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PegaWorld iNspire 2023: Panel - Realizing the Promise of Citizen Development: Perspectives on challenges and success

Gartner predicts that half of low code purchases will come from outside of IT by the end of 2025. According to Forrester, Pega clients can expect to see a 12% increase in productivity and 16% savings for every departmental application created by citizen developers. Clearly, citizen development has a lot of promise. But a low-code platform is a tool, and as a tool it’s only as effective as the organizations that wield it. In this session, citizen development program leaders from large organizations will share how they think about citizen development, the structure of the programs they have built, challenges they have overcome, lessons learned, successes, and plans for the future.


- We've got a lot of content today, so let's get started. Have a seat. I'm Timothy Harfield, Senior Director of Product Strategy and Marketing for Pega, and I focus on our sort of low-code strategy. Citizen development, right? According to Gartner, the market for low-code is gonna grow by 20% in the next couple of years. Next year, by 2025. Of that, the low-code enterprise market is gonna grow 25%. Citizen development, the market for citizen development is gonna grow by 30%. And it makes sense that it would, right? Because on the one hand we have operational parts of the business that have an increasing demand to automate their workflows. At the same time we have IT organizations that were underwater relative to their ability to execute on their backlogs, even before this explosion of automation. And now things have gotten even worse. So it's no doubt that interest in citizen development has exploded and continues to explode, especially with the advent of generative AI, right, and all we're hearing about that, and you all learned a bit little bit about what Pega is doing in that space. However, when Gartner talks about citizen development, they're talking about technology. As we know, citizen development, low-code platforms, just a tool. A low-code platform like Pega is just a tool. And as a tool, it's only gonna be as effective as the organizations that wield it. And given that, I'm thrilled to be joined by Dirk Boning-Corerier, did I get it?

- Yeah, excellent.

- Great, from Deutsche Bahn, he's a product owner for citizen development for DB Systel and Deutsche Bahn. As well as Amit Sircar. Sircar?

- Sircar.

- Sircar from Navy Federal Credit Union, who is a Manager of their Automation Center of Excellence at Navy Federal Credit Union. Thank you so much for joining me today. The first question is gonna be, tell us a little bit more about yourself? Amit, maybe you can sort of begin, tell me about who you are, what you do, and what your role is relative to citizen development in automation at Navy Federal Credit Union?

- Sure. Hi everybody, so my name is Amit Sircar, I'm the Manager of Center of Excellence Programs at Navy Federal Credit Union. I'm responsible for overseeing just the wellness and health of our program, our citizen development program, of course. But I've been part of the Center of Excellence journey in building that up through the years. We are now in our fourth year of this journey as a formal COE. Prior to that, we'd also worked with Pega on some POCs, and we've kind of evolved. And part of what I'll be sharing with you today is that story. Have been with Navy Federal Credit Union for nine years. We endeavor to be the most preferred and trusted financial institution for all branches of the military, their families to, you know, just provide financial health and wellbeing for our servicemen and women around the world. So our Automation Center of Excellence is kind of essential to eliminating all of the unnecessary human steps where automation can do it better. And we are in the business of teaching people how to do this themselves using the low-code/no-code.

- Dirk?

- Okay. So yeah, my name is Dirk Boning-Corterier. Very good pronunciation.

- I've been practicing his name for months, just so everybody knows.

- I work for DB Systel, which is the digital partner of Deutsche Bahn. And Deutsche Barn is the national railway company of Germany. So we are doing passenger transport, logistics, and also the whole infrastructure of railways. So that's our main business. And within the digital partner, we founded FlowWorks, which is a team concentrating on workflow automation and process automation. And therefore, yeah, I'm responsible with my team on delivering those projects. So either as professional developers or as citizen developers, so to bring Pega to life. And also we are establishing the COE, or Center of Excellence, for Pega in providing an enterprise layer with all necessary functions, which are provided out of the box. And also we are, yeah, running the whole system in addition to the Pega Cloud. So to bring everything to life when it comes to process automation with the Pega platform at Deutsche Bahn.

- Thank you. Both Deutsche Bahn and Navy Federal Credit Union are seeing tremendous success. And you will have heard about some of their success in past PegaWorld sessions. So for example, last year, Arnie Ignacio, who I believe is in the room today, gave a great presentation about what Navy Federal is doing. Two years ago, Dirk actually presented on what Deutsche Bahn was doing. So this is in some respects an update, but also an opportunity for us to dive a little bit more deeply into this topic. Where I'd like to begin our conversation today is at the foundation, right? When I say citizen development, all of you know immediately what that means. But I'm willing to bet, we are on Las Vegas after all, that you all have a very different conception of what citizen development is, and how you think about it may cause you more or less anxiety, right? So let's begin with how do we think about citizen development? Maybe beginning with Dirk here, when I say citizen development, what does that mean for you and what does that mean for Deutsche Bahn?

