Saturday, December 5, 2009

e-Learning Media: Self made Constraints : Part 6: Integrators the lesser known important skill

I started my career in this area. Frankly, couldn't understand the value of the work.I neither code, nor design, nor edit, nor layout the screens. But it was a role held in high esteem by peers in my company.

My mentors started to instill confidence in the role and the value that Integrators bring to the table. It is not the technicalities in the end that WOW the customer. It is bringing them together that is important, that makes sense, that makes relation, that delivers the money, that delivers the business success. Hence while an ID, VD, developer, Technical teams are the experts that you cannot command on what to do in the project, an integrator just pieces all of them together and troubleshoots the "overlaps" and "disparate" elements with individual experts to resolve the "gaps" and "repeats".

The rant is to let you know, that things have not changed yet. There are still skeptics who rationalize and question the need of Integrators. A role given to a team member confuses on the actual work involved.

This is the role, that is more encompassing and shuttled around to do all tasks that fall through the cracks of independent teams. But it is an esoteric skill (perception that this is most critical), that allows growth for members to be excellent project managers.

The main target for Integrators is to explain and fight (at times) within the team to get the output flowing. Just that when you move to a PM role, you pick up explanation and fights (with customers and management not inclined towards solutions) while supporting the team you work with.

Still I cannot articulate the "Perfect Behaviour" or the "job description" for an Integrator, except that I can sense them with intuition, if they are right fit for the job. The best part is Integrators can come from any stream. No prior technical knowledge is necessary. But conviction to learn multiple technologies and use them and "interplay" between technologies is more sought after skill for a true "Integrator material" resource.

In my first company, I saw this abolished in name of cost cutting. Sad that it widened the gap to profitability in the next quarter. :( 
Do you employ Integrators in your e-Learning projects ?

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