Project Management

How Will Citizen Development Impact Leadership, Decision-Making and How Projects are Run? Part 2

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Citizen development is a disruptive approach to digital transformation and organizational innovation, where teams are empowered to turn ideas into applications using no-code/low-code technology. This blog provides insights, advice and practical knowledge from thought leaders and practitioners in Citizen Development.

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Welcome to part 2 of my 3- part series on how citizen development is impacting projects and project management. Through the lens of citizen development, I am looking at the areas of

  1. Leadership – How citizen development relates to the leadership face
  2. Project Manager – How citizen development relates to the PM face  
  3. Decision making – How citizen development can impact decision making

If you missed part 1 you can read that here (

How Citizen Development Relates to the PM Face


  1. PROACTIVE: A project manager must be proactive. There are lots of issues that being proactive will help nip in the bud during a project lifecycle. A major stakeholder refuses to show up in a meeting may or not be a good sign. A project manager is expected to quickly rise to the occasion, communicate immediately, and regularize as expected on the stakeholders' matrix. The world is changing, a customer who gave a deadline for a requested product or service has a time-to-market to deal with. A proactive Citizen Developer Project Manager using low-code/no-code will deliver this type of product or service cheaper and in less time.


  1. RESPONSIBLE: A project manager is responsible for his/her project team and delivers a project on time, within the budget. He/She takes responsibility for whatever happens on the project in the entire project lifecycle and communicate accordingly to the respective stakeholders. Good project managers must maintain effective communication and keep the customer happy. He/She plays the lead role in planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing projects. A Citizen Developer Project Manager should equally be responsible for saving cost and time for the customer.


  1. OBSERVANT: A Citizen Developer Project Manager should have an eagle eye. If you can’t see a problem, fixing it may be hectic. A project manager can fix problems easily before they turned a risk when he/she has a detailed mindful observation to know when things go off the rails. A project manager should be able to predict when a team member becomes angry, annoyed, tensed up, tired, motivated, excited, and respond faster to any of the stressful situations in the course of the project. Careful observation of a team member increases a project manager's ability to respond respectfully to their mood and emotions. A good project manager depends on this skill for time-critical communications so he/she is more likely to elicit the responses he/she needs from the sponsor, team members, and customers.


  1. JUST: A Citizen Developer Project Manager should be just in managing the project team. Everyone should get what he/she deserves as dictated by the requirements of the project. Effective communications help a project manager to manage this so he/she does not look biased. Sometimes, the requirements of the job will require some changes, a good project manager must effect these changes as requested by the customer and as approved by the governance board. Equally, a good project manager should not do whatever customers asked just because he/she wanted to look nice, he/she has to go through the change control process and effect the change accordingly.


  1. EXCELLENT: It takes a lot in search of excellence. A Citizen Developer Project Manager must show excellence while performing his/her duty. There are lots of skills that drive excellence in a project manager. These include but didn’t limit to Communication, Leadership, Organization, Negotiation, Team Management, Time Management, Risk Management, Problem-solving, Budget Management, Motivation, Technical writing, Adaptability, Technologically savvy, Reporting skills, Active listening, Research skills, Interpersonal skills, Project management methodologies, Policy Knowledge, and Conflict Management. A project manager with these skills will deliver better and stand tall among peers.


  1. COMMUNICATE: Communication is a key aspect of project management. Poor communication impact projects. Coordinating the project team, negotiating with the external stakeholders is critical efforts on a project, as such, without strong communication skills, a Citizen Developer Project Manager would find it difficult, to effectively manage their teams and coordinate efforts to successfully deliver the expected deliverables. Everything on any project revolves around communication, and a Citizen Developer Project Manager must master this skill to be efficient and effective. Most issues on the project come up because there is no thorough communication process in place, there is no way a project will become successful if there is no thorough understanding of the requirements. The project manager and the project team can determine the communications that are needed based on stakeholder analysis. The feedback system is another crucial part of the communication process, a good project manager will check with stakeholders and do the requirement analysis to ensure communications about the project meet their needs. Communication across cultural boundaries is equally a challenge in project communications. A good project manager must consider the best ways to communicate with others as required.


  1. TACTFUL: One of the most powerful skills in a Citizen Developer Project Manager’s arsenal is tact — and mastering it can make the difference between an effective outcome and a disaster. Being tactful is one of the important skills needed for managing difficult situations on a project. Good project managers must be tactful in dealing with situations, which makes them natural leaders. They look at the realities on the ground, adapt, and deal with the conflicts. They are fair in their judgment and keep the team moving. They don’t take advantage of the team members. They share all the information with their team to work together for the project’s success.