- So I think for us, it's a big potential. Since, as a strategic goal with Deutsche Bahn, we have a shortage of workforce. So we have a lot of process to be in a more digital way so we can automate more, and so we are not dependent on the full workforce, because like people are getting older, people are getting retired, and so we have to, yeah, be quicker, be more automized, and that's our final goal. And when we talk about citizen developers, we have one advantage that they can do things on their own. On the other hand, they have a very good advantage because they know their business, so they know what they're doing, they do it in their daily work. And since there might be some people who are more into IT business and can do some things on IT systems, we provide them a platform to really bring in their own experience in where are the pain points and build a solution which really helps the business, and has the maximum acceptance within, yeah, the problem solving match.

- And so these are people who already have existing jobs and duties within their part of the business, and they are also building applications to help them with those processes, right?

- Yeah, that would be the biggest potential, because they know exactly the pain point. They don't have to tell somebody else, "Okay, this is my pain point, and build me a solution", they can just build a solution on their own. Yeah, that's the final goal.

- At Navy Federal Credit Union, the model's a little bit different. So how do you think about citizen development at Navy Federal Credit Union? What is a citizen developer?

- A citizen developer is an individual who does not have a background in professional development, but can learn very quickly. And that person doesn't necessarily have to hold the title of developer, nor do they have to, you know, really have any background whatsoever. That's what the low-code/no-code ability gives us is that we can take a person, as Dirk was saying, you know, who knows the work well, who knows the process well, and build from the process on up. And their knowledge of that process, their knowledge of the measurement of the process, and their knowledge of how the business uses the process, gives them that adaptability and the currency, if you will, like the time currency, if you will, of that process. So if it needs to be changed during the year, that individual knows it and they can respond the quickest, and they could do so using a low-code platform. And the beauty of it for us has been this individual did not need to have any background whatsoever, maybe has never developed a day in their life. And that's what really unleashed the potential. It brought a lot of interest from business leaders all over the credit union, and we were able to very quickly demonstrate in very short order that an average citizen, if you will, can do this.

- Yeah, that's the what of citizen development. How about the why? So Amit, what were the conditions, preconditions, where did the urgency come from to sort of stand up a citizen development program in this way?

- Yeah, and I'm gonna leverage what Dirk was talking about. You know, you want to do more with less, and therefore, as resources go, you know, wherever possible, you wanna be able to use existing resources to do higher value work. So if you have an opportunity to upskill your workforce, to leverage their process knowledge to then build solutions that are going to immediately affect their business and immediately demonstrate to their leadership and to their team that they can add value, quick value delivery, that's the why. Quick value delivery, standardization out of non-sanctioned platforms. So if you have, for example, folks that have been doing Excel macros for years, and you have this proliferation of spreadsheets that are all over the place, and you want to get that into a standardized solution, those kinds of things. And then we also are interested in the robotic side of things, so that's something else that we've been doing. You know, high-volume/low-value activity where you can have a human being replaced by a piece of automation that's doing that, that's also the why.

- Okay. At Deutsche Bahn, similar situation, what were the challenges that sort of led you to initiate your citizen development program?

- Yeah, I think what we just heard is like the big potential behind it. And when we come to the how or our vision, what we have, and you know, that this slider idea,

- The slider.

- I think it's, yeah, very important to describe this, because like in our idea we have a slider, which is on the one extreme, our normal business with professional developers who are like collecting requirements and then building a solution. On the other hand of the slider, we have those citizen developers who can do it on their own, they're not professional developers, they're, yeah, just people out of the business. And with our slider idea, we now can switch in between, so we can support citizen developers in their work, so the citizen developers can be supported, if they have complex functions to be realized, they get support from the professional developers. So each time when we think about getting the technology or the platform running, we will have to ask ourself, is the problem which has to be solved, is a citizen developer capable of doing it or does he need support? And how much support does he need? And this is the setting in the slider, and that's our vision, we want to work so that the slider comes into life.

- Right, so in addition to just like the need to automate more, not having the capacity to automate as much. Amit, you also mentioned this idea of shadow IT, and that's really important, right? We already have technologies within the organization that allow individuals to function as citizen developers, right, to build workflows for themselves, not really citizen developers, right? It creates a lot of complexity. So you're not only addressing the automation, but in a way that's sustainable and giving those citizen who wanna be citizen developers, a sanctioned, governed, supported platform to do the work that they want to do, right?

