MicroPact Blog

Design By Doing Revisited

Study Makes Strong Case for Collaborative Development

Tom Lowrey's avatar

By: Tom Lowrey

April 15, 2014 | Case Management/BPMAnalysts

The need for application developers to take a “design by doing” approach to designing and building enterprise software systems continues to grow.

According to a new study from Forrester Consulting conducted on behalf of MicroPact, there is evidence to suggest that “frozen” software requirements are acting as an impediment to achieving implementation goals. In the study, Is Process Mapping a Barrier to Innovation?, researchers found that the top barriers to innovation continue to be nailing down system requirements.

To Forrester, this suggests that traditional development approaches that design, develop, compile and deploy – based on a ‘frozen’ set of requirements – may be insufficient to support our new process boundaries and the faster pace of business.

Is Process Mapping a Barrier to Innovation?, Forrester Consulting, February 2014

This is exactly where a design-by-doing approach to software development (gathering information about a business process while designing the system in order to make sure the system is built around the data and the user) enters the picture within an enterprise.

There is further evidence to suggest just how important it is to design software right the first time. Forrester estimates that enterprises will spend $56 billion redesigning processes by 2015.

When enterprises start work on designing how specific business operations are completed, according to the study, they are looking for technologies that give knowledge workers the ability to adapt a running process and basically compose a valid and unique business process on the fly.

Top 3 Capabilities for More Dynamic Process Improvements:

  1. Intelligently routed work based on best available resource for completing a particular tasks
  2. A process that starts with a selection of goals allowing the flow of work and tasks to emerge
  3. A set of flexible tasks selected and executed by the knowledge worker composing a valid and unique “process”

One of the key recommendations from the study is that enterprises need to focus on goals and outcomes in system design.

Avoid the disconnect and lack of collaboration between departments for end-to-end processes by allowing independence in how they achieve process goals, as long as they meet handover criteria and are compliant.

Is Process Mapping A Barrier To Innovation?, Forrester Consulting, February 2014

By bringing in more voices and putting data before processes, enterprise application developers will likely be able to create more innovative solutions and improve business operations.

About the Author

Tom Lowrey was with MicroPact from 2001-2016. He most recently worked in Business Development.