as many who do not understand the distinction.

The solution is training. Do take the time to discuss software licensing and point people to a Wikipedia page