- Hmm.

- It all sounds great, right? But I know that it wasn't as easy as, let's turn on the program, right? Did you encounter any sort of pushback when you were exploring the idea of empowering individual citizen developers to create solutions for themselves?

- Yeah, and I think the POC definitely helped show that value can be delivered in short order. But I would say the biggest challenge for leadership to adopt this is just the notion that a non-professional developer simply cannot do professional looking work. And that's where a low-code/no-code platform really helps a lot. Because when you look at something like Pega, for example, the platform gives us the ability to standardize business rules, right? So Alan talked about that this morning. But then you also have the benefit of checking, so you have guardrails, that can be AutoCheck, so it reduces risk and it makes it more and more difficult for the citizen developer to really do anything that's going to, you know, blow things up. And then what we are able to do the way, and we're gonna talk about this later, but one of the things that we do is we provide coaching. So similar to Dirk's slider idea, we're providing coaching to meet the citizen developer where they are. So we're not expecting them to, you know, launch the next mission to Mars overnight. But if they choose to go that way and they want to keep developing their knowledge, we've had people that came from, for example, a member facing, we call them member service representatives in a branch, we've had an individual go from there to becoming a Pega certified System Architect. And that story just tells the story of how a person can evolve depending on how far they want to go. So the challenges we had to overcome is demonstrating to leadership that A, people can be trained, they can be coached, that there's a solid platform to keep things from going awry. And that we have a very strong framework, and a coaching methodology, and a measurement methodology that oversees all this, so that there's visibility and transparency, not just within the technology, but to the program itself.

- It sounds not dissimilar from the slider idea that Deutsche Bahn has, right? You're evaluating a use case, is this the kind of thing that an individual citizen developer who has not a whole lot of experience, maybe no experience to begin, can maybe handle with sufficient coaching? Is this something that really is so complex and critical that it really needs professionals involved? And then there's like this murky middle, right, where it's something that maybe a certain proportion, a 50%, 60%, 80% of the application can be completed by a citizen developer, but requires assistance from IT there, right?

- Yeah, and it starts getting into the concept of fusion teams,

- Right.

- which, you know, we're really starting to explore that more now.

- Yeah.

- But what we've done, we've de facto been essentially doing that by stepping in to coach those that really want to go further along. The way we started was to focus people on smaller applications. So we said, "Hey, let's try to build something that we can get done in, let's say roughly nine weeks." So we're not trying to right outta the gate take somebody who was just a person completely focused on process and overnight turn them into a professional developer or even anything of the like. What we're saying is, leverage your process knowledge, leverage your strengths, and let's build something together visually, and we'll help you all the way along the way, we'll give you resources, and tools, and coaching, and just a friendly face to reach out to at all times along the journey. That's also gave the leadership some degree of confidence that, hey, they're not on their own, and there's gonna be continual feedback and observation happening.

- Yeah, concerns and challenges in the early days of your citizen development program, Dirk? What were those, how did you address them?

- So if you talk about the early days, in the early days everybody from management was totally happy because they say, "Okay, we build everything on our own, everything is okay, and we don't need the service provider anymore." So they were very happy. But then we found out that within, for example, Deutsche Bahn is a very big group of different companies, there are a lot of governance processes, for example, which are only based on bigger projects. So you have a full list of checklists, which you have to provide, security things you have to consider, and so on. But a lot of duties also for citizen developer. And they would need help and assistance. And so the whole coaching part is also kind of taking them through the whole story of governance, with all the different documents, which have a real background, you really have to consider what's written in there, but we need a more lean way of doing things and to adjust those things so that a citizen developer can really take on his duties. Because there are also duties, not only rights, if you do the citizen development approach.

- Yeah, I haven't really thought about it in exactly this way. So on the one hand you're saying, you know, you have to provide the level of support and governance necessary to make sure that citizen developers can be successful and that they're building in a responsible way. But also by doing so, you're signaling to citizen developers that, you know, what you're doing here is really important, right? It's really important, we want to have visibility, we wanna support you, you're not just building an Excel macro that's gonna be helpful for you and your buddy, right? You're actually doing something that is driving significant value for the business. Why Pega? Why Pega for citizen developers? As Alan said this morning, there are lots of low-code tools out there. So why did you decide to go with Pega instead of something else for this?

- You ask me or?

