Opinion: Capgemini adopts iRise tools for simulation to deal with more complex reality.
For any organization or IT professional involved in application
development, few things are more costly and frustrating than delivering
to users exactly what you thought theyd agreed they wantedonly to
find their reaction lukewarm, or even negative. An Aug. 28
announcement by Capgemini U.S.
highlights the potential
of simulation tools to close the gap between a developers technical
understanding and an end users subjective impression of what an
application is supposed to do, and of how the experience of using it is
supposed to look and feel.
Ive previously spent time with the 3.0 version of the iRise
technology, then called iRise Application Simulator, and found it a
upon other efforts Ive seen to involve end
users and accelerate the understanding of developers. The problems that
Ive identified in past attempts to do this have never quite covered
the ground, as I then observed, of "laying out screens, describing
their connections and testing their functions using actual data
without ever writing code or even anything that looks like codequickly
enough and clearly enough that different ideas can be tested and
oversights rapidly identified."
The iRise tool enabled me to express every element of an imagined
application: When I thought Id found something it couldnt do, it
turned out that I had actually discovered a discrepancy between my
database model and my application design. In a real-life development
situation, this could have saved a lot of money that might otherwise
have been spent paving
a blind alley
I spoke in advance of the Aug. 28 announcement with Corey
Glickman, senior manager in the Consulting Services Practice for
Capgemini: "Were looking at how to increase user adoption of solutions
while at the same time lowering risk of development and delivery," he
said, adding, "There are many complex things to put together. It starts
out with a business mission and an ROI for that process; it gets over
to the IT world, where theyre left with very large challenges: There
are tensions. Its hard to pull off."
Glickman told me that the staff in Capgeminis RDV Lab,
practitioners in rapid design and visualization, have been enthusiastic
in their adoption of the iRise tool and that clients have also
responded well. "We all want to deliver things that are going to be
accepted and will work," Glickman said, noting the trend of late toward
applications that add new tasks for their users. A new system might be
going into what used to be a simple call center, he offered as an
example, but now those telephone representatives may be getting a
handful of new tasks such as basic product support or upselling of
"There might be five new tasks that all involve protecting the
brand," Glickman said. From eWEEK Labs perspective, wed say that its
essential for the support systems that are critical to an effort like
be available on time and be rapidly mastered by their users
"Communications between business and IT can break down: The way that
requirements get talked about can become very technical," Glickman
noted, and my own experience in former lives doing first-stage
interviews with prospective application users confirms that. What
Glickman has found, though, is what I wish Id had in my toolkit when I
was doing this kind of thing 20 years ago: "We can generally
explain what were going to do for a customer in two or three slides.
We show them some of these things, and they get it right away. We have
daily comments from clients saying that they got more done in a day
than theyve previously gotten done in a year," Glickman said. Theres
nothing simulated, Im sure, in the pleasure that this inspires in any
developer or client.
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