Businesses may find it challenging to fully adapt to digital transformation if most of their IT resources are consumed by preserving fundamental services. Therefore, IT departments may be unable to keep pace with the evolving needs of the business.
Citizen developers and software development platforms that utilise low-code or no-code methodologies are gaining popularity as a solution for addressing the persistent problem of unfinished business projects. While citizen development programs have been around for some time, the digital transformation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted CIOs to re-examine the use of low-code or no-code platforms.
The primary challenge that CIOs encounter when contemplating initiatives of this kind is not determining their necessity (which is clear), but persuading other C-suite executives and managers in the organisation of the advantages of these programmes.
Develop a Course of Action
Creating a shared vision is crucial to gain support. Progress cannot be made without first discerning the desired result. A successful civic improvement strategy necessitates comprehension of the existing condition, the intended future state, and the incentive for transformation.
Current State versus Desired State
IT departments frequently face an overwhelming number of requests for projects, exceeding their capacity to handle them realistically. Both significant and minor projects regularly receive inadequate attention and are delayed for extended periods. The common misconception that IT fails to complete projects that meet the needs of the organisation is incorrect.
If regarding the current circumstances in a cynical manner, it is logical to assume that the future should be the reverse. However, that is not always the case in real life. A desirable condition should be perceived as an objective that you aspire towards, yet may be unfeasible to accomplish completely. Attempting to tackle problems with simple solutions without a predetermined outcome is unlikely to yield considerable progress.
After determining your goals and objectives, it is time to start discussing your plan with others. Since most individuals are aware of the problems, it is better to focus on emphasising the benefits of the programme rather than its features. Stakeholders who stand to profit from greater productivity, increased earnings, or the removal of obstacles to their operations will support your proposal.
The Next Steps
To ensure success, it is crucial to start small, identify chances for immediate victories, and obtain buy-in from significant stakeholders. It will be challenging to establish enough momentum to achieve success across the organisation without conducting a scaled-down pilot of the programme.
When a civic development community is created, there are limitless possibilities for what can be accomplished with their assistance. Low-code and no-code platforms are employed for a broad range of activities, from intricate client-facing ventures to something as basic as inserting a fresh field into an existing online form.
Start with a Small Step Forward
Contacting a low-code/no-code provider is the first step in implementing your software. This will allow you to outline the responsibilities of the citizen developer and establish their parameters within an action plan.
The first edition of the playbook need not be conclusive. This framework outlines the project deliverables, milestones, IT verifications and approvals, benchmarks, standards and best practices, guidelines for citizen developers to act according to, roles and responsibilities, and other programme governance structures. IT’s primary duty in this situation is to offer guidance, so seeking their input could be advantageous.
After completing the playbook, train a handful of IT personnel to learn the system. They will become mentors to non-technical business users who are tasked with becoming citizen developers.
After your core team is well-versed in the basics, it is time to discover areas in the department that could benefit from using pre-existing data. Automation is an efficient solution for tasks that require extensive manual data entry into spreadsheets.
After achieving several accomplishments, it is crucial to assess your progress. Make changes to your strategy as necessary and return to the previous task. As your proficiency improves, you can tackle more difficult assignments.
For complicated projects, employing a centralised data repository often becomes necessary. This entails using formulas, customised programming, and integration with other systems. Prior to deployment, IT testing is commonly needed to ensure that all project components are correctly executed. IT departments also play a crucial role in the planning and implementation stages of such projects.
IT gives the highest priority to data integrity, privacy, and security, as well as ensuring that the new procedures do not impede the functioning of applications or violate other corporate policies.
As your experience grows, high-risk tasks become relatively easier. Such tasks can entail customer interaction, specialized coding, gathering data from different departments, and the possibility of disrupting normal business operations if not executed correctly. IT professionals may perform the majority of the design and development tasks, although they will be utilising a low-code/no-code environment.
Managing the Figures
Achieving success in this undertaking involves closely monitoring progress by employing a few select key performance indicators (KPIs). These may encompass enhancing IT response times, reducing the volume of software development projects, and improving the standard of change deliveries and processes. These are all attainable goals worth aiming towards, achievable via an effective citizen development initiative.
Diminishing the Scale
By expanding on the initial triumphs, more projects can be identified, and additional citizen developers can be trained to take them on. It is viable to establish a citizen developer community that encourages teamwork and knowledge sharing.
To oversee the initiative and encourage the adoption of best practices, some companies establish a “center of excellence” (CoE) solely for citizen developers.
As businesses across the globe aspire to digital transformation, they should consider leveraging app development tools for their benefit. The popularity of citizen development is swiftly rising due to the capability of low-code/no-code platforms to diminish project backlogs and hasten processes.