Direct Capture of Objectives, or DCO, is often referred to as Pega’s secret sauce for project success. It’s vital to creating software that continuously adapts to the strategic objectives of our customers.
DCO is the process of capturing, organizing, and storing information by using Pega’s integrated solution, the Pega Platform. DCO includes processes and tools for collecting and organizing application artifacts. More importantly, this enabling technology is used by IT, business and testing teams, and other resources. It saves time, effort, and money, and improves projects and quality of life.
DCO is not a methodology or a single event in the methodology process. It’s not a single tool. Instead, the goals and benefits associated with it are to centralize the data so it can be leveraged continuously across departments at the appropriate time and level. DCO breaks down communication barriers by providing a centralized depository of application artifacts that are linked (objectives, requirements, specifications, and implementation rules). All resources have access to a unified view of the application with real-time as-built documentation.
- DCO automates the work with the following tools:
- New Application Wizard
- Case Lifecycle Manager
- Document generation
- Application profiler
- Specification documents
- Effort estimation
- User interface and flows that are drafted automatically
These tools allow expectations to be set appropriately; what the business sees is what it gets. All project participants see the related artifacts in real time with a full view of the application quality improvements. This is all done within a secure environment and with full check-in and versioning capabilities.
The Case Lifecycle Manager is a critical part of DCO. Business users often utilize it to discuss how the case management application should function by describing the stages and steps that a case goes through as it is worked to completion. Resources can easily organize and capture the business process by using simple operations.
The Case Designer allows a business process to be captured and iterated on by using:
- Stages: high-level groupings of related work that make up a business process. A business process can be made up of a number of stages.
- Steps: individual tasks that are executed to complete a single stage. Steps can be represented as a single assignment, a multistep process, or another case.
Another key aspect of DCO is allowing collaborative teams to model scenarios that need to be handled by the end users of the application. The modeling and simulation features allow users to take an important interim step after the documentation of the application, but before incurring the expense of construction, to determine whether our goals are being accomplished by the software. We as users are less likely to be blindsided in production when we can think through and work out the solutions as part of the software development life cycle.
Finally, DCO allows organizations to optimize their effort and apply iterative methodologies. Issues and risks are not allowed to surprise a team at the end of the project; they are identified and mitigated in real time. The software development process is more transparent and provides teams with continuous learning and improvement opportunities. DCO tools and best practices provide multiple opportunities to deliver go-live, which increases the organization’s return on investment and allows them to consistently meet their goals.