Government Empowered 2018 (https://www1.pega.com/events/government-empowered) was the 3rd annual one day event where Pega hosts presentations and conversations centered on the government (federal and local). This event was no different and thanks to the observation by Incessant Technologies, the reality is that all governments around the world face the same challenges. The difference lies not in the challenges but in the people and their mindset in dealing with them. For those not able to make the event, I thought that I would put together my observations on the day.
Again, the conference was held at the Newseum in downtown Washington, DC. (555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW) -- A perfect downtown location. As the capacity has now outgrown the current setup at the building, some well-attended sessions had standing room only – possibly making it uncomfortable for some.
Food and Beverage
Coffee, water, juice and pop were available all day (and nothing ran out). A variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food was supplied for both breakfast and lunch. Due to the participant number jump from last year, Pega recognized extra seating capacity for lunch was going to be necessary so they ordered up amazing weather so that the participants could eat and converse on the patio (7th and 8th floors).
The theme that I took out of the presentations this year was related to feedback, impediments and evolution. There was another term that was often used in these presentations that you do not typically hear in relation to government initiatives (projects). But the presentations by government clients used it extensively and they have been hugely successful. Obviously, success doesn’t come without lots of challenges and hard work, but I believe these departments among many others not at this one day conference have proven one thing: The successful government departments have adopted Agile and senior management has seen what it can do, have bought into and now encourage it – all recipes for a successful future for these departments. It has become the standard by which progress within governments should be evaluated. The government departments making the presentations should be recognized for what they have done and what they are doing. Yes, the Pega technologies have helped them achieve their goals but they have set the goals, strategies and executed against them. For the better part of this, the Pega technology is the enabler and not the driver.
This has put Pega in an awkward but (I suspect) welcomed challenge. The attendance of this event has doubled every year. And as a result, the conference has outgrown the current venue setup. Pega has two challenges to work on for next year’s event: Where to have the conference to host approximately 900 attendees and whether or not to split this conference into multiple days. Another benefit of the success of this event is I predict a larger government presence in topics and presentations at PegaWorld 2019 (https://www1.pega.com/events/pegaworld/event-details).
As per usual, there were plenty of opportunities for participants to network with fellow colleagues (new or old). This event was no different during the breaks and for lunch. However, some of the afternoon sessions had so much good content, they couldn’t necessarily stay within the allocated timeslots so participants, if switching between tracks (business or IT), had to quickly move rooms (good thing rooms were close). This limited the networking until the day was done at 3 pm where the great networking opportunities could continue. Catching up with previous and new contacts is always a great thing. The discussions are always great learning experiences.
The Tech Pavilion is always a great place to see what products Pega has to offer but more importantly what Pega’s business partners are doing with Pega. As I have seen from many presentations, there is no limit to what can be done with Pega – and the business partners continue to prove that out.
As with any event, a lot of behind-the-scenes work is required to make any event successful. This event is no different and as a result, was very successful! I was not able to meet all the organizers so I can’t thank them all personally, but wish I could. But I know that Jackie Flynn and Debbie Vera had strong participation in this event and just wanted to thank you (and your teams) for putting on yet another very successful event.
If you would like to know something more specific about the event, please don’t hesitate to ask.