COE: Maturing and Evolving a COE

Maturing and Evolving a COE

Utilize project retrospectives to foster continuous process improvement within the COE. Overtime, the COE evolves from a small scale agent of change to the governing body for Pega initiatives.

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There are five levels of maturity within which most COEs sit. The goal is to progress through Levels 1 through 4 and eventually reach the fifth and most mature state. The maturity level relates to both the internal structure and processes and the impact the COE has on the external organization.


  • Level 1: Organizations without a COE strategy or roadmap in place are in Level 1; they haven’t defined their charter or goals.

  • Level 2: After the strategy and roadmap are put in place, COEs move into the second level of maturity; here is where roles and responsibilities are defined and resources are identified. The implementation methodology incorporates COE touch points and governance steps, and projects are at least loosely coordinated through the COE. At this point the COE starts to have influence; the team is largely leading by example, but it is gaining support thanks to some small, early successes.

  • Level 3: A COE at Level 3 is providing a full complement of expert services to the different project teams. A community is fully active, and there is coordination around shared components that allows for a level of reuse. The COE monitors projects and evaluates and supports new opportunities for business process management.

  • Level 4: At Level 4, the functional areas in the organization are organizing themselves into Competency Centers focused on driving common processes and operating models across the company. Individual lines of business are represented and negotiate between specialization and core framework based processes.

  • Level 5: The most mature COEs sit at Level 5 where a fully federated model of business process oriented Competency Centers drive for common shared processes across business lines. There are process improvement programs continually iterating across the enterprise. At Levels 4 and 5, the COE is not just influencing but directing Pega implementations across the organization. It has a seat at the strategy table and sets the policies that all projects follow.

As the organization changes and the Pega platform and frameworks evolve, the COE continually improves the delivery process. Having guided the project during its entire life cycle, the COE is well positioned to facilitate a project retrospective upon completion of each project. This workshop is an opportunity for project team members to identify and document lessons learned over the course of the delivery. Questions to ask include:

  • How well was the project managed and delivered?
  • Which aspects of the process added value, which ones missed the mark?
  • Where was the process lacking?
  • Which tools were useful, which ones were not?
  • What other tools or processes would be useful?

The COE gathers lessons learned from across individual projects and, when applicable, makes them accessible to the organization at large. Besides documenting and advancing the delivery process, the project retrospectives may also serve to identify training gaps or organizational barriers.

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