What makes a good Pega BPM consultant? is a question I get a lot in my work. I'm working with Pega BPM software for 7 years now and have seen a lot of different persons in different roles working with Pega software. Although their roles are different, there are a few competences that strike out to me. In this blog, I will give you the Top 3 competences that help a Pega BPM consultant to be succesfull in his or her work. It's important that a consultant can help bridge between business needs & the IT application.

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 1 - Analytical skills

The most important competence a Pega BPM consultant should have is to be analytical. This might sound obvious, but nevertheless it's a very important basic skill.

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Pega is an extensive BPM software suite that offers the foundation and mechanisms to build out end-to-end processes on top of existing systems. Understanding how this big toolbox can be used requires analytical skills to assess which 'tools' are suitable to do which jobs. And when you finally get it, new tools are added to the toolbox like decisioning & robotic process automation.

When building out a Pega application, you should also be able to think in terms of short-term and long-term planning of the solution. Most of the times a Pega project starts with a Minimum Viable Product release, that is gradually extended to incorporate more and more requirements. It's necesarry to think out how an application will be extended and to design a technical foundation that supports short-term and long-term requirements.

Analytical skills help you to filter out the right information and to select the right tools from the toolbox.

2 - Speak the business as well as the IT language

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I still see that businesses tend to think in two traditional roles: business analists and developers. In this view, business analists translate business needs into user stories (requirements) to be build out. Developers then write the code to implement these user stories.

This doesn't match with how software is developed in Pega, as it is a model-driven development tool that aims to bring business and IT closer together. Pega has a visual designer studio where you don't work directly on code but work out the process in visual way. For example, Pega flow rules model processes but are also directly executable: What you see is what you get. 

This requires a person working with Pega to have understanding of business drivers but also understanding of how this model-driven development tool works. And more important: To translate between the both and to understand the business challenges as well as the technical challenges. It helps a lot if you can work in the middle.

3 - Process-oriented thinking and modelling

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As BPM stands for Business Process Management, this might also sound obvious. When a Pega application is built out, a business process that is selected to be improved is built out. This requires you to simplify the process to a sequence of automated and manual steps. This might sound easy but typically it's partly clear how the new process should look like to the stakeholders. Also, there are different roles involved to define the new business process like a process analist, an end user and a subject matter expert. The different views have to be abstracted to a process that is understandable by the different persons involved. To give an example of a challenge related to this: End users typically think in terms of sequential screens in an older application and not in terms of process diagrams.

It helps if you are comfortable drawing out a diagram of the process, it doesn't matter if that's in a tool or just on a whiteboard. As long as the process model is a simplification of reality and helps the different persons define the new business process. Knowing UML helps but is not required.

This competence also helps you to understand the way Pega looks at work and processes: Cases, stages and steps.

Conclusion

It helps to be a succesfull Pega BPM consultant when you are analytical, understand business as well as IT, and can think and design in terms of processes. These are the top competences I've experienced that help someone to learn and use the Pega 'toolbox' to create succesfull Pega applications that support business processes.

Interested to work for us and do you want to know more? You can look at the stories of our BPM Company consultants, check out our career possibilities or directly contact us.

About Maarten

MaartenI am a lead BPM architect and a Pega certified lead system architect with 7 years of experience in Pega BPM software. In my role as combined lead system architect and business analyst, I have been involved in different BPM projects. I like to see business & IT working well together. Read more about me here or look me up on LinkedIn or @MaartenBPM.