- Let's ask you, Dirk, yeah, why Pega?

- So the first thing was, it is totally compatible with our slider idea. So when we searched for the slider idea, we had things in mind to have on a professional level, a big scalability in functions, and on the other hand, from a citizen development level, with the App Studio kind of tool where you can configure something without making something wrong. And so that was the first instance. The second one is the whole layer cake, which gives a lot of opportunities, because you can deliver out of the box kind of DB enterprise layer, what we did with a lot of functions which come out of the box, which are already pre-configured, where it's an easy start, where you have everything also in terms of integrations, but it also helps us to have an overview. So we have to prevent a zoo of all different applications where nobody has an overview. So we can track what kind of things are on our platform, what has to be done, and we have it all in one platform with one transparency. When it comes to integrations, for example, we have some integrations which are quite critical. So we built them once, okay, on the DB enterprise layer, but then if somebody wants to use it, they first have to ask for permission for the owners of the integration systems. So if it's critical, without the permission, we are not going to release it to a citizen developer or to any application which is built on our platform.

- Amit, why Pega?

- So I'm gonna build on some of the things that Dirk said, one of which is that you have this ability to go across the spectrum from professional development all the way through to citizen development, that was essential. And then I would say, sure, the enterprise layer cake, but what I would probably add to that also is there's a robust academy, right? So Pega Academy's a very robust academy, that's been super, super helpful. The Pega platform also incorporated the robotics capability, and that was a fairly seamless, you know, over time, and the robotics is continually evolving. But that was a good plus, right? So you have the case management and you have robotics, and the two are working side by side. And then the integrations, as Dirk mentioned, Pega does integrate with a whole host of things, and that was extremely helpful. And then the final thing I'll say is, the entire model, as Alan shared this morning, is based on this center out architecture, which means you're really starting and sticking to the process, right? And then the front end and the back end can be changed out, as Alan was talking about. Our focus on the process is really what made this successful. And I want to kind of, you know, highlight that to anybody who's interested in a citizen development journey. This is not about the technology, this is about focusing on the process and then understanding how your people interface with the technology, and then based on that, figuring out what your front end and backend is gonna be, and then you change those things out. But focus on the process and the rest of it will kind of build around it. And Pega was a good tool for that.

- Perfect segue into my next question. You know, as I said at the outset, Pega, it's a great tool, in many respects is a necessary tool to do a lot of what organizations, like Navy Federal and Deutsche Bahn are doing today. But it's not sufficient, right? There's a secret sauce, there's something organizationally that both Navy Federal and Deutsche Bahn are doing that is allowing them to see the success that they're seeing today. I'd like to explore that in more detail. So Amit, if you were to sort of describe your secret sauce, what have you done that has allowed you to see the success that you've seen to date?

- So I'm gonna go back to the coaching. I can't underscore that enough. You know, you're not wanting to leave your citizen developers on their own to just go play with the tool and see what they come up with. You know, I used to use the Lego block analogy. Sure, yeah, they can build some nice pretty pictures or they can also just build a tower that falls over. So if you're playing with Lego blocks, you know, let's have a pattern, let's have a picture to go after. So I think the coaching does that, it meets them where they are, it helps 'em grow their skills. So that's one key part of it. The second key part of it is a governed framework, and that's where the Center of Excellence comes in. So we've built our Center of Excellence around this idea of having a governed framework, having tools and a very streamlined process, and I really wanna focus on the streamlined part of it. The governance is not heavy, it's not intended to be heavy. In fact, we endeavored greatly to get rid of as much of the heaviness as we possibly can. So the governed framework is another key piece of it and measurement is another key piece of it. Instead of focusing on the volumetric data, if you will, we look at the process data, you know, how long is the step taking? How many people are involved? What's the return if we're gonna do this? So it's very quantified from day one. And then as mentioned before, process centricity. We start with the process, we end with the process, we look at the net savings from the process. And our savings in hours comes from knowing that.

- To dive a little bit more deeply into this, so you actually have a pod based approach to citizen development, right? So you have dedicated pods, and I think 80% or something of your business units have a dedicated citizen development pod, is that right?

- We have 10 different departments that are currently, you know, in one form or other, engaged in the pod model. And if you want, I could share just a tiny bit.

- Yeah, would you please?

