Project Management

The 4Ps of Citizen Development: Products, Promptness, People, and Process Framework

From the Citizen Development Insights Blog
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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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Empowering Citizen Developers: Overcoming 5 Common Challenges Together

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Lots of people think Citizen Development is still a buzzword. However, it is interesting to know how the low-code/no-code platforms have grown over the years. I joined the Low-code & No-code (Rapid Application Development by low-code citizen developers) and the Toronto Citizen Developer User Group recently on LinkedIn and was amazed at how people have been doing great with the available low-code/no-code platforms. These platforms have made business users see an opportunity to optimize a process and take it upon themselves to create their apps.


Some have argued, these disruptions in IT will not survive enterprise products, you need to train people to adapt, and those behind the blocks, doing the plug and play designs are IT savvy. Covid19 made the world know that the virus determines the timeline and we just have to regularize the situations to fit. The need for products and services, streamlining business processes determines the timeline now, it is growing by the day, low-code/no-code platforms have come to the rescue, and Project Management Institute (PMI) has developed the world’s first vendor-agnostic governance framework for citizen development (PMI Citizen DeveloperTM).

One of the major factors affecting the prompt delivery of IT products is the miscommunications between the developers and the end-users. Sometimes, these developers waste months and years developing products that would become obsolete or useless for the users. At the core of these are the Four (4) Ps to citizen development struggling behind the scene to take charge. These are products, promptness, people, and process framework. However, all of these are as important as the other.



No doubt, there is a higher demand for IT products or services, the backlogs are growing more than ever, and the IT departments are under pressure to meet this growing demand. Low-code/No-code platforms are growing by the day. The links below are clear on this.

Gartner estimates that low-code app platforms would account for over 65% of development by 2024 (

Forrester forecasts that the low-code market would top $21 billion spendings 2022 (



The demand for enterprise apps to solve complex issues with a couple of clicks is rapidly growing. These growing products determine the timeline now. The available options to get it done faster are the Low-code/No-code platforms. These platforms are equally getting better, products or services are delivered to customers cheaper in less time.



The ease of delivery of products or services in less time has kept low-code/no-code platforms tall. The real-time delivery with fewer clicks or moving blocks is not a disruption, but an easier way of developing products. Quick response to deliver value from Citizen Developers with a few clicks after understanding the requirements is key to making customers happy. Low-code/no-code platforms employ drag and drop tools instead of the usual long codes of programming. Platforms are easily comprehensible and they require less training. They have easy features, tools, and models. Citizen Developers can experiment, prototype, and deliver apps in hours to customers.


       3. PEOPLE

At the core of whole lots about low-code/no-code are the products to service the people. Ideas abound, the tools are now in the hands of the people (employees), and business processes are more flexible. The power to offer solutions is in the hands of those at the core of business processes to deliver results faster.

"The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity" - Tom Peters

When you give the people all the tools and the flexibility to bring ideas to life, the organizational growth will be massive. End users can now build departmental, customized, and public applications using low-code/no-code platforms. The demand for products or services is growing. There are more interactions between the people (customers and citizen developers). It unites the IT and the business teams too.




The Project Management Institute (PMI) has developed the world’s first vendor-agnostic governance framework for citizen development (PMI Citizen DeveloperTM).

“PMI recognizes the critical role that citizen development plays in empowering individuals and organizations,” Mr. Prashara from PMI says. “As organizations look to leverage citizen development in their digital transformation programs, there are many pitfalls to avoid, including the lack of a comprehensive methodology and framework and adequate training to allow citizen developers to succeed. PMI is addressing this gap by providing a vendor-agnostic framework to support professionals’ need to learn the basics and best practices, but also organizations’ need to unlock the potential of citizen development in compliance with IT governance and security. This will give IT the confidence to scale citizen development across the enterprise to accelerate the organization’s transformation efforts.”

This framework includes a set of umbrella activities that are applicable across the entire Citizen Development process.


Your opinions and insights will be quite appreciated,  feel free to leave them here. 
Thank you.


Posted by Jelili Odunayo Kazeem on: February 01, 2021 02:09 AM | Permalink

Comments (9)

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Kwiyuh Michael Wepngong Financial Management Specialist | US Peace Corps / Cameroon Yaounde, Centre, Cameroon
HI Kazeem,
I find this so powerful, about one of the Ps, Power " ...When you give the people all the tools and the flexibility to bring ideas to life, the organizational growth will be massive"

Jody Temple White Citizen Developer, PMP, Operations Specialist| ASG Projects, LLC Portland, Or, USA
Great insight. Thanks for sharing.

Aws Shehab Deputy IT Manager & Financial Affairs Support| ATU Duty Free Salalah, Dhofar, Oman
Awesome article, love the part of PROMPTNESS.

Kiron Bondale
Community Champion
Mentor| World Class Productivity Inc. Welland, Ontario, Canada
Good article - I like the ways in which you connected the 4Ps to the specific context of CD!

Peter de Jager Professional Speaker| de Jager & Co Ltd Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Well written articles - flows logically - bite sized pieces of information.

Nice work

Marcus Udokang Project Manager| Aivaz Consulting Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Great article. Thanks sharing a wonderful read.

Scott Ambler Consulting Methodologist| Ambysoft Inc. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I started my career in IT in the 80s. I started my writing career in the early 90s, and my earliest writings were in end user computing (EUC), an early precursor to Citizen Developer (CD). I've seen similar schemes come and go over the past 3 decades, and CD is the first one that has legs in my mind. And it's because it's looks beyond the "cool products" the vendors want to sell us. Yes, products are important, but they're only one of the four Ps. Without the other three Ps you're in serious trouble.

An important difference between CD and previous attempts at enabling people to build and run their own systems is that it looks at the full life cycle and not just the quick development part. As this article points out, the fourth P, Process, is critical to your success. If CD doesn't fit into your overall way of working (WoW), if it doesn't fit into your existing organizational ecosystem, then you'll fail. Yes, you may be able to bang out an application quickly using a low-code tool, but you won't be able to keep it running over time. Being a bit smarter about your WoW, about your process, greatly increases your chance of success. This to me is why CD is so important - it considers the bigger picture.

Mushtaq Abdulrahimzai SWIS| Surrey Schools District 36 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Great article. Thanks for sharing great read.

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

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