Pega’s New Agile Workbench Puts IT and Business Developers on the Same Page

The new solution’s real-time agile approach takes coding completely out of the equation so business users and IT can speak the same language as they iterate through the development process.

(Pega Agile Workbench screenshot.)

Pegasystems (Cambridge, Mass.) has launched Pega Agile Workbench, which the vendor describes as a visual application development tool that provides a foolproof way for business and IT to collaborate and bring better software to market faster. The solution uses what Pega characterizes as an intuitive sticky note-like interface, creating a real-time feedback loop that simplifies communication, speeds iteration, and guides all stakeholders onto an aligned path.

Pega Agile Workbench addresses the perennial challenge of aligning business and technology goals during development projects. The vendor argues that business people remain comfortable with a business vocabulary, while IT professionals focus on technology intricacies. All too often, the result is miscommunication and misinterpretation with each project iteration, leading to errors, lost time, cost overruns and failed projects. Pega’s solution aims to address the problem by “picking up where standard agile approaches fall short,” and providing what the vendor calls an intuitive, no-code feedback environment using common language.

Ying Chen, Head of Product Marketing, Platform, Pegasystems.

Ying Chen, Head of Product Marketing, Platform, Pegasystems.

“The agile approach has moved software development lightyears ahead, but it still doesn’t solve the age old conflict between IT and business that slows organizations down,” comments Ying Chen, head of product marketing, Platform, Pegasystems. “A real-time agile approach takes coding completely out of the equation so business users and IT can speak the same language. This allows them to keep pace with changing market dynamics and provide products that customers love.”

Pega Agile Workbench enables business users to give feedback or report a bug simply by pinning a digital note—as text, voice, video, or screenshot—directly in the application they are building, the vendor reports. Directions can be as simple as “Move this search box to the top of the screen,” or “Present next best offer at this stage of the process.” Pega says the new solution automatically translates the feedback notes into a project task or agile artifact within a preferred agile project management tool (including Pega Agile Studio, CA Agile Central, or Atlassian’s JIRA). This obviates misunderstandings by creating continuous and seamless hand-offs between business users and IT as they quickly iterate throughout the development process, according to Pega.

Pega characterizes the process as a unique real-time agile approach that puts business users and IT on the same page—literally and figuratively—resulting in the following benefits:

  • More effective collaboration: Organizations break down communications barriers with a visual, code-free interface using a common language that leaves little room for misinterpretation about what businesspeople want.
  • Faster go-to-market: Streamlined workflows take agile development out of tedious email chains and deskside conversations and into a centralized feedback loop. This reduces the number of iterations needed, speeds development processes, and gets products to market faster at lower development costs.
  • Better software: By adding new value to existing agile development investments, the real-time agile approach helps developers turbocharge their agile processes to create better applications with fewer errors to meet rising customer expectations.

Pega reports that Agile Workbench is unified in Pega Platform, the vendor’s model-driven application development environment that it claims is proven to develop software 6.4 times faster than traditional methods. It also extends Pega’s Directly Capture Objectives (DCO) capabilities to further simplify requirements gathering and cross-team collaboration, according to the vendor.

Pega Agile Workbench, which comes fully unified with Pega® Agile Studio, is available for free in June with the newest release of Pega Platform, the vendor reports. Users of JIRA and CA Agile Central project management software can integrate these leading third-party tools with Pega Agile Workbench via a downloadable component from the Pega Exchange marketplace, the vendor says.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For over a decade he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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