There’s never a moment to breathe. Every organization needs to match the pace of the changing marketplace while continuing to create high-quality products and maximize efficiency. Software is the core of how work gets done at a business. When software doesn’t keep up with the market and industry changes, it prevents the business's ability to adapt to change, and the cogs will no longer align within the machine.
Very few organizations are equipped with the practice and discipline to respond quickly to rapid change. A common pattern we see with customers who have well-established applications is that they stick to the same workflow they had years ago when it was first built, even though the business process and users have changed. This dissonance causes friction between the user and the software, festering dissatisfaction and frustration.
The treatment is two parts: incorporating sustainable development and employing a Center of Excellence team to oversee the practice. Sustainable development ensures your applications continue to sustain business operations as well as grow and change with the organization. The Center of Excellence will act as an advisor and ensure the scalability of your solution. A sustainability team is fully integrated into your organization by analyzing pain points and risks, envisioning improvements to the workflow, and providing the change your software needs, as well as providing support for existing applications.
Sustainable Development: Keep Maximizing Value
During a typical Agile project, the most valuable features are selected and built first, but the business doesn't stop changing once the application is built. Without planning for change, applications and workflows are left to stagnate and lose value and adoption rates over time. Sustainably planning allows your solution to evolve with your business beyond its go-live date. Similar to how a newly built house can age over time, requiring repairs or expansion for a growing family, software can also get outdated and may need revisiting because we change how we use it.
At Macedon, we balance building new features with continuous improvement of the existing functionality. This unique offering ensures the longevity of the solution’s value long after the core project is complete.
Since 2018, we have partnered with a major life insurance company in the US to work alongside them on their ever-growing suite of Appian applications and provide support for existing ones. Our goal with the existing apps is to keep them running and expand on them as the business needs change over time.
In one instance, the divisional ownership of an application changed entirely. Changes and business operations are conducted slightly differently in this new division, making it difficult to continue using the same software. Listening to users’ pain points and improving the workflow is something that Macedon excels in through more than a decade of experience. With small changes in the workflow, the software aligns with the business process again, improving business perception and adoption - and since this was the job for the existing sustainability stream, we were able to complete this without needing to spin up a new project team.
Scalability: The Importance of a Center of Excellence
Sustaining existing applications and building new ones are only parts of growing your Appian investment into a truly valuable enterprise-level technology. To realize that vision, your program needs to be scalable. Macedon Technologies offers scalability to your organization by forming a Center of Excellence (COE), which oversees, guides, and consults to ensure the work built now will scale well into the future. The commitment of a COE can be everything from a full-time team to part-time advisory services or even ad-hoc support. We work with you to decide the appropriate level of engagement for your business.
In one example of this, As the Appian practice rapidly grew at one of our clients through Macedon’s numerous successful application launches, we decided to onboard an Appian Enterprise Architect (AEA) to lead the COE team. This process unified Appian development teams from various divisions, departments, and vendors to use the same development standards, manage environment resource usage, and coordinate platform-wide events like version upgrades. We set best practices and enforce them across the board because we care about the long-term success of our clients.
If you sense there are problems in the workflow of your applications but don’t know how to tackle them, or the Appian practice at your organization is growing and need experts in the practice to oversee it, you may want to consider starting up a sustainability or Center of Excellence team. With Macedon Technologies as your preferred vendor, you can count on us to deliver sustainable and scalable solutions. Contact us for more information.