Nope, that's not a typo.
Pretotyping, verb: Testing the initial appeal and actual usage of a potential new product by
simulating its core experience with the smallest possible investment of time and money.
This definition comes from the pretotyping.org home page, which also provides the pretotyping manifesto and blog links. I highly recommend the thought provoking keynote on pretotyping by Patrick Copeland at QCon.
So, what does this have to do with Application Transformation? Pretotyping seems very focused on innovation around new products. But many of the Manifesto ideas apply as well to transformation.
"innovators beat ideas" - This relates directly to issues we have seen in Application Modernization. It is pretty easy to speculate about a cosmic future state that never seems to get any nearer. In particular, in the absence of a long term transformation strategy that is producing results, you want to find those groups and individuals in your organization that have actually managed to accomplish significant transformation just because they saw the need. Learn from them and use them to create core teams for further work.
"building beats talking" - In addition to the above, a typical issue in transformation is tooling. Almost all significant application modernization requires creative integration of multiple tools, normally with some special purpose glue in the form of code and scripts to tie them together in an effective combination. This is where your delivery teams need to be providing feedback into the overall transformation plan.
"data beats opinions" - This one is key. We have talked in previous posts about the kind of triage that needs to be applied to a portfolio when planning a systemic modernization. "When was this program last run?" "How many users does it have?" "What does it cost?" "What are its business benefits?" "How many similar applications exist that might be merged?" Without answers to these questions you are guessing. This is where a consistent and on-going application portfolio assessment is needed, preferably with a tool like HP Application Portfolio Management to provide a persistent repository.
What this manifesto says to me is that in an agile world many principles apply in some form across the spectrum, from ideation to design to development to transformation.