Posted: 24 Feb 2021 11:03 EST Last activity: 8 Mar 2021 16:19 EST
Ask the Expert - Pega Express - The Discover Phase
Join Josh Sultanik @JoshSultanik and Glen Finch @Glen Finch as they answer your questions in our first Pega Express series of Ask the Expert March 1st - March 8th!
Over the next few weeks, we will have experts from Pega Express answering your questions related to the different phases. Josh and Glen will answer questions related to the Discover Phase!
Ask your questions now, save this to your Favorites and join us March 1st - March 8th here in the Pega Collaboration Center!
Josh has been helping businesses, for over 20 years, improve their bottom lines through service delivery and system development. As a Pega Express Director he focuses on empowering project to teams to design, build, and deliver lovable solutions.
Glen has worked in design and user experience on the Internet & Digital since it’s infancy in 1997. He’s been with Pega for 11 years, he was the first UX consultant in EMEA, helping to grow the practice before transferring in 2017 to run the Experience Design practice in the Americas. An advocate of Design being fundamental to how Pega delivers value to its clients through great end user experiences.
Message from Josh and Glen:
Hi Everyone, we are excited to be answering your questions about the Discover phase of the Pega Express approach! This phase is where through using design thinking, you identify, capture and size the microjourneys that will achieve real business outcomes for your client. Finally, its where you complete the readiness tasks to make your project successful! So, lots to talk about, get your questions in!
@RalphBooth great question. When looking at Enterprise software and existing business operations they are frequently complex and complicated, with numerous factors to consider - it's often not a binary, simple "if A do this, if B do this". However there are definitely some considerations and themes teams and decision makers can consider.
The first is probably to consider the aspirations or goals of the organization. For example there's a new piece of regulatory compliance that they'll have to comply to. There are lots of rules that are tightly defined and the organization is only looking to make sure they satisfy those by a deadline. This might be incremental improvement to an existing system they have for a system that has been working effectively for the business. There are a number of factors here that may limit the value that design thinking brings.
Tight regulations with little room to manoeuvre
Incremental improvement within an existing application
High degree of complicated new rules that need to be systematized
Little desire to change their overall processes or practices
Both the business aspirations and the problem space are likely not going to deliver as much value from a design thinking approach at our Discover phase. In discover we are at a high altitude looking across our landscape to frame our focus on the microjourney for our MLP and define the most important dimensions for the project to achieve our outcomes.
In the scenario above, the microjourney, the most important dimensions, and the top level outcomes are all predetermined by the regulatory changes. The room for innovating the solution approach within discover is constrained by external forces.
However, it's worth teams taking a moment to assess that while design thinking may not offer the most value in Discover, there's likely still smaller problem spaces within the solution where design thinking will bring value within our prepare and build phases.
The regulatory changes are 'new' so there's no guideline to understand how that will effect people within the microjourney.
If the changes aren't discrete and distinct from the existing application process and require an interrelationship with what is done today how will that work?
Now we have levels of unknowns and complexity being introduced that can directly affect adoption, how effective people are at interacting with the solution and ultimately the intended business outcomes. Sometimes what can appear straightforward and known solutions on the surface can have unsurfaced challenges that are very apt to design thinking, albeit further into our project within smaller problem spaces.
Design thinking offers the most value in Discover when organizations are looking to rethink how they do things and avoid the pain points they are experiencing in their "as is" today. It allows teams to get a deep understanding of the complexity of business capabilities and reimagine how they do those to service their customers, creating a shared understanding and vision for the direction of the solution and project.
But it's important to remember that design thinking is not a "one trick pony", it's flexibility is what makes it an effective compliment to Agile solution development. Agile teams will not define everything up front, there's a desire to learn and be able to adapt to that learning. Design thinking provides a framework of approaches that help teams do that in both large and small problem spaces making sure that teams focus on the people that will be interacting with the solution.
While the solution is digital, the customer and users are human. If the solution doesn't drive a positive change in the behaviour of those humans the outcomes won't be achieved for the business.
Posted: 1 month ago
Updated: 1 month ago
Posted: 2 Mar 2021 15:36 EST Updated: 2 Mar 2021 16:15 EST
The Jake Knapp Google Ventures approach was very strict on no technology, all in one room, design sprints. What tips and tricks can we get in a covid virtual world to get the most out of a design sprint collaboration?
Posted: 1 month ago
Updated: 1 month ago
Posted: 2 Mar 2021 18:20 EST Updated: 3 Mar 2021 5:17 EST
@JessicaG4122 Hi Jessica. Definitely Covid has been the driver of innovation and change here as much as broader work environments. I'll try and break down the points you raised to provide some guidance as I don't think an all encompassing answer will serve you best. Ok, here we go....
"Strict on no technology" - definitely the Sprint book and Jake emphasize not getting caught up in the tech, with the idea of focusing on the problem to solve and the agility to learn fast. That learn fast is really the crucial thing in regards to the tech aspect as it relates to proving out solution approaches. You're looking to do the smallest thing possible to get that insight, that learning moment. It's what represents the least amount of effort to gain the confidence to move forward. Design thinking and design sprints aim to make things tangible so that a level of verification of the ideas can occur. It happens at a few points in a design sprint.
Collaboration tools like Mural or Miro allow teams to map out a challenge space, share ideas and vote in much the same way as in a physical space. Some things such as clustering "How might we's" are typically faster virtually (cursors cross easier than people!).
