Today, companies are increasingly focused on achieving their outcomes, rather than just getting results. Companies are quite rightly focusing on how they do things, which is just as important as what they do. The difference between an outcome and a result is that an outcome includes the actions to achieve results, speaks to both the how and the why, and presents a clear and accessible objective. By defining how to achieve an outcome, you can set both your actions and the expected results.
At Pega, our mission is to help every client achieve these business outcomes by using innovative solution design, and expert, rapid delivery, to reach enthusiastic end-user adoption with incremental added value.
When talking about business outcomes for a project, there are many common challenges everyone faces. Recurring challenges can threaten a project if the means to control them are not embedded in your approach.
Challenge One: “Pass the message”
One challenge is similar to the “Pass the message” (or Telephone) game; it’s fun to see how fast a message changes from one person to the next, with only a few constraints. However, on a large-scale project, when the dynamics are complicated, (many project phases or multiple departments are involved in project delivery), and there are many constraints, the goal, vision, and other information can change without people noticing. That’s not such a fun game!
Pega Express™ places a lot of value on collaboration and communication between teams to ensure that every stakeholder is speaking the same language and understands the vision in the same way. Early in a project, involve project executives, architects, designers, product owners, and end users, to determine the roadmap. Start by using design thinking techniques to identify core problems and describe business outcomes that satisfy the end user. Then, for a given business outcome, define the customer journeys and divide them into smaller units of work that deliver meaningful results, which Pega calls Microjourneys™. That way, the goals that you all want to achieve are always clear and understood by the business, the development team, and management. The Microjourney plays a fundamental role in breaking down the complexity of large customer journeys; it simplifies delivery and speeds up value realization. With this collaborative approach, you reduce the chance of handoffs and subsequent information loss between the vision as it was initially set and the implementation.
Challenge Two: Lost sight of the big picture
Another challenge can be when a team loses sight of the big picture during implementation. For example, if the delivery team gets too focused on the individual features rather than looking at the actual business problem, this can lead to over-engineered features and can decrease the delivered business value as a result. In addition, features that can have a huge impact on the business value may be deprioritized and overlooked.
With Pega Express, you don’t stop at defining the goal. You ensure that once the delivery process starts, the delivered product stays aligned with the overall goal. Constant focus and effort from all project members are needed to keep that alignment. This is where Directly Capture Objectives (DCO) comes into play. DCO is the Pega Express way of collaborating from end to end. DCO encourages alignment between stakeholders and drives high-quality engagement between business and IT. Regular DCO sessions with Lead System Architects, Lead Business Architects, Product Owners, and stakeholders, coupled with the use of App Studio and the low-code capabilities of Pega Platform™, enable faster prototyping and give stakeholders a preview of the next stage of the Microjourney. The constant focus created by these sessions helps to align the delivery with the business objectives.
These sessions also allow for the kind of fast feedback loops that are required for Agile delivery. Pega Express makes extensive use of App Studio, an intuitive low-code design tool with which users can visually build processes, define personas, and create related data models. With the help of the low code capabilities in App Studio, citizen developers* and professional developers can both use Pega Platform directly to design a prototype and share it with the broader team, or even contribute to delivery. From our observations, clients who have successfully applied regular DCO sessions or adopted low-code delivery with citizen developers, have significantly increased their productivity, collaboration, and communication between business and development teams, all while reducing design time.
Challenge Three: The moving business landscape
Finally, stay mindful of the changing business landscape when it comes to IT projects. As witnessed over the last few years, businesses need agility and reduced time to market to adapt to new circumstances quickly. For instance, following the pandemic, some companies embraced innovative technologies, such as remote working tools, flourishing and adapting to the new situation, while others couldn’t keep up with the changing environment.
In this type of situation, when you need to adapt to a fast-changing environment, you need to periodically review your goals and update your expected outcomes to continually align with your initial vision. For this reason, Agile delivery methodologies, and more specifically Scrum, are fundamental parts of Pega Express. Scrum ensures that the delivery is always prioritized according to the business value defined by the stakeholders, and that the most impactful business outcomes are implemented first. Pega Express’s agile approach gives the flexibility to adapt to a moving landscape. By continuously prioritizing your work, you can reevaluate the business value to be delivered, focus on the most critical items, and only spend effort and resources on Achieving Outcomes.
The Pega Express approach helps to achieve outcomes with more consistency and efficiency. It’s designed to overcome recurring challenges encountered during projects and deliver business value through collaboration. Learn more about Pega Express values and best practices.
*Citizen developer - In Gartner’s view, “A citizen developer is an employee who creates application capabilities for consumption by themselves or others, using tools that are not actively forbidden by IT or business units"