Alan Trefler of Pegasystems gave his traditional lunch address – entertaining as always, starting with a “White Rabbit” audio clip – with an Alice in Wonderland theme of how we have to chase our business goals down whatever rabbit hole that they disappear down. Continuing on the theme, he contrasted the “one pill makes you larger” end of the spectrum with monolithic applications, and the “one pill makes you small” end of point solutions, and how you need to look at something in the middle. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice (even from hookah-smoking caterpillars), watch for those delusional Mad Hatter software salespeople, and be sure to meet the needs of the Red Queen boss lady so that you don’t get your head chopped off in the process.
Trefler is a former chess champion, so it’s inevitable that he introduced an Alice-themed chess analogy when examining his recommended steps for implementing BPM:
- Directly capture objectives, so that your BPM implementation is focused on business intents and goals.
- Automate the programming: the computer can write code much better than human beings, which is much less expensive in the long run even if off-shoring development appears to make it cheaper up front. In other words, use a system that allows for model-driven development and zero-code (or near-zero-code) deployment.
- Automate the work wherever steps can be automated.
I love the term that he introduced: “heritage systems”, which are just legacy systems that we like a little bit better, probably because we’ve wrapped them to allow them to be more easily integrated with other systems and processes.