Stratosphere Announces the COE Workbench for your Enterprise

Read the COE Workbench Press Release

I’ve had the privilege of installing, maturing, or otherwise advancing Pega Centers of Excellence (COE) for quite some time now, from Maine, to Florida, to California, and I’ve seen them yield astonishing results in rapidly advancing the maturity of a practice. As part of the COE’s mission to drive efficient and sustainable delivery of the projects under its purview, and taking advantage of Pega’s inherent capabilities for developing reusable components, a common focus for any COE is the development, maintenance, and governance of reusable assets in the enterprise.

The Evolution of your Practice

The benefits of reuse across Pega projects, when executed properly, are manifold: ready-to-go code with only the development overhead of invoking it, tested components that are already proven to work, and consistency of implementation across every project, to name but a few. When beginning your practice, the projects and related assets are easy to keep track of. There are relatively few of either, and everyone knows what is being used where as part of the general tribal knowledge present in your organization. This often is held by a handful of expert developers who have been instrumental in driving the practice forward, and to whom your development teams generally look for advice – your “rock stars”.

Growing Pains, Governance, and the Lack of Visibility

However, as your Pega practice grows, your project and asset catalog grows with it, and the grass-roots model of information management about that practice starts to break down. This becomes evident as teams begin building assets that already exist, reuse and repurpose existing assets inappropriately, and work around the structures the COE has created “because it’s easier.” Communicating the existence and use, as well as governance, around these assets becomes more important and requires additional effort to manage and disseminate.

  • How will they know what projects are using what assets?
  • How will developers know what assets are available?
  • What about the availability of new versions of those assets?

The next logical conclusion is often to create a spreadsheet that lists all of the available assets, but even this struggles to manage the inter-relational, multi-dimensional nature of these assets, the projects in your enterprise, and what versions either may be on. It, too, breaks down quickly because – while it is better than having the knowledge in the hands of a few individuals – it fails to capture the true scope of the practice.

It is very possible that you are now reading this with a slight nod of the head as you recognize this very common disfunction in your own organization, and this is why we created the COE Workbench. As organizations grow their practice, they need a solid foundation from which to grow, and that foundation begins with a knowledge of what is in place (and what is planned) at any given time.

Never Build Twice

COE Workbench allows you to track your practice, programs, projects, and teams, promoting a visibility that is difficult to capture via other methods. Furthermore, it allows you to associate, track, and report on reusable assets across those dimensions, enabling development teams to get access to information on available components, how they should be used, and who they can contact for more detailed information should it be required.

The value in having this visibility is self-evident. What is the cost to the organization if you build something multiple times? The answer is potentially in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and it only becomes more painful as the organization grows: more components are duplicated due to lack of visibility and you start to incur significant technical debt to remediate it, exacerbating the cost in both immediate spend and opportunity.

Consider also that many components may be subject to security or other regulations, and present real risk to the organization every time they are implemented. What happens when multiple project teams implement a financial component that transmits sensitive information? Well, they’ve just multiplied the possible threat vectors for attack – that’s what.

This is why a comprehensive view of your practice is essential to its continued growth and effectiveness, and this is where the COE Workbench can be your guide.

The Road Forward

As important as these core principles are, the COE Workbench is just getting started! Our near-term roadmap includes features that include:

  • Calculate the return on investment on assets as they are reused across your projects.
  • Track your organization’s level of enablement and maturity.
  • Track your COE team, its responsibilities, and association with projects.
  • Track your deployments across the organization, including Pega version and infrastructure.
  • Perform ongoing maturity assessments to identify the most impactful changes your organization’s Pega practice.

Learn More

To learn more about the COE Workbench contact Stratosphere below. We'd be happy to show you how we can help your organization continue to grow and thrive!