Project Management

Citizen Development and Intrapreneurship

From the Citizen Development Insights Blog
by , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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.

About this Blog


View Posts By:

Cameron McGaughy
Ron Immink
Jody Temple White
Mario Trentim
Jelili Odunayo Kazeem
Jason Mayall
Chandrasekaran Audivaragan
Ryan Whitmore
Kimberly Whitby
Justin Sears
Derya Sousa
Vivek Goel
Raveesh Dewan
Dalibor Ninkovic
Ian Gosling
Tara Leparulo

Past Contributors:

Elizabeth Jordan
Arjun Jamnadass
Rogerio Sandim
Martin Kalliomaki
Richard Earley
Maelisa Woulfe
Octavio Arranz

Recent Posts

5 Top Citizen Development Myths Busted

Empowering Citizen Developers: Overcoming 5 Common Challenges Together

Citizen Development: The Path to Success Starts Small

Can No-Code/Low-Code ERP Replace Traditional ERP Platforms?

No Code, Big Bucks: How Citizen Developers Can Capitalize on the Future of Tech 


Agile, Best Practices, best practices, Career Development, CD Canvas, Change Management, Citizen Developer, Citizen Development, Citizen development, citizen development, Communication, Digital Transformation, digital transformation, Documentation, Innovation, IT Project Management, LCNC, Leadership, Lessons Learned, Low-Code, myths, No-Code, no-code, No-code and Gen Z, PM Think About It, PMI, PMI Global Congress 2013 - North America, PMO, Portfolio Management, Program Management, Programs (PMO), Project Delivery, Project Management, project management, Risk Management, ROI, software development, Stakeholder, Strategy, Talent Management, Tools



Over the past number of months, I have been doing research into citizen development. In this blog, I will explore how citizen development can empower creative minds.



Entrepreneurship is defined as the creation or extraction of value. It encapsulates the idea of setting up an enterprise to service needs. Traditionally, a multitude of steps must be taken if one is intent on becoming an entrepreneur. Research suggests that, at a minimum, most entrepreneurs must:  

  • Spot a gap in the market / find a large problem to solve
  • Prototype the product / service
  • Evaluate the product / service
  • Identify the target audience
  • Source Finance
  • Consider risk
  • Spend a lot of time & effort sourcing operational & human resources
  • Create an enterprise.


My Ambition… but Reality Strikes

One of my lifelong ambitions was to become an entrepreneur. I am passionate about people and wanted to address the needs of those who are unfulfilled by adding value to their lives and making a meaningful difference. Until recently, my goal was clear. I was determined to take the necessary steps, and, ultimately create an enterprise that would address unfulfilled needs… until I discovered citizen development.


Citizen Development

Citizen Development, is a phenomenon that enables any user to create applications without coding experience. As I said in a previous blog: “You do not have to be a software developer or an IT specialist to create an app anymore. Literally, anyone can create an application using citizen development if you have the appetite to learn.”


Key Insights

Over recent months, I have had the opportunity to conduct research into citizen development. During that time, I have learned a tremendous amount! Out of everything I have read and experienced, there were two key takeaways that stood out to me:

  1. Anyone with the appetite to learn can upskill and create applications that fulfill needs
  2. Organizations should leverage citizen development to gain transient advantages

Setting up an enterprise takes a huge amount of time and effort (not to mention the risk and liability that is involved). Since learning about citizen development, my entrepreneurial ambition has not changed, however, my roadmap has.


Same Ambition, Different Roadmap

Since discovering citizen development, I firmly believe intrapreneurship is my calling. I do not need to create an enterprise to fulfill unmet needs. I can leverage citizen development to create applications that will enable me to achieve the same goal. I do not need to take the traditional entrepreneurial steps. I need to continue on my learning journey and gain more experience with citizen development to achieve my ambition.



“Intrapreneurship, unlike entrepreneurship, is a concept that says you have the resources in your employees to solve most of your business challenges. It is more than just the concept, it is the execution of actions and activities that increase productivity and profitability within a company” (Herrmann, 2021). Innovative employees are at the core of intrapreneurship.


They are creative people within the organization who are determined to solve problems and develop sustainable solutions. Intrapreneurs can easily leverage citizen development to realize their ambition. At a macro level, they can:

  1. Identify the business problem that needs to be solved
  2. Create a project proposal
  3. Ideate (via Really Round Robin sessions, Ideathons or Hackathons)
  4. Create and deploy the application


Why Intrapreneurs should Leverage Citizen Development?

Intrapreneurs can create apps that will meet specific needs, at a lower cost and in a fraction of the time it would have traditionally taken to create an enterprise to fulfill a specific need. By leveraging this capability, risk and liability is minimized. On top of that, you won’t have to source extraordinary amounts of finance or spend years establishing an organization.  


Case Study

Let’s take a look at a case study example of an intrapreneurial mind that leveraged citizen development to fulfill a business problem.

Posted by Maelisa Woulfe on: March 29, 2021 07:25 AM | Permalink

Comments (3)

Please login or join to subscribe to this item
Luis Branco CEO| Business Insight, Consultores de Gestão, Ldª Carcavelos, Lisboa, Portugal
Dear Maelisa
Very interesting the theme that brought to our reflection and debate
Thanks for sharing and your opinion
Can we be intrapreneurs without necessarily having to resort to citizen development?
Anyone, in a company, who has the idea of ​​a product or service can turn to a sponsor who helps to leverage that idea. Or am I mistaken?

Maelisa Woulfe Consultant| FTI Consulting Ireland
Hello Luis, thank you for reading my blog :) I hope you enjoyed it.

Yes, I believe anyone that has a creative mind can be an intrapreneur. Both examples you called out are valid.

In my blog, one of the main messages is that: Citizen development can empower intrapreneurs (i.e., intrapreneurs can bring a product / service from idea to reality by leveraging citizen development) in a time efficient and cost effective manner.

Luis Branco CEO| Business Insight, Consultores de Gestão, Ldª Carcavelos, Lisboa, Portugal
Dear Maelisa
It is a privilege to read the reflections you share with us.
We agree that Citizen development can streamline the process

Please Login/Register to leave a comment.


"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules."

- George Bernard Shaw