- So the pod model is a scaled back, it's a tiny agile scrum team, if you will. And so we take individuals from whatever walk they're in at the moment and we say, you know, hey, can we find a way to talk to the leadership? Can we find a way to carve out, let's say, you know, 20 hours a week or whatnot of their day, or more, and we say, okay, let's take this individual, and they have technical aptitude, we're gonna call them a citizen developer, and here's another individual that we're gonna call a, you know, manager, so like a PM, but really a scrum master. And then the third role is an analyst. So you have these three roles and they form a pod. Now sitting outside the pod is your other scrum roles that you've heard of, like product owner, or you know, process me, or other people like that. But they're not in the core group. That core group is working on whatever it is. And the analyst is looking at the as-is process, the citizen developer is looking at the to-be solution, and the scrum master/PM is, you know, getting rid of those blockers, you know, talking to leadership, doing the reporting, keeping the data straight, those kinds of things. And that's kind of been the heartbeat of it. And those are the folks that build these smaller solutions, and as they get better, they kind of grow into the larger solutions.

- And you've mentioned coaching, now talked about pods, but another really impressive thing that you've done is around training, right, training these pods. Because I think originally when you started, how long would it take you to train up a pod when you first got started?

- You know, it varied, 'cause we didn't have a fixed, you know, approach to doing it at the very beginning. It was just pretty much come with your project

- And figure it out.

- and we'll figure it out together. You know, come on down, and we'll sit down, and we'll hash it out, and we'll help you. 'Cause the people we have in the Center of Excellence team are architects and developers with quite a bit, this is actually an important part, quite a bit of experience and hands on Pega work. And that's essential to the success of this, 'cause if you're gonna coach, your coach better have played the game. And so those coaches came in and they said, "Bring us your project and we'll work." And some of the projects were going few weeks, some of them were going months and months, you know, in the beginning, not months and months, but like, you know, like two to three months. Our goal was to try and get the value delivered in the shortest way possible, but scope, right? So again, we started realizing, okay, time out, time out, how about a project charter, just to give us a little bit of a scope, how about a process definition document that's going to start organizing the as-is process and putting it down on paper. How about a solution design document that's gonna give us the to-be? So we started building these artifacts around it, and we started to do these pod projects that were on the small end. And we said, okay, three to four sprints, each sprint is two weeks when we initially started out, and we're gonna initially work on, in the very beginning it was robotics, so we started with robotics. And we realized that that's gonna take a little bit more time, and the robotic applications are not as frequent as the case management applications. And right around that time, App Studio was really coming into its kind of maturity. So we started working with, you know, case management solutions. We said, "We do have a workflow and we will work with you. We're gonna go ahead and sort of time box that to, you know, let's say three to four sprints again, and we're gonna work on something small to kind of get your confidence up and start working with you there. And let's look at your backlog. Let's find one that's very sizable and fits this. Let's make sure the ROI is there and the risk is low, and it's a good Pega fit, and then we will have you do it." So yeah, that's essentially how it started.

- And you'd think that, you know, you wanna maximize time to value, right? You've got a new pod, you'd think that you can just throw a project at them and let them figure it out because now you're training them on the job, right? But you found that that wasn't really an effective way of doing things. So you really standardized your training.

- We did.

- And provided that every new pod gets a standard project that they have to work through together as a team?

- That was the old model. So when we were doing robotics,

- Yeah.

- we initially went to let's build whatever you need, to let's do a standard robotics project.

- Yeah.

- And now what we've gone to is, so within that framework I talked about, they're coming in, we're doing a process assessment, and fully doing that. It could be their project, so it's not standard anymore.

- Okay.

- But it is small, it's time boxed, so it's doable within a certain amount of time, and we're doing the process piece first, the solutions development piece second, and then we're moving on to the kind of support and value measurement piece third. So it's organized that way, and that's the streamlined framework that keeps that. And that's probably a pseudo standardization, if you will

- Yeah.

- because it operates within that framework. That also helps us manage risk and report.

- Very interesting. And Dirk, what's your secret sauce?

- Yeah, so in addition to what you just said, Amit, like the beginning of the project is also very important. We have talked about thinking and processes is so important to really make up your mind, like, okay, what do I want to do here? Do I have a database solution, or a transactional solution, or do I really want to have a process solution? And therefore we did an eight step approach where we guide our people through different phases, and at the end we have a kind of good basis to directly start on our Pega platform. So we don't really start right away with our Pega platform. We teach a little bit more the thinking and processes as a good basis. And of course, the slider is one of our secret sauce, because we also mix in a moment the slider idea with the application lifecycle idea. So like, the simple thought is that you start with citizen development, and then when an idea gets more and more success and gets accepted, then you build an iteration on it, and you further evolve it, and then probably you need the help of professional developers to do more complex stuff on this core process. But we are also doing it the other way around. So in the moment we are launching a few applications with our legal department where we go with an approach that a professional developer first builds the application, and then with the goal that afterwards when it goes to maintenance, that the citizen developer can take over and do the maintenance work. And this is a really tricky part, because you will have to think in advance and you have to stop yourself doing very complex stuff, because you cannot teach the citizen developer to maintain it afterwards. So you have to be in a more simple corridor of solution finding and then build it in a way that they can take over afterwards. So two different approaches and that are dimension on our slide idea, which gives us even more potential.

