What I love about Pega Express™

Ralph Booth, 4 minutes read

Pega’s delivery approach, Pega Express™, is unique because it is a fusion of purposefully-developed product features, scrum, and best practices. Plus, it includes our great out-of-the-box DevOps, test, and low code capabilities. Our clients, partners, and Pega consulting employees bring deliveries to life using this approach. All together, Pega Express elements ensure a fast, simple, guided, and successful delivery experience.  

When speaking to clients and partners in my role as Pega Express director, there are several aspects of the delivery approach that I love telling them about. These are the things that make our simple approach not only special, but incredibly effective:

Business outcomes

First up are business outcomes. Gone are the days of enormous requirement documents that take an age to produce, read, and achieve sign off on. Our focus is purely to identify upfront the business opportunities, problems, or challenges (the client’s strategic objectives) the application will solve for. Maybe your team would like to make a call center more efficient, reducing Average Handling Time (AHT) by 25 percent. Whatever the business outcomes are, they are instrumental in helping to frame the later Discover work needed to prepare for a rapid Pega Express delivery. 

I like this concept so much because once you know the desired outcomes, everything else quickly falls into place. You can then start to identify microjourneys™ (Pega’s way of breaking work into manageable chunks).  

Business outcomes will remain at the top of mind throughout your Pega delivery. They form part of the Day 1 Live Plan, which ensures everyone is aligned and understands what will change for the business on day one of go-live. Business outcomes also influence the application design and non-functional project considerations, and they are center stage at the project kick off meeting so that everyone knows what they are working towards. 

The point here is that all the work you do should contribute to achieving the business outcomes, and you should reference them throughout the project. Finally, the application should be monitored once it is tested and in production to confirm it has achieved the business outcomes determined at the beginning of the project, and to confirm it has brought the expected business value. 

Design thinking 

My second highlight is related to business outcomes. Imagine a situation where you know the desired business outcomes but are not sure how best to solve them and which microjourneys are right for the project. This is where design thinking plays a key role. 

Design thinking, while not a new concept, is now a major feature of our Pega Express approach, and for good reason. I have seen firsthand the profound effect design thinking has on our Pega deliveries. For example, a design sprint can help you evaluate a project from a different vantage point and work out a fresh, user-focused way of achieving a solution. You will find this translates to a simple, yet more intuitive way of providing a service or experience to your customers or end users. 

Design sprints run in an engaging way, and end users shape the experience. The sprint team goes through the steps of mapping the proposed microjourneys, sketching out the best ideas, voting on which ideas are the best, and then creating a simple prototype to prove the ideas are the right ones to achieve your business outcomes. 

What makes this so instrumental and magical is that it allows the team, the business, and the end users to experience what the end solution will look and feel like before you invest in build sprints and incur any configuration costs. By following this simple approach, you can prove up front that you have a compelling idea for your application. You can learn more about this by listening to the way my colleague, Innovation Design Director Glen Finch, explains this in our recent TechTalk

Microjourneys 

Finally, I would like to highlight the concept of microjourneys. Microjourneys are a key output of a design sprint completed in the Discover phase, and they are such a terrific way to document the objective of a project or application delivery. What makes them so effective is that plotting microjourneys requires you to consider a user’s end-to-end experience. This exercise delivers an incremental piece of functionality that can be put quickly into production, adding value straight away. Microjourneys can be captured directly in Pega, (and even sized in 8.5 and above for platform opportunities), or in the Case Type Backlog tool. This ensures your team reaches a collective understanding of the project requirements as you move from the Discover phase into the Prepare phase. Collaborating during the Discover phase solidifies the group’s understanding of the ideal solution, and gives you a head start on project delivery. It is truly a game changer to have this information on hand as you start your project.  

There are many more qualities and best practices that make Pega Express a wonderful way to crush complexity. These are just a few of my favorites, and I enjoy sharing them with the clients and partners I meet on the virtual road. 

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About the Author

In his role as Pega Express director, Ralph Booth is passionate about delivering programmes. Ralph joined Pega initially as a project delivery lead before moving onto the client innovation team to work on Pega’s delivery approach. Today he supports the EMEA region, helping clients, partners, and Pega professionals deliver great results with Pega Express.