Solution sketches can be done by co-creators on paper themselves (it's a "work alone, together activity") and then a photo taken and uploaded by the facilitator for your 'art museum' or 'wall of ideas'.
Storyboarding can be done by a designer on an iPad. For the most common areas that Pega engage in we will be releasing a digital storyboarding toolkit on the Pega Express Toolkit soon.
Building the prototype can be done using the Cosmos Sketch library on design.pega.com and something like InVision to create lightweight interactive surface to validate your concept. Users (from outside the sprint team) can interact online through InVision.
A moderator will have them share their screen and follow the 'think out loud' approach as they complete tasks in a realistic scenario
Having the video camera on and think out loud really helps get to the thought process behind the actions
Recording the sessions is great to be able to refer back to for any 'aha moments' you may want to share more broadly, but for the co-creators in your wider sprint team nobody really wants to sit and watch 5 x 45-60 minute recordings... seeing it happen is much more engaging.
Sprint teams have the same challenge here as 'in person' d.sprints - observer effect. Too many people watching and taking notes can be off putting. In person this is often resolved with a webcam and some kind of screenshare with the larger audience watching in another room. In virtual we are already using a video conference tool between the moderator and user who is testing. More people will definitely on the call will change the dynamic with possible observer effect. We have the moderator use a 2nd conference tool to share on the video conf screen being used between moderator and tester. E.g. the test is being done on Zoom. The sprint team watch through Webex which the moderator sets up and shares the Zoom meeting through.
For me, the emphasis is not on the no technology it's on the do the smallest thing possible. It's easy to get caught up in the trappings a technology can bring and put in more effort than needed, which can create an emotional investment that the team might find hard to let go, even if the insights indicate they should iterate.
"all in one room" - I mentioned Mural & Miro above. When combined with Webex or Zoom teams are able to get a good approximation of meeting in one room to collaborate, but some adjustments will tend to make it go smoother.
Being in one physical space definitely creates an energy in something intensive like a design sprint. It also helps to create a team spirit that makes it easier to control outside distractions, and helps drive people to be highly engaged and creative for up to 8 hours a day for 5 days. That's going to be hard to replicate virtually.
It takes time to build 'virtual fitness', 4 to 5 hour sessions with frequent short breaks will make the team more productive.
As everybody is not in 1 place the all-in-one-calendar-week isn't a constraint. For enterprise organizations it's much easier to commit to having a design sprint spread over 2 calendar weeks to minimize the impact on people's day jobs.
One of the big upsides to virtual sprints is that at the end of an intensive in person sprint the prototype and the findings from your testing with users are probably going to be the only lasting assets that get carried forward. Design sprints are intensive and help teams make huge progress in a short space of time, but there are nuggets of information and valuable ideas that can get lost at the end of a week as everyone wraps up an in person design sprint if the team don't have access to the same space the next week.
Virtual tools help teams to share the journey they went on to a wider audience. To make sure the focus on long-term goals and the critical questions that need to be answered to be successful aren't lost. The map and storyboard scenario have value and can help inform the wider delivery team. There's a wealth of ideas, information and insights that can be leveraged going forward, both up and down the organization, which is very likely necessary in larger organizations that is less of a concern in start-up ventures.
During Discover, the main goal of Pega Express is to focus on defining the business outcomes and challenges that the organization is facing and would like to be solved. Business outcomes are key, high-value business objectives that a Pega Platform™ application is designed to achieve. These outcomes are likely tied to a company's strategic objectives and are heavily influenced by what customers experience and feel as they interact with the organization.
Once we have identified the business outcomes the next step is to define Microjouney™(s) needed to deliver those outcomes. A Microjourney is Pega’s way of tackling business problems, by breaking a journey into smaller pieces to deliver meaningful outcomes quickly, with lower risk. As my colleague Glen described earlier in this thread, we may use Design Thinking techniques to help define those Microjouney™(s). This is especially true when organizations are looking to rethink how they do things and avoid the pain points they are experiencing in their "as is" today. Glen covers other scenarios as well in his response.
Once those have been defined, the next step is to decide and prioritize with the organization which microjouneys to build in your first release or Minimum Lovable Product (MLP 1). This is often an output of the Design Thinking sessions but is always done in collaboration with the organization’s Product Owner who has the final authority to prioritize and define what will be delivered in MLP 1.
The remaining tasks include:
Capturing the building blocks of the Microjourneys, like the data points, the personas, the channels that support it in either the Case Type Backlog (CTB), Excel tool, or starting with 8.5, directly in the App Studio Case Designer.
With the Microjourney defined, the building blocks of an application known you can then size your project and determine the sprint and resource plan, directly in the CTB or Pega Platform (8.5+)
If your project team will include coproduction resources from the client, work with them to identify those resources and start them on training and enablement so that they are badge and ready to go before the project kickoff. We have learning paths defined on Pega Academy
Prepare a Day 1 Live Plan which is a very simple way of capturing what the world will look like once the application has gone live. This includes information like the number of end-users, business outcomes, etc. This is a key document that feeds into the handover from Discover to Prepare. It should be referenced throughout the project to ensure the end vision and outcomes are front of mind in everything you are achieving throughout a Pega Express project.
Finally, work with the organization to get approval for the project and prepare to kick off with the team