At Rulesware, we specialize in helping companies implement Pega solutions both to address specific business challenges and to ultimately achieve business transformation. You might say that Pega implementations are kind of our thing.
For us, project success starts and ends with achieving customer satisfaction above all, while doing things right–the first time. And like any successful project, it’s about delivering projects on time, and on budget, all while keeping the people working on the project as happy and as productive as possible.
How, then, to achieve project success in your next Pega implementation? We canvassed our senior leaders and consultants to gather this list of best practices. Our thanks to Marshall Shovein, Anthony Lee, Suby Narasimhaiyer, Krishna Kakarlapudi, Molly Eddington, Robert Martin, Seth Oster, Sudhakar Bumireddy and Sidra Husain for their help in producing this list.
1. Understand the Requirements.
The most common causes of project failure are: misunderstood requirements, poorly understood requirements, and/or missed requirements. The lesson? Take the time to study, understand, clarify and confirm the requirements of your project right from the start — even (and especially) if you are in a rush. This tip simply can’t be overstated. When you don’t, chances are good that your team will deliver something that the client is not expecting and may not want or need. In that case, you’ll be forced to head back to the dreaded drawing board, and not only to study, understand, clarify and confirm the requirements again, but also to fix the defects and/or redevelop what you’ve done the first time. This is definitely NOT doing it right the first time. And that’s not the Rulesware way.
But, also remember to avoid the situations where you are trying to get the PERFECT requirements. There’s no such thing. People and teams sometimes fall into the “Analysis Paralysis” trap.
2. Get the Right People On Board.
It’s essential for any Pega implementation project that you find well-trained and highly skilled people who will fulfil critical roles including: Lead Business Architect (LBA), Lead Systems Architect (LSA), Lead Quality Assurance (LQA) and–to ensure that everyone is working in synch and on deadline, a killer Delivery Manager (DM).
3. Work As A Single Unit.
When you’re working for a client as a consulting group, it can be tricky to avoid falling into separate silos. But to ensure success, you must steer clear of this trap. We recommend executing the project as a single Business Technology Management group. This ‘single unit’ group should ideally include subject matter experts, stakeholders, the technical group and the management group all involved equally, holding a shared responsibility for the project’s success. At the end of the day, after all, Pega is all about better business process–which means that business and IT must coexist in equal parts.
4. Choose a Proven Pega Methodology–And Stick With It.
First, don’t do large waterfall: it simply doesn’t work well with Pega. Second, go with Scrum ONLY if you are prepared to commit to it across your organization. Lastly, don’t take these proven methodologies and fold them into the way you do projects, ultimately creating a hybrid. If you do, you’ll be spending a lot of money going down a path that is untested and unproven.
5. Smaller Is Better, & Incremental Gets It Done.
At Rulesware, we find that smaller teams are more effective and efficient with Pega than large teams. People start stepping on each other as the team gets bigger. Also, focus on getting something small into production quickly so that your organization gets up to speed on the full benefits of implementing Pega’s rules and process platform, as its approach is unique compared to other platforms available. Build incrementally after that and develop a cadence.