What is delivery excellence? The term is relatively new, but chances are you have heard about it from a friend or a colleague. You may even be practicing it already! In essence, delivery excellence describes how an organization delivers the outcomes that are most valuable and relevant to stakeholder needs. To achieve this, a delivery team should have a clear vision, a charter, and supporting resources. It might also institutionalize policies, procedures, and the best practices that embed engineering excellence into the outcome(s) being delivered.
There are a handful of factors that would help drive delivery excellence. In this article, we will focus on the value of growing in-house expertise and the difference it makes in overall delivery.
What is in-house expertise and how does that help?
Digital transformation or any long-term strategic enterprise initiative is usually a multi-year program. Teams conduct a lot of research to identify the gaps, opportunities, and propose a vision and a roadmap for the future state. The best way to fulfill a vision effectively is by building a team that can effectively communicate the needs of stakeholders between strategic and technical skillsets.
In-house expertise refers to the extent to which an organization’s employees have the depth and range of skills required to successfully leverage technology investments to the company’s advantage. Limitations on the availability of internal expertise means that most large enterprises cannot complete major IT projects by themselves. That's where outside service providers come in. But effective partnerships do not involved simply 'throwing requirements over the wall.' Instead, it is critical to have employee representation in core project groups, wherever those groups might be. The Pega Express™ delivery approach recommends co-production to enable Pega clients to become self-serving organizations. Here are some of the ways building in-house expertise will benefit your team:
- Broader ecosystem knowledge: In-house teams experience concerns directly from internal customers, and often have deep knowledge of other solutions that exist in the ecosystem. If they are also trained in Pega, they can facilitate the right conversations at the right time. As a whole, co-production with in-house experts means that project teams can make better technology choices for a given use case.
- Customer empathy: Every organization has its own culture. Teams that live and breathe that culture will better understand and serve internal customer needs because they may have experienced the issues first-hand. Imagine what your in-house team could do to balance both business and technical expertise if they had skill working with Pega. And imagine how relevant and engaging user experience could be if users and developers shared the same working philosophy. Shared experience means more empathy, better user experiences, more satisfaction, greater adoption, and wider business impact.
- Quality becomes the major driving force: Teams that have a sense of ownership and accountability will deliver higher quality products and services to their customers because outcomes are more tightly tied to their individual performance.
- Better adoption: Measuring a product or service’s success by its ability to deliver a great customer experience will lead to better adoption rates. In-house teams have more knowledge and access to what patterns are successful and are in line with organizational guidelines. And they can leverage that knowledge to create more effective user experiences and customer training content.
Key preliminary focus areas for co-production
Co-production is at the heart of Pega Express. Empowering organizations not only helps with ongoing development but it also improves the quality of each solution. Where outside resources are engaged (whether they be from Pega or a Partner), we recommend that they start working directly with client organizations early on to help identify the best people for the team. Below are a few different initial focus areas. These are key areas where empowering your team with new capabilities will make a significant difference to the overall delivery.
- Product Owner/SME/BSA: All these roles are very important to project delivery and act as a liaisons between the business and technical teams. When they understand the capabilities of a new technology well, they will be able to bring the best use cases forward and communicate with the technical team in ways that minimize requirement gaps. Enabling these roles will help with quicker and higher quality deliverables. In addition to shadowing the teams during co-production, these individuals can also refer to the Pega Business Architect self-study materials from Pega Academy.
- Center of Excellence/Enterprise Architects: In many organizations, it is a common practice to form a central body of governance for solution architecture. This group’s goal is to ensure that teams are following the right solution patterns across the organization and help internal teams with the solution and technology mapping for a given use case. Given this context, it should be obvious how important it is to educate and train this group in new capabilities so they can propose the best choice for a given use case. As a central body, they also in a great position to share best practices across teams.
- Development Team: At the end of the day, overall product quality depends on the ability of the person(s) producing it. The stronger the knowledge and understanding of the business needs, technology stack, experiences that the end users want etc., the better are the business outcomes. So, it is extremely useful to identify a few resources internally and enhance their skillset. Doing this can make a difference to the product since these developers can also leverage the vast knowledge gained about existing systems over the years.
- Business Users: The existence of any product(s) in the first place is driven by its users. Business users play a critical role in growing the organization, and their vision is supported by technical teams. Business requests must be prioritized and navigate complex dependencies within IT, which may sometimes lead to delays and missing opportunities if they cannot respond to market changes in time. Imagine what would happen if we could enable business users to carry out these changes on their own through Pega’s interactive, low-code platform. Check out our recent eBook on citizen development If you are interested in that approach.
We know that we cannot address every business need through training and hiring. Partnering is essential, but partnership is only as effective as the communication that makes it possible. Through co-production, development partners benefit from the insights and empathy of in-house experts. And to the extent that in-house experts are familiar with Pega, they are able to establish a common language that improves communication and significantly increases the impact of the solutions they build together.
- You can learn more about Pega Express and co-production through Pega Academy course.
- To learn more about citizen development and how your organization can get started, check out our eBook: Building your Low-Code Factory: A Best Practices Kit for Success.