- You know, it makes me think of conversations even around accessibility. This might not be a good comparison, but you know how when they say, if you build an accessible app, you raise all ships, right? You're not only gonna make it accessible for people who have disabilities, but you're gonna improve the experience for everybody. It sounds like this, when you build an application, you can build it in a number of different ways, but if you're optimizing it for citizen developers, to be able to not only create but also manage, you're gonna improve the experience, presumably for everybody, right?

- Yeah, but it's really challenging. So if you are a professional and to have the full stack of opportunities, you have to limit yourself on those opportunities, which also citizen developer will have in the future.

- Yeah.

- So that's a tricky part. But from the user experience, from the acceptance, I think it's really necessary to, yeah, investigate the requirement or the pain behind the requirement. Because if you just take a requirement and get it in a one-to-one session that, okay, I will do it exactly like you wanted, you probably miss the sweet spot of Pega, and yeah, you will feel it afterwards, the maintenance, because it's very hard to maintain then. So you will have to find the pain point behind the requirement to offer the right solution which stays in the sweet spot of Pega, that's also very essential.

- Yeah, and then lastly, you're very clear about ownership, right? Whoever creates the application, and you build it, it's yours, right?

- Yeah, so that's the trickiest part for citizen developers, because application ownership comes with a lot of rights, with a lot of duties,

- Right.

- and so when it comes to governance, when it comes to all the different stuff, you as a citizen developer have the responsibility to really do this, you have to take the ownership. You cannot just create something and then only do the fun part,

- Right.

- and then leave the other part on our COE or another instance. So this is quite heavy. And there we also start with our support, because we don't want the people to be frustrated. Because if you take the ownership, you have all those different processes, which in our big group, and then you get easily frustrated when you have to fill out all those forms and you say, "Okay, I built one application, and I don't want to build a second one." And this is something we will have to prevent. So we have to give them predefined, prefilled templates from our experience to really help them to fulfill all the needs in terms of security, and data protection, and so on.

- Right. So it's horn tooting time. So Dirk, what success have you seen? You embarked on the citizen development journey, what, three, four years ago?

- Yeah, three to four years.

- Right, what success have you seen in that time?

- So the biggest success is to see how proud citizen developers, or like who do the first situations, are on their application, so they're really proud of what they had done. And also you see a lot of acceptance from the users, because they really hit the pain point of the daily business, which you normally don't really get from professional developed applications. And also for me personally and for my team, it's very important to see that the slider idea is still valid, and we found out that we are on the right track. And therefore, it's also very good that Pega is also thinking the same direction with App Studio, with the App Factory, with everything we hear about fusion teams. So it's all related a little bit to the slider idea, and it's making our life easier when Pega is following the same route.

- And Pega is improving as a result of our relationship with clients like Deutsche Bahn and Navy Federal, because both of your organizations are actively working with us to make sure that the technology is effectively complementing the best practices that you as organizations are implementing. So thank you for that. Amit, toot your horn.

- So Navy Federal's been successful at this, you know, currently we have, as I said, 10 different departments engaged, and we're growing. Since the program kicked off late 2019, we have been averaging somewhere in the 300,000-ish range of hours saved a year. So, you know, by the end of this year, we will have saved a million hours of human effort. And that has been largely because of the efforts of just a host of people. I can't thank my team enough. There's actually a number of our team here sitting in the audience. So just want to take a minute to thank them, because that's really where the horsepower is from the Center of Excellence piece. But then the rest of it comes down to the business. The business has been eager to jump into this, to upskill their people, to give them opportunities. The earlier example I mentioned about a branch member service representative who's gone on to be a certified Systems Architect and actually developing now. Those kinds of stories have a lot to do with it. We've also started a lot of, you know, we talked about this community of practice concept earlier in Alan's meeting, I think it was, or actually, I don't know if it was Alan, maybe it was a subsequent meeting. In any case, the idea of having a community of practice where you have the business sharing with the business, that's been extremely important to develop. So those departments I'm talking about, we're inviting them to come and learn more, we're inviting them to share their ideas. And the Center of Excellence being kind of a reusability guardian, if you will, we're able to share ideas and things that they can reuse. So you don't have to spend all your time rebuilding something that someone else, either us or another team, has built. So this idea of reuse has been tremendous for our growth. And I think the last thing I'd say is continual learning.

