Nintex® is a platinum sponsor of SharePoint Conference 2012. We spoke with Justin Donato, Nintex Vice President of Business Systems about how workflows can contribute to more successful IT software development projects for enterprise business.
We think that Justin’s Business Systems experience can provide a useful model for enterprise IT organizations on the lookout for a method, like no code workflows, that can be used to collaborate, effectively, with business silos to successfully deliver the systems they request.
Talking-SharePoint: As we understand it, Business Systems at Nintex® actually reaches out to the line of business (LOB) groups at the company to determine their needs for IT software. Or do they come to you and say we need XYZ. Which way is it?
Justin Donato: It’s a little bit of both. We look to add value where we can, to build on their requirements, to add value where we can, to make sure we are all talking about the right solution. There are different verticals within the business. When Marketing comes to us, then it is important for us to understand what they do, how what they are going to do will impact on other pieces of our business, and, thereby to enforce a wholistic approach to the development.
Talking-SharePoint: In your experience as VP of Business Systems, if you were to talk about projects that work, vs projects that don’t work, how would you rate projects where business users use no code workflows to build their own systems?
Justin Donato: It’s really important to note that, as long as we are there to help guide them through what they need to do, the tools that come with Nintex® have enabled our business users to deliver something a lot closer to what they are after with their workflows for SharePoint than would be the case with traditional hard coded solutions.
Talking-SharePoint: Would it be fair to say that workflows provide IT organizations like your Business Systems team with something of a failure proof method of providing LOBs with the processes that they require? After all, with no code workflows, then power users can avail of a highly effective do it yourself approach. If a problem arises, then IT and business silos will be on the same playing field as the software simply built what the business designed in the workflow. Would you agree with that?
Justin Donato: Yes, but it goes beyond all of this in a very healthy way. Our business users not only get what they expect, but actually come back to us asking us, “how do I take this to the next level?” Our conversations are so much more around this topic, and not around “I didn’t get what I wanted.” Our platform has proven to be very effective as a method of delivering to these LOBs just what they want.
Talking-SharePoint: So you have an approval process, whereby once the business user completes a workflow for a process, then it is submitted to review by your organization?
Justin Donato: Yes we do. Processes will not go live prior to approval from our organization.
Talking-SharePoint: Do you do any historical return on investment (ROI) analysis on this no code workflow driven IT systems method?
Justin Donato: Absolutely. If it’s a large scale project, we’ll do an analysis up front to determine what is our expected ROI, along with reviews immediately after project completion, and, then, at 6 and 12 mos after implementation. We are all about ROI. We’ve implemented dashboards in SharePoint, balanced scorecards and more.
Talking-SharePoint: Thanks Justin for your time.
© Rehmani Consulting Inc, all rights reserved