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July 09, 2024

Ethical Design, Development and Testing

Integration with Integrity

By: Matt Scott, Director of Mentorship & Lead Engineer

in·te·gra·tion /ˌin(t)əˈɡrāSH(ə)n/

1. The action or process of combining two or more things in an effective way.

integrity /ɪnˈteɡ.rə.t̬i/

1. An undivided or unbroken completeness or totality with nothing wanting.
2. Firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.

Building the foundation of a project lifecycle with a focus on ethics and integrity is a great way to reduce disappointments and unexpected surprises throughout the project. This can include some hard-to-establish concepts, including radical transparency, asking “dumb questions,” and Idea Meritocracy (You would NOT be asking a “dumb question” if you asked “What is Idea Meritocracy?”… go ahead, look it up). For this article, I have put together a bit of a checklist to refer to when considering if you are practicing integrity in your integrations. (insert copyright)

But before I begin, I would like to point out that ethical considerations are increasingly becoming a competitive differentiator in the marketplace. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the ethical implications of the products and services they use, driving demand for ethically designed and developed solutions. By prioritizing integrity in their projects, organizations can enhance their reputation, build trust with customers, and gain a competitive edge in their respective industries.

Design / Planning Stage

Ethical design begins at the planning stage, where teams establish the project’s objectives, scope, and requirements.

  • A good integrator will remain in their lane and only commit to providing a service that they truly know can and will be delivered with success. If you are utilizing this approach, your development team will be more likely to take pride in their product and want to take full ownership.
  • Get to know and understand the many perspectives of a project planning team. Technical, Management, Procurement, Operations all have different goals they are working towards. Look for ways to appeal to all.
  • Be forthcoming with your ideas but be open to considering others. You will win some and you will lose some, but either way the final product should be a collective of input from the entire project planning team.


During the development phase, accountability plays a significant role in ensuring that each team member understands how their contributions impact the project’s overall success.

  • Be Accountable – know how your contribution affects the overall project deliverables and the entire team you work with.
  • See something, say something. – Develop your ability to constructively criticize and be receptive to receiving criticism also.
  • It is going to be easier to fix now than during production testing – Take the time to fix even the low hanging problem ahead of commissioning time.
  • Consider the end-user – They way you see the system in development is surely different than how the end-user will see it when it comes in the door.

Testing / Delivery

Testing and delivery are critical stages where integrity shines through. When things go wrong, as they inevitably do in complex projects, honesty and transparency are essential.

  • Be honest when things go wrong – As an integrator, you often wield great power and hold information that others are not privy to. Be aware of this responsibility, be transparent and forthcoming with what you know about a problem, especially if you are part of it.
  • Never say Never – When someone reports an issue, do due diligence in assessing how your work may have contributed to the issue no matter how sure you are that you did not cause the problem.
  • Wrap it up – No matter the overall success of an integration project, always circle back around reflecting on the entire lifecycle, acknowledging successes, and learning from challenges. In some cases, it is difficult to listen to criticism. Take that and learn. Embracing feedback, both positive and negative, fosters a culture of growth and resilience. If you have maintained integrity throughout the project lifecycle there are no surprises, and you can bask in the feeling of a job well done… The right way.


Prioritizing ethical design, development, and testing practices integrated with integrity significantly enhances project outcomes. By fostering a culture of accountability, transparency, and receptiveness to feedback, teams can ensure smoother integration and mitigate risks. Embracing these principles from the planning stage to delivery cultivates a sense of ownership, fosters collaboration, and ultimately leads to successful project outcomes.


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