The situation / use-case…

Your new partner manages their projects in Saleforce while your org manages their projects in Jira. The first thought is to work from one or the other (preferably yours as most PM’s are inclined to want) to maintain centralized data / communications.

While this seems good, in theory, you’re then faced with the realization that each team is so large that on-boarding into one or the other platform, with users that are never excited to learn a new PM tool (which is all users everywhere in the world), is not as easy of an undertaking as you would hope. So – now you realize it’s in YOUR best interest to be the carrier pigeon between two systems to maintain the easiest user experience for your internal stakeholders and partner and to keep the project moving forward without hiccups in platform unfamiliarity for either team.

From my experience I’ve found it’s not necessarily complex to do this BUT it can be tedious.

1st – you need to ensure the project is in both systems with the same exact verbiage. Do NOT allow the other team to rename the deliverable titles, requirements and descriptions to fit their understanding. It’s ok to allow the addition of more info but as soon as you change the phrasing and word choice, figuring out what relates back to what can get very tricky. So all issues, tasks, sub-tasks, status of issues (in progress, approved in sandbox, etc) need to be the same.

2nd – use an update-on-actionable-update-only approach. For example, if a bug is brought to your attention and you log it into your partner’s PM system, don’t feel pressured to immediately log it into your system until you get an actionable reply. You can go back and forth to clarify things in one system and then create the issue in the other with only the relevant additional information that’s been provided. I’ll be clear though – this is assuming you’ve qualified the bug and clearly understand it so when it’s reported it captures the issue fully. If you’re ever in doubt be sure to provide visibility to the reporter by creating the issue in both systems with the same exact verbiage.

3rd – Audit yourself regularly to ensure nothing has slipped through the cracks. Most systems make this easier with email updates that come through once something is edited or updated but it’s still very important to make sure all things line up across the two systems by doing regular audits.

From my experience, these three things will make your job a little easier when faced with this problem.

Happy PM’ing!