- Yeah.

- We've continued to certify people, we continue to grow just the knowledge base across the Credit Union, and actively engage with lunch and learns with Pega low-code workshops to try and get our people upskilled.

- And what I'm hearing actually from both of you is this sort of, and I know that you both have very quantified sort of success as a result of the applications you've delivered. Like Dirk, one of the early applications that one of your citizen developers built, right, saved 50% of.

- Yeah, like the first thing was 50% of the processing time,

- Right.

- from this idea from the citizen developer.

- Yeah.

- So that's quite a big success.

- So it's delivering tangible value. But what you've both also said is that it's also affecting culture, because you both have this process centric mindset, which is encouraging individuals, citizen developers, but also everybody within your organization, within business units, to start thinking about, not just what is the process, but how do I optimize a process before I automate that? I feel like you both have mentioned that in other conversations in the past, is that right? Yeah, that sort of culture is amazing.

- Three years ago, nobody really was aware of the topic of citizen development.

- Yeah.

- And so then the life is changing very quickly. And we see now the gen AI idea,

- Yeah.

- it's getting very interesting how this is going to relate to our citizen development idea.

- Yeah, I have so many questions, and I could just continue to ask questions, but I would also like to open it up to all of you, if you have any questions, I think we have microphones here and here, and I've left five minutes for us to have what a conversation. But please do stand up, grab a microphone, and ask your question, thank you. Can we make these mics hot? Yeah. I hear a, there we go.

- Hi, my name is Charles Fain, I work for the Veterans Administration. My question is for Dirk, and the reason I'm saying Dirk, is that your last name is probably difficult for me to pronounce.

- Dirk is totally fine.

- Is Dirk good? Okay. You were mentioning the cultural shift, and I was mentioning to my friends in the background the possibility of the cultural shift that's necessary to utilize citizen development when the educational system and the way the government is set up for apprenticeship programs within Germany, as well as university system, might conflict with each other. And Deutsche Bahn is a very old, very, you know, been around a while, right? So what type of cultural problems did you have to go through internally to sort of get the momentum going to make this effective? Thank you.

- Can you just rephrase because it's hard for me to understand with my ears. Just the question, I'm sorry, I did not hear it in the right way.

- Oh, maybe I.

- I've hearing aids, that's a problem, and I don't understand you in the right way, I'm sorry. Okay. Thanks again for this.

- Okay, thank you.

- And I'm sorry about that. So like the cultural change is very important. Like when we look at the DB Systel, for example, we did the whole transformation, organization transformation, where we switch to self organizing teams. So to really get a kind of breakup in those barriers of having this traditional education and more into, yeah, company spirit and so on. So this is kind of leading project for also other companies within the Deutsche Bahn group, and it's a little bit spreading because we learn a lot of things out of the IT business and spread it organizational wise to those different other company parts. So it's an ongoing process, and if you think of having responsibility for your daily work, and not in this traditional scheme of having a boss and is telling you what you have to do, then there's also another potential for citizen development. Because when you are self responsible as a team, you build other solutions than if you're saying, "Okay, I blame my boss, because he said I have to do it in a certain way." Does this answer a little bit your question? Okay.

- And we have another question over here.

- Hi, thank you.

- Oh, hopefully it's.

- Can you hear me?

- We can hear you, thank you.

- I'm sorry.

- I wanna know how you transitioned an existing application that was, you know, managed by COE to a citizen developer with, you know, customized rule sets and things of that nature? Did you make that transition? Did you only do citizen development for new?

- Question for you?

- Is that?

- [Audience Member #1] It's for whoever can answer it. I've been asking this question for days and no one can provide that to me. So if I can get any insight I'd be.

- Sure, so you talked about transitioning, it's interesting, 'cause the applications that we're talking about are jointly developed. So it's almost co-developed between the citizen developer, you know, with direct governance and coaching from the COE. So they've been involved from day one, the citizen developer has been involved from day one. It's not so much that the COE is building something professionally and then handing it off. It's much more so that to have the citizen developer doing it hands on, observing how to do it, watching the coach, and the coaches directly teaching them as they go along, and then they own it, 'cause they've been in every step of the way. And this is where we get into the support piece.

