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How To Integrate Your Workflows Without Integrations

While you try to wade through the vast ocean of different project management tools, you might tend to gravitate towards the ones that offer a lot of integrations with other apps and tools. The concept seems perfect, as you will be able to continue to work with systems you are already familiar with. However, this comes with a lot of unnecessary drawbacks.

How To Integrate Your Workflows Without Integrations

Once you’re aware of the benefits of project management software, you will feel determined to find the best fit for your organization. But really making the right choice is a big challenge, especially with the number of tools available. The process can be deceiving. Sometimes the factors that make a certain tool seem appealing, are not important at all. Like offering countless integrations with other apps and programs. In this article, you will learn that you can successfully optimize and integrate your workflows without integrations. This is exactly why Rodeo doesn’t offer any.

Table of contents

  1. What are integrations?
  2. Why were integrations developed?
  3. Why do many project management tools offer integrations?
  4. What are the drawbacks of using many integrations?
  5. Why Rodeo doesn’t offer integrations?
  6. How can you integrate your workflows without integrations?

What are integrations?

You are skimming through the product pages of different project management tools. Something you’re bound to come across many times, is information about which application integrations a tool facilitates. What do they mean exactly with integrations?

Application integration is described as the process of enabling independently designed applications to work together. The independent apps are connected together, allowing you to use the functionalities of one app through the other. Or, moving and transferring data between the two. 

Why were integrations developed?

How many different applications do you use on your personal phone? How many on your work computer? The amount is probably staggering, impossible to count from the top of your head. This is because companies and entrepreneurs are constantly developing apps that are meant to help with specific activities. 

With so many great apps that specialize in certain areas, we end up relying on many different ones. While having a specialized app for each focus is great, managing and juggling them all is overwhelming at the same time. Not to mention, maintaining all the data they store.

Application integrations were developed to connect different apps with each other. This way when data is entered into one of them, it will be automatically transferred to the apps it integrates with. Potentially this reduces human error, plus you won’t have to input the same data multiple times into different apps.

All the countless apps that Slacks can integrate with.

(source: uxdesign.cc)

Why do many project management tools offer integrations?

There are plenty of reasons. Some are quite obvious, while others might have never come to mind before.

Popular apps attract users

Glancing over a list of possible integrations, you probably recognize a handful of apps you currently work with already. Right? Some of the most popular apps such as dropbox, slack, and Google Docs have been used by many for a long time already. Over time, positive experiences with them have developed trust. So when people see that a tool can integrate with them, this evokes that same feeling of trust.

People are already used to them

When you see that a tool allows integrations with all your favorite apps, it feels like such a relief. Most people don’t like switching to different software, forced to get used to something new. They would rather be able to keep working with apps they are already familiar with, as they know exactly how everything functions already. However, this thought is often completely unjustified.

It makes the development of their tool much easier

A lot of companies have developed project management tools that are great for creating an overview of tasks, while the actual work is tracked and supported by the various other apps it integrates with. 

This means a company only has to create a tool that focuses on one principle, such as task planning, tracking hours, or sending invoices for example. How much a user can do with the tool depends on the number of integrations it facilitates. Some tools don’t even focus on a real activity or component of project management. They are just a software structure that connects different apps, forming a tool together.

For a concept like this, the software development process is much easier and uncomplicated. Each integration replaces a lot of in-house development.

The idea here is, that they don’t need to create functionalities similar to apps that already exist. They just develop a way to connect their tool with these existing apps. Even when it could be better to develop tailor-made functionalities that would really fit within their tool seamlessly. For example, instead of developing a time tracking functionality, the team behind a project management tool can facilitate an integration with Harvest which is a time tracking app.

Developing a tool with its own features in-house requires a lot more:

  • Financial resources

  • Human resources

  • Specialized skill & knowledge

  • Evaluation & testing

  • Marketing & communication efforts

  • Time!

What are the drawbacks of using many integrations?

You have found project management software that integrates with all the apps and programs you already use. Some of them for a long time already, so you are very familiar with them. You must feel very secure and relieved, don’t you? Being able to avoid the fear of the unknown. However, using software that relies so heavily on integrations actually comes with a lot of drawbacks.

The functionalities were not designed to fit together

This is one of the drawbacks that becomes more apparent over time. In the beginning, you are far too inclined to trust that everything will work perfectly because you will be using apps you already know. However, you must realize that these apps were individually created as stand-alone tools. 

They might have been created with the idea to be integrated with other tools in the future, but not tailor-made for those tools specifically. This means they might fulfill their duty assisting with an activity, but not the way it would if it was tailor-made. Additionally, all these integrations were not designed to complement each other at all. On the whole, you will be working with a network of individual apps that have been connected in a way that was not originally intended.

In the long run, this might mean you are not optimizing your work processes in the most effective or efficient way after all. 