  1. MANAGE: Managing the project team is critical, it takes a lot to bring together people from diverse backgrounds to achieve as a team. A Citizen Developer Project Manager must be armed with the art of managing, coordinating resources, and directing project teams so that the components of work performed by each group accumulates into a multidisciplinary team effort that achieves the desired objectives on time and within budget. A good Project must master the art of management, apply the knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to the project team and activities to meet the project requirements.


  1. ABOVE BOARD: “Above board” first appeared in print, as far as is known, in the late 16th century, and the phrase originated in the world of gambling, in particular card games. To play “above board” was to keep your cards above the level of the playing table (as opposed to down in your lap) to avoid any suspicion of cheating. A Citizen Developer Project Manager must be completely honest and straightforward. When a company's business dealings are aboveboard, they act in an honorable, open manner. A project manager must be above board at all times to create products or services for customers.


  1. NICE: A Citizen Developer Project Manager must be Noble, Interesting, Compassionate, and Enjoyable. The daily encounter with people should create a wonderful lasting impression that would keep all the stakeholders satisfied if possible. At every stage of the project lifecycle, a project manager must keep a clean slate with the team members, indeed, he/she may not be able to satisfy everyone but effective communication will clear all the doubts that he/she has done his/her part.


  1. ATTENTIVE: Listening skills are another core competence a good project manager must-have. This would help in understanding the detailed requirements of the project at hand. A Citizen Developer Project Manager must be attentive and be willing to ask for further clarification to understand the requirements and deliver exactly what is required of him/her. This is clearly described in a paper presented as “The Resonant project manager” Attention to detail is a must for project managers. The result will not only bring recognition but equally reward for project managers.  


  1. GO-GETTER: A Citizen Developer Project Manager must be an enterprising, aggressive, persistent, consistent, perceptive, resourceful, dependable, and driven person, who is ambitious, energetic, not afraid to ask for or pursue what he/she wants to achieve his/her ambitions on the project. The bottom line of all he/she does is to ensure the project is successfully delivered, they are disciplined, put in all the required time each day to progress to achieve organizational goals and objectives. He/She would not allow failures to stop him/her, would document all the realities as lessons learned, learn from his/her mistakes, and armed himself/herself with it for future projects.


  1. EXCEPTIONAL: Managing a team takes a lot. It is a must you respect the people you work with. All projects consist of people working to produce a unique product or service. A Citizen Developer Project Manager should not impose over-bearing principles on the team. They will typically lose more than they gain. People process things at different rates and with different base understandings, constant communication helps in this regard. A project manager must equally know when to intercede, focus on the results to be achieved, and go all out to ensure the deliverables areas required.


  1. REVOLUTIONARY: A Citizen Developer Project Manager is revolutionary by nature. He/she is someone ready to add values to others, demands commitment, courage, and sacrifice from the team members, and constantly growing, even if they are already doing well. He/She is transformational, charismatic, willing to reform, clear on the organizational mission and vision and he gets smart about achieving results.


Citizen development is the new revolution for rapid organizational development, PMI has already developed a Governance Launchpad Framework and the low-code/no-code platform is readily available to explore. I am poised and glad to be part of this revolution in organizational development that will equally develop the people.


I look forward to sharing my next blog with you where I look more at the impact of citizen development on decision making.


Posted by Jelili Odunayo Kazeem on: January 21, 2021 06:19 PM | Permalink

Comments (9)

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Gbadeyan Timothy Project Director| Timglobal Technologies Ltd Lagos, Nigeria
This is a pretty interesting piece. Many Thanks to the authors.

Jelili Odunayo Kazeem Co-Founder| Convosync Solutions Limited Enugu, En, Nigeria
Thank you for taking out of your precious time to read.

Aws Shehab Deputy IT Manager & Financial Affairs Support| ATU Duty Free Salalah, Dhofar, Oman
Very Good article.

Jelili Odunayo Kazeem Co-Founder| Convosync Solutions Limited Enugu, En, Nigeria
Thanks Shebad for taking out of your precious time to read. This is a revolution we must support with our heart.

Jody Temple White Citizen Developer, PMP, Operations Specialist| ASG Projects, LLC Portland, Or, USA
Great info. Thanks for sharing. This is a solid list of valuable skills and traits to have as a Project Manager and a Citizen Developer.

Jelili Odunayo Kazeem Co-Founder| Convosync Solutions Limited Enugu, En, Nigeria
Thank you for taking out of your precious time to read the article, Jodie!. Project Managers and Citizen Developers must evolve with valuable skills to manage the ever-changing business environment.

Kwiyuh Michael Wepngong Financial Management Specialist | US Peace Corps / Cameroon Yaounde, Centre, Cameroon
Great piece.... Thanks Kazeem

Mushtaq Abdulrahimzai SWIS| Surrey Schools District 36 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
interesting piece, thank you

Mohd Azmirul Adha Azmir Project Manager| Buildserve Engineering Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia

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