Use lean integration principles to clean up your metadata mess

Remain efficient and uncompromising in quality, cost, and speed by keeping your data integration process clean.


Perhaps the greatest value of lean integration…is transforming an organization from one on the edge of chaos into an agile, data-driven enterprise.

Businesses are increasingly looking to harness data for maximum strategic advantage. As a result, already complex IT systems are becoming stressed from cycle after cycle of data integration. Developers are faced with disorganized environments bloated from the byproducts of integration. Instead, administrators can bring sanity to the integration process. By instituting lean integration principles, they can eliminate stress to both developer and development.

Lean management began as a manufacturing principle on the factory floor at Toyota Production Systems. It became famous for its ability to reduce waste to improve customer value. It has evolved to encompass processes, standards, technology, and resources. Companies across many industries now use it to maximize efficiencies and ensure continuous improvements. Environments free of complexity and waste are also easier to understand and support.

In their book Lean Integration: An Integration Factory Approach to Business, Informatica Vice President of Global Integration Services John Schmidt and Vice President of Product Strategy David Lyle stress that, “Lean transforms integration from an art into a science—a repeatable and teachable methodology that shifts the focus from integration as a point-in-time activity to integration as a sustainable activity that enables organizational agility. This is perhaps the greatest value of Lean Integration—the ability of the business to change rapidly without compromising on IT risk or quality; in other words, transforming the organization from one on the edge of chaos into an agile, data-driven enterprise.”

  1. Your organization cannot achieve this transformation without instituting a continuous cycle of essential housekeeping tasks:
  2. Identifying and removing unused, old, and duplicate data, as well as the waste resulting from those processes.
  3. Organizing and tagging objects in a way that makes sense to the business.
  4. Monitoring and resolving issues as they arise.
  5. Continually improving on the process by filtering out offending components.
  6. Institutionalizing the process in such a way that developers come up with innovative solutions to problems instead of drowning in them.

This process leaves a clean "factory floor" for future developers, instead of leaving them to rummage through useless artifacts in search of reusable objects. Otherwise, you will find aggravated developers stuck in a cycle of sorting through and cleaning up metadata perpetually generated from ongoing integration tasks.

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