- We frequently see applications that are built by citizen developers graduate up to IT ownership. Don't often see them go down, because those applications that have been created by IT are typically, not only more complex, but they're also more mission critical, and you need that additional sort of oversight. That being said, we do have organizations that are leveraging citizen developers to customize and tailor certain parts of the application, right? So that's sort of a blended approach, which I think is maybe what you're talking about.

- And in addition to this, probably those people who are doing the citizen development work might have the pain point in their daily business, so that they know what kind of solution they need.

- Alright, we're gonna try to squeeze in two more questions. I know we're at time, but I think, you guys wanna leave, you can leave, but I think we got good questions coming.

- We can also answer questions afterwards, so.

- That's right, we're here all week or for the next day or two.

- I'll just ask one quick one. So we talk a lot about fusion teams, professional developers helping citizen developers. And I know we talk a lot about upskilling business people to be citizen developers. But how did you approach training professional developers to change their mindset and not think too complex, not use all of their, I would say historical knowledge of Pega, to solve that problem, but to use the new product, the simple way, that you can actually teach someone new that has never seen this before? Any insights on how did you approach training professional developers to be good coaches basically?

- Yeah, so that's a pretty good question, because it's the frustrating part for the professional developers. Because like our slider helps here, because the slider has still room for professional development. But of course, you need different kind of people. You need different kind of people in terms of an LSA, for example, does not have to be a good coach because he has to focus on the architecture. But some of them are very good coaches. So you can use this skill level to also, yeah, enable the citizen development coaching. But on the other hand, when you try to focus on delivering projects in a very limited of time, as a general rule, you might be able to use the skill level of people who are not that high skilled, but they have probably different skills in terms of training, in terms of being more empathetic, so they can handle people are very good. So they don't have to have this deep knowledge of Pega. And this can be an advantage, because if they can ask for the pain points behind those requirements and they find this out, like as a consultant, they can easily go to things which are easy to implement and are in the sweet spot of Pega, and help with the pain point. So you have to investigate what skill level you have in your team. You have to investigate what skill level you might need in addition to this. And I think a lot of people, in my business we always have the problem of scalability. We have more requests than we can really fulfill. So we need new people. And this is an advantage with the citizen development approach, because you can search for people who have consultant skills, who don't have this deep Pega skills, which are very rare in the market, and therefore you can produce even more. Sorry, Amit.

- Okay.

- No, not at all. I was just gonna add to that, kind of jumping off of where Dirk was going is that there are people with different level skills, but even among Pega folks, there's a different number of years of experience, you know, LSA, SSA, CSA, and so forth. The citizen developers coming in with no SA right? They typically don't even have any kind of a certification. And so getting back to the pain point piece, build an MVPs, right? So minimum lovable or viable in the scrum world product. So if you take pieces that are aligned to business pain points, you can break it up into small chunks, and two things happen there, one is you can stay with the business changes, you can keep the project small enough, the modular approach lets somebody who's more senior, like an LSA, coach multiple people. So you might have an SSA, or a CSA, or somebody, and then that person is working with the citizen developer. So you can set up a structure like that. We have situations where one senior architect is looking over, in the business, two more junior architects, and then that person is then working with people that are coming into citizen development or that person is the person who's in the citizen development, so.

- Got it, thank you.

- Makes me think of Ironman and Spider-Man, and I'll explain that if you want later. One last question, real quick.

- I think mine's really quick, it's just for Amit to clarify. You talked about these pods and you had three roles, you had like the citizen developer, then the scrum master or manager, can you just clarify again what the third role was?

- The third role is an analyst. So that individual is very close to the as-is process of today, they're typically a PIA or some sort of a person who's just intimate both either with the process, or the system, or both. And they're able to articulate how the process works, who interfaces with it, what integrations, what systems there are, what process data might be involved. And they might get involved with a tool like, for example, Pega Workforce Intelligence, or some other metric tool where they can actually identify, breakdown the process, and start telling us what the potential ROI would be. They're also the ones who are gonna work on things like user stories and work on things, like later on down the road they're gonna do UAT, they could get their hands on in that kind of an activity as well. So they're very process focused.

- Thank you.

- Excellent question. I think that's it. We're not only at time, we are over time. I wanna thank each of you for attending today, and thank you so much Amit and Dirk for joining me today. Not only for your exceptional secret sauces, but also for your partnership in informing our direction and strategy. So thank you so much for that.

- Thank you.


Industry: Financial Services Product Area: Platform Topic: Digital Transformation Topic: Low-Code Development Topic: PegaWorld

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