Project Management

How a Construction Project Manager Tackled Citizen Development Part 1

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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After working in construction for almost 7 years I thought both my and my organisation's future was set in stone. Waking up every day, going to work, using the same old / inefficient processes for planning projects and keeping track of various data that would often get misplaced or altered over time through miscommunication; though I never thought anything of it, that was the "norm".

That was until I heard about CD (Citizen Development) and started to look into it more and what it could do for me.

I quickly became interested in the benefits of CD and "low-code / no-code" (LCNC) platforms and what they could do for me, whenever I did or saw something I begun to think.

  • "Could I make this more efficient"
  • "Could this have been planned better"
  • "Would I be able to make the workplace safer"

The more I researched, the more opportunities unfolded, the more I began to think and solve and start to see the many benefits of CD.

Taking the Citizen Developer Course

When I heard that there was a specialised "Citizen Developer” course I immediately started to investigate and it didn't take much convincing to get enrolled.

I began the course expecting to learn about the opportunities that CD would enlighten, the best LCNC platforms to use and the process of putting my knowledge into practice and I was a little worried that it might be quite difficult given the fact I have never touched coding or built an App before; however, the experience was much more than that.

On the foundation course you learn EVERYTHING from ideation to creation and deployment, the whole process!

You get to learn the basics and how to unlock the full potential of CD along with how to comply with IT by bringing structure and security.

With Citizen Development there is no need for technical knowledge, so long as you have the will to create a solution, CD will enable you to do it and the CD course will show you how and hold your hand through the process.

The best parts of the course had to be the many downloadable templates and the real-world examples for you to examine, having the ability to look at a small selection of real-world examples of CD being put into practice was game changing and allowed me to really see the effect it had within a business.

Thinking About Implementing CD

After the course I began thinking about where and how I should start to implement this within my own career, the use of LCNC platforms will help out a vast majority of businesses, especially the ones with a backlog of work that would usually require an IT specialist.

That isn't all CD can do though, just think of the career opportunities that get created, so many businesses have underlying issues that just don't get solved or get pushed to the back of the queue because they don't have the necessary resources to deal with them.

For example, think of your own work environment, what do you think could be made more efficient through the implementation of a simple app? As someone with CD experience I would now feel more confident in tackling those issues and developing a solution in a cost and time effective manner.

All in all, since starting my path on becoming a Citizen Developer I have had my eyes opened to a new world and I am excited to see where this can take me, first of all I need to get to grips with a LCNC platform, there are so many to choose from, each with their own advantages.

Then I need to put both my CD and LCNC knowledge to the test within my own working environment to see just how effective it is in my own line of work; after that I hope to evolve some more and take my expertise to larger projects with more diverse needs.

The Next Steps on My Citizen Developer Journey

So that is my starting experience with becoming a Citizen Developer, my near future goal is to get to grips with a LCNC platform and put into practice my newfound skills into building something.

I am thinking I should build something simple such as a tracker that provides detail of all the hours worked by employees and various contractors on each project.

Or maybe I should build something expandable such as a job portfolio that presents details of all past projects that we do so that I have something to show future clients that inquire about past jobs; this will allow me to build something simple to start with  and expand / improve over time as I become more skilled.

My plan for this is to use a couple of hours each evening and some additional hours on weekends learning the fundamentals of app building within my chosen platform which I hope should be enough time (including ideation and planning) to get my first basic app built to bring a solution to something within my company.

I’ll look forward to sharing what happens on my next blog!

Over to you, have you been building apps with LCNC? What LCNC platform would you recommend or like to learn? I’d love to hear from you what’s working for you.


Posted by Jason Mayall on: March 06, 2021 04:06 AM | Permalink

Comments (2)

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Arjun Jamnadass Chief Customer Officer| AgilePoint United Kingdom
Fascinating. Interested to read part 2 and see what apps you build!

Rami Kaibni
Community Champion
Senior Projects Manager | Field & Marten Associates New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada

I come from a similar background and been working in construction for more than 17 years. I enjoyed the course and learned a lot from it and willing to take it to the next level.


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