I briefly worked at a construction company and learned some remarkable things that apply to our technology world.
For every construction project, the company made sure the client went through “The Ride” – a top-quality experience for the delivery of the construction, with a focus that went beyond the materials and centered upon the actual use of the building.
At times during The Ride, we had to slow down, take in the scenery, and discuss what we were doing successfully. Other times, we sped smoothly to a milestone. The Ride has natural ups and downs – and on the downs, stakeholders are nervous or stressed. The most important part about The Ride is experiencing it together – collaboratively, transparently – with the final destination always in mind.
While experiencing The Ride, I observed that no one completed a building only to walk away after completing the physical construction. After all, a building is made for a purpose and intended for use by people. It seems obvious to ask — is the building safe? Is it pleasant? Can one navigate through it with ease? Does it make the occupants happy? And so, a model is first created, reactions to the model are carefully observed, and changes to the final building are made to make it lovable. Then development continues.
We in technology take many metaphors from construction: architecting solutions, designing functionality, and building frameworks, to name a few. And as in construction, systems exist. When I joined Pega last year, I discovered that we created Pega Express™ to provide all team members and stakeholders an amazing ride to a final destination with a lovable solution.
But what does a lovable solution look like? And how do we get there? We often believe this means we need to have a perfect process, but simply following a process, no matter how flawlessly, does not guarantee you will choose the right destination, or take the appropriate journey to reach it.
I don’t view Pega Express as a methodology, but an approach to instill a mindset: the willingness to both consider the destination and agree upon it, and then provide a spectacular ride to get there. It’s a way of thinking that infuses itself into Scrum, SaFE, or any proprietary Agile process, framework, or methodology. Based on our collective experiences, the principles of the Pega Express mindset are:
- Design thinking, end to end. Just like buildings are built for human beings, Pega is too. Design thinking is a human-centered approach that leverages creativity and collaboration, without ever taking the focus off the end -user. Using design thinking, we can create lovable Microjourneys™ that don’t lose sight of business outcomes, which are our final destination.
- Directly Capture Objectives (DCO). The IT industry has spent decades on business and IT alignment. Pega allows us to design solutions directly within the platform to foster ongoing collaboration and feedback between IT and business stakeholders. It’s one of the key elements of “The Ride.”
- Deliver something loveable in 90 days. We have a vision of what our users’ worlds will look like when we reach the final destination. But we can easily lose our way if we don’t make periodic stops to check where we’ve been and where we’re going. Pega Express demonstrates success by breaking implementations down to Microjourneys in increments known as a Minimum Lovable Product (MLP).
- Leverage no code when you can, then low code. Let’s not reinvent the wheel time and again. Pega, through its years of crushing complexity, has figured out ways to quickly build MLPs. By using what is already available, you can expect to get to the right destination with speed and to feel confident that what you deliver is of quality.
- Make the most of DevOps and automated testing. A significant part of The Ride is to present work to test early, often, and efficiently. Manual testing can be risky and exhausting – that’s not the ride we want to provide. With Pega’s DevOps and automated test suite, we can identify and fix issues as soon as possible.
Continuously monitor the health of your application. The Pega Application Quality dashboard and Predictive Diagnostic Cloud™ are critical for all stakeholders to understand so that you can diagnose and address any bumps in the road before they become issues. Like when you’re driving, you are checking your gauges continuously, not waiting until you stall in the middle of the road.
Think about it, if we only focus on constructing the physical building, there isn’t much point to our work! Let’s instill the Pega Express mindset before jumping into any methodology because we’re successful not only when we develop a Pega solution but also when users are delighted with the outcome.
- If these ideas resonate with you, you can read more about Pega Express on our community page.
- Or, get your Pega Express delivery badge on Pega Academy.