Develop Best Practice Guides

These guides can be many things, but can be as simple as a checklist that defines design best practices for Appian use at your organization. These guides should be easy to follow and written with the goal of making delivery processes easier or more understandable for Appian teams. These guides should allow for internal and Appian best practices to be cascaded across various Appian delivery teams across your organization and should be aimed at making Appian teams more self-sufficient. The CoE is often responsible for updating these guidelines with each new release of Appian.

Best practices are usually organized into the categories discussed in this section. The organization should consult with the Center of Excellence when discussing or making decisions in these areas. See below for a list of suggested best practice coverage areas.

Best Practice Area

Description

Hardware Infrastructure

Details and diagrams about available server host topology, sizing estimates, and scaling options.

Solution Architecture

The high-level organization of Records, Reports, and Actions as well as the social collaboration paradigm employed by the organization. This also includes defining the top level process models, groups, document folders, integrations, and structure of key data entities and their relationships.

Authentication and User Management

Which external authentication provider and single sign-on solution, if any, will be employed by the system? If using an external authentication/identity provider, how will accounts in Appian be created, updated, and deactivated?

Feature Design

Recommendations on how to best use the Appian platform, including but not limited to feature best practices, patterns and antipatterns, naming conventions, tips and tricks, and lessons learned.

Integration

How will the Appian platform integrate with other systems within the enterprise? This should include general guidance for recommended integration options (web services, JMS, emails, etc.) as well as a repository of specific integration details.

Testing

What will be expected of teams in terms of functional testing, integration testing, test automation, and performance tests?

Governance

How will the Center of Excellence monitor projects for compliance and how will different project teams work together and with the Center of Excellence?

Component Re-Use

What are the shared resources in the system, and how will teams work with the CoE to update and evolve shared resources? These resources may be common utilities, integration methods, or business entities such as data types or Records.

Change Control

How will teams package their applications, promote them across environments, and manage subsequent releases of hotfixes, patches, and new versions, to minimize the impact of change-related incidents upon service quality, and therefore improve the organization’s day-to-day operations? This area also involves concurrent development and how to isolate development changes so as to not affect other teams. Change control also covers how project teams plan and prepare for deploying new features and enhancements to production, and includes the procedure and responsibility matrix for addressing critical defects in production.

Build a Knowledge Sharing Repository

While a repository for storing best practices guidelines and reusable components is often curated by a CoE, all teams should be encouraged to add their tips, tricks, and examples to the knowledge sharing repository.

Create an Engagement Model for Governance

This document formalizes the project management process, with clear deliverables and well-defined governance checkpoints and reviews. This model gives teams a clear understanding of how to engage with governance partners and also sets expectations for how and when to address recommendations made by those partners. More mature organizations can seek to right-size this engagement model based on delivery team maturity; allowing less mature Appian teams to receive extra guidance, while enabling more digitally mature Appian to operate with greater speed though autonomy.

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