Fast Track Component Toolkit

A number of separate technology components are likely to be required when designing a Fast Track solution. Each component needs to meet the Fast Track criteria of being fast to deploy, available ‘instantly on’ and avoids the need for code being written wherever possible. This post proposes a  component framework and an example product for each component. This is an initial list and the intention is to build it up over time with more components and vendors so that it eventually becomes a comprehensive framework.

Software-as-a-Service vendors clearly fit the Fast Track mould and a comprehensive list of SaaS providers by business function (e.g. Sales Force Automation or Human Resources) could’ve been included, however, this article is focused on building a generic tool kit; this means the SaaS components and vendors in the table below are tools rather than end-to-end solutions for business domains.

Ideas for additional components or vendors and feedback on this initial list would be very welcome.

FTA Component Component Description Vendors
Business Process Management Business Process Management tools typically provide a visual process creation environment to build automated processes and a capability to build attractive user interfaces to interact with users.  Mendix
Desktop Automation Tools that enable rapid integration with systems that do not have APIs available. It would typically not be feasible to build APIs using traditional methods due to the high cost or lack of expertise in the system.  OpenSpan
API and batch Integration Cloud-based tools that only require configuration to integrate on-premise IT systems with third-party services. IBM CastIron
Business Intelligence tools Cloud-based analytics and business intelligence tools allow you to upload your data and produce professional outputs very quickly. Birst
Big Data Cloud-based Big Data tools that enable very rapid analysis and visualisation of big data sets. Datameer
Infrastructure-as-a-service You’ll need some infrastructure to run components that aren’t SaaS. IaaS services allow you to create a system instance in seconds. Amazon EC2

I hope this provides a useful initial framework and list of vendors. If you’d like to offer feedback, share your experience or ask a question, please don’t hesitate to email me.

Kind regards,
Matthew Wood

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2 thoughts on “Fast Track Component Toolkit

  1. One aspect not to be forgotten in the quest for a fast track solution is that people differ in thier comfort with Rapid methodology. If your team is biased towards detail, focus and control, as many organisations change groups naturally are, the effort of converting PEOPLE to a new rapid practice is as hard as establishing the technology and projects practice itself. It’s not that Fast Track infers less manageability, but many of the new tools and techniques do not demand the comforting step by step by step waterfall type approach that many people draw comfort from, so the approach and change is unnatural and frankly a worry to many people at a fundamental level. Personality profiles are not easy (some say not possible) to change, so a key part of a change to Fast Track methodologies has to be comforting those to whom it feels like a threat.

  2. Pingback: Fast Track Framework – Technology « Fast Track Architecture

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