The functionalities were not designed specifically for business / PM

Another thing to keep in mind, is that all these individual apps might not have been developed for use in the right context. Or specifically for the right industry. 

When it comes to developing a project management tool, it’s important that all the functionalities are developed with that in mind too. Think of a collaboration functionality that allows the types of files to be attached that are frequently used for projects, or a time tracker that is designed specifically for tracking hours worked.

Some of the available all-in-one tools that were developed completely in-house are geared towards certain industries. Such as software development projects or creative projects for example. This is not the case with tools that rely on integrations, as the apps they integrate with are not always designed specifically for business processes or project management teams.

Potential problems due to application software updates

Apps that are designed as stand-alone tools, will also have their own research and improvement process going on. Whenever they add or change features, they won’t give special consideration to whether or not this affects any other apps or tools that they can integrate with.

It would be impossible to keep track of this, and why would they? The focus lies on the needs and wants of their own direct users.

Thus, when apps launch new features, this could potentially affect existing integrations. Maybe it will be updated in a way that doesn’t support the activity you used it for anymore. Worst case scenario, it might cause the tool it integrates with to act up. Which is a perfect segue to the next drawback.

Confusion over which help desk to contact 

Imagine experiencing technical problems with your project management tool, involving an application integration. How would you know who’s help desk to contact? 

Sometimes after contacting both, neither of them really knows whose responsibility it is. Research on both sides is necessary to discover what the problem is, how it can be solved, and by who. This can be very time-consuming, and exhausting. Especially when you’re given the runaround first.

Extra costs

Some of the apps you wish to integrate with might be free, while some aren't. There are also apps that offer free versions but will require you to buy a paid version for more users. This is the case with Slack for example. Keep in mind that these extra costs will come on top of the costs of your project management tool.

Why Rodeo doesn’t offer integrations?

Because at Rodeo we have put in the time, effort, and resources to make sure we don’t need them! We have already painted a picture of all the drawbacks you avoid if you opt for a project management tool that doesn’t rely on integrations. But there are even more advantages to this.

In-house developed functionalities that complement each other

Rodeo is truly an all-in-one tool, as all its features were developed in-house and designed to work together seamlessly. This is also the reason why there is no free version of Rodeo. 

While many other project management tools offer free versions with limited functionalities, we have made the conscious decision not to. All our features complement each other, meant to function as an interdependent system that replaces all the separate apps and tools you use. We just can’t imagine leaving any features out just for the sake of offering a free version.

Rodeo is truly an all-in-one tool, as all its features were developed in-house and designed to work together seamlessly.

Developed especially for specific business operations

Rodeo was developed by the founder of financial services company Kop of Munt. As most of their clients are creative companies, they were able to pinpoint exactly how this industry could benefit from a project management tool. Thus developing one that is tailored to best industry practices, aligned with common work processes. 

Rodeo has developed its own features to support these processes, instead of allowing integrations with apps that already exist. The whole point was to create features that are even better than existing apps with the same functionality.

Each feature is developed especially with the goal to optimize the workflows of companies that work on projects. This includes the whole business process from start to finish, connecting all related activities.

Starting with budgets and estimates, planning projects, and tracking time, to invoicing and generating reports. This cycle can be easily repeated, as all project info can be copied and reused for similar projects. Read all about how this helped Dorst & Lesser optimize their monthly ongoing projects.

Whenever there is a problem -with any feature at all- you are able to speak to a Rodeo support representative in no time. Our in-house sales- support- and development teams work closely with one another, which is what makes our customer service all the more efficient and effective.

The one and only integration we allow is with a financial accounting system. As bookkeeping is a process that’s usually carried out by a third party outside of companies, this integration remains the only exception. Recording all your expenses, purchase orders, and sales invoices is still done in Rodeo. The integration allows you to transfer all this information, plus UBL data, to your bookkeeper.

So how can you integrate your workflows without integrations?

To summarize, Rodeo doesn’t facilitate integrations because we simply don’t have to. We have put in the time, funds, and effort to research what companies really look for in a project management tool, building one that fills this void completely from scratch.

Instead of integrating existing apps that support activities related to project management, we have used our knowledge and skill to create functionalities that perform even better. As a whole, Rodeo is an all-in-one tool that functions as a system of interdependent features that replaces all of the apps that most people commonly use for project management. This means you can integrate your workflows with one solid system, instead of trying to do it with multiple integrations.

What are the benefits of a tool that doesn't rely on integrations?

Integrating your workflows without integrations, means you can say goodbye to scattered workflows, multiple support desks, and segmented reporting per tool. 

Your processes will never be optimized to the fullest extent if you depend on integrations with various different tools and apps that were designed separately. Not as it would be with only one central interface, with features that are designed to complement each other. Do you want to find out how your company can benefit from Rodeo? Schedule a free demo now!

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