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Ten Guardrails to Success

Updated on September 10, 2021

The Ten Guardrails to Success are design guidelines and recommended best practices for PRPC and Pega Platform implementations.

Following the fundamental principles promoted in the Ten Guardrails to Success leads to rules-based applications that are well designed, straightforward to maintain, and architected to Build for Change. These principles are your keys to success with PRPC and the Pega Platform.

1. Adopt an iterative approach

  • Define an initial project scope that can be delivered and provide business benefit within 60 to 90 days from design to implementation.
  • Document five concrete use case scenarios up front and evaluate them at the end to calibrate benefits.
  • Use your scenarios as storyboards and ensure that each delivers a measurable business benefit.

2. Establish a robust foundation

  • Design your class structure complying with the recommended class pattern. It should be understandable, be easy to extend, and utilize the standard work and data classes appropriately.
  • Use your organization entities as a starting pattern, and then proceed with class groups.
  • Lead with work objects. Create the class structure and completed work objects early.
  • Position rules correctly by class and ruleset.
  • Actively use inheritance to prevent rule redundancy.

3. Do nothing that is hard

  • Use out-of-the-box functionality as much as possible, especially in the initial project release.
  • Avoid creating custom HTML screens or adding buttons.
  • Always use the “Auto Generated HTML” feature for harness sections and flow actions.
  • Always use the standard rules, objects, and properties. Reporting, urgency, work status, and other built-in behaviors rely on standard properties.
  • Never add a property to control typical work or to manage the status or timing of work.

4. Limit custom Java

  • Avoid Java steps in activities when standard rule types, library functions, or activity methods are available.
  • Reserve your valuable time and Java skills for implementing things that do not already exist.

5. Build for Change

  • Identify and define 10 to 100 specific rules that business users own and will maintain.
  • Do not include activities on this list. Use other rule types for business-maintained logic.

6. Design intent-driven processes

  • Design your application control structure to consist of flows and declarative rules, calling activities only as needed.
  • Use flow actions to prompt a user for input.
  • Present fewer than five connector flow actions for any individual assignment. If you need more than that, you need to redesign the process.
  • Create activity rules that implement only a single purpose to maximize reuse.

7. Create easy-to-read flows

  • Design your flows to fit on one page. Flows must not contain more than 15 smart shapes per page, excluding routers, notify shapes, and connectors.
  • Redesign a flow if it has more than 15 smart shapes. You can:
    • Create a subflow.
    • Use parallel flows to perform additional functions.

8. Monitor performance regularly

  • Evaluate and tune application performance at least weekly by using the Performance tool to check rule and activity efficiency.
  • Use PAL early to establish benchmarks. Compare these readings to later readings and correct the application as required.

9. Calculate and edit declaratively, not procedurally

  • Whenever the value of a property is calculated or validated, use declarative rules wherever appropriate.
  • Create a Declare Expressions rule instead of using a Property-Set method in an activity.
  • Use a Declare Constraints rule instead of a Validation rule.

10. Keep security object-oriented, too

  • Implement a security design that is rule-based and role-driven, based on who should have access to each type of work.
  • Never code security controls in an activity.
  • Use the standard access roles that are provided with PRPC or the Pega 7 Platform only as a starting point.
  • Use rulesets to segment related work for the purpose of introducing rule changes to the business, not as a security measure.

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