Project Management

Realizing MVPs faster using Citizen Developer

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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ACME Corporation is an involved, multiple-unit business and their IT division is always overwhelmed by priorities. The organisation has a Corporate Social Responsibility division, which wishes to build an app for philanthropic purposes. The CEO of ACME has mandated that the COO oversee development of such an app within 6 months. After an initial idea of building an aggregator for Donors,  the COO has pivoted to a different idea, and has the following conversation with the CEO.

COO: We’ve finally got it! We have plans to develop an app that’ll help realize our ambitions for the CSR division.

CEO: That is great news. Is this the same one you were working on? The Donor Network Aggregator?

COO: Actually, no. We could not figure out the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for Donor Network Aggregator, as it is a little complicated, and we lack the necessary domain knowledge.

CEO: Oh I see. Can you say more? What was complicated about it?

COO: Well, we need to offer too many parameters as part of the MVP to be useful, and therefore, the schedule/cost are not within our budget. Also it needs more domain expertise, which we lack currently.

CEO: Did you use Ideation 2.0 of Citizen Developer as we discussed last time?

COO: Yes. We did. Thanks to our CDP (Citizen Developer Practitioner) for her excellent support in this.

CDP: As per the Ideation Board Template, we identified that this app would fail unless we provide intensive training to the user & it had support for more expressive queries and constraints. We used one of Ideation 2.0 methods, Really Round Robin (R-R-R). It was a really great learning experience, but the end decision is to put the idea on the back-burner.

CEO: Got it! So what have you been working on since? How’s it been going?

COO: Originally, we had great difficulty in convincing our associates on Citizen Developer (CD) concepts initially, but after this exercise, everyone is ready to start development of our new app using CD. One of them told me that “Low Code, No Code (LCNC) is like magic.” We’ve benefited greatly from CD Canvas on the whole!

CEO: Good, so what is your new mobile app all about? Have you named it? What’s the market potential? Growth opportunity and uniqueness? What does the MVP look like? How are our users going to realize the value?

COO: Yes, we did. We think this has significant market potential, and we’re really excited about being the first organisation to use it as part of the CSR division. We’ve named it D2P2L. It’s an app connecting Donors, Doctors, Patients, Pharmacists & Logistics. We hope you like the name.

While we applied conventional mode to evaluate, we used CD’s concepts and framework to strengthen our stand.

CDP: As per the CD framework:

  • Vision: To connect Donors, Doctors, Patients, Pharmacist and logistics providers under virtual umbrella to extend their offers/ services
  • Target group: Non-insured patients who can’t afford to buy medicines. As you well know, this is especially crucial during this pandemic.
  • Need: Mobile, responsive, and with good UX/UI
  • Product: A customised solution provider to connect Donors, Doctors, Patients, Pharmacist, and Logistics providers to achieve our business goal
  • Business Goal: Provide patients with access to life-saving medication, while providing ways for Donors to directly connect with their beneficiaries

CEO: I see that you used PMI’s Vision board template and it is easy for anyone to visualize the end products/benefits: I am proud of you and your team. Can you explain more about D2P2L?

COO: The registered Patients who have no insurance & can’t afford to buy medicines, can submit their medicine requests, as prescribed by the Doctors. This will be verified by the system, and map the request with registered donors, who can step-in and fund these requests. Then, the prescription will be forwarded to registered Pharmacists to deliver the medicines to the beneficiary through the authorised Logistic service provider. Donors are periodically updated on the health of the patients by Doctors through our system. And ultimately, our Corporate Social Responsibilities division will build and operate an extremely important platform to help ailing patients around the world.

CEO: Good. What about other success parameters?

COO: The uniqueness is we provide the comprehensiveness of our end-to-end solutions, anywhere, everywhere, & on any gadget. The MVP includes Login In screen, Donor tab, Doctor Tab, Patient tab,  Pharmacist Tab, Logistic tab, an integration with a payment gateway, Feedback & Dashboard. The success factor is that all links should work very effectively and transactions should get completed seamlessly.

CEO: This is really great!

COO: As you know, we will be running Ideation 2.0 throughout the development and we will be applying LCNC concepts of CD. Our Citizen DeveloperAdvocate will guide us to realise MVP faster.

CDP: I am happy to offer my guidance. There are 3 roles identified in CD as of now, namely: CD Practitioner, Business Architects (responsible for managing compliance) and CD Strategist (responsible for the operating environment who is part of the Senior Management team).

I will be the CD practitioner for this project. The CD process will offer benefits like cost effectiveness, reduce IT backlog, and further it enables disruptive technology without technical knowledge. With the support of IT management, we can build this application without coding knowledge. Our UI/UX experts take care of multi-response user experience which is more critical for our success.

We need to study whether the D2P2L project is a good fit under the purview of CD. This project can be delivered under Hyper Agile SDLC, Ideation 2.0 and Suitability Assessment. Given that our project is so nascent, and that you have commenced Ideation 2.0, you can follow Hyper Agile life cycle which will help you to achieve your MVP faster. We will get regular feedback and we will be agile during minor pivots while progressing on the project. CD helps you being Agile and doing Agile. It is similar to being ‘good’ & doing ‘good’.

Next, we need to address Capability development, through which we address Business Analysis & Design, Enterprise Risk Requirements and Application Development.

May I request that our team read through ‘Citizen Developer - The Handbook for creators and Changemakers’ by PMI? It is a really useful read.

We can meet up once a week and discuss the progress of your project.

COO: Thanks, CDP. We have made our initial estimates, and it will take a minimum of 6 months and cost USD 65,000 to complete my POC & MVP. At the end of 6 months, we will swim or sink. We need your help in this angel funding.

CEO:  The budget is approved, but let’s make sure that the CDP will help our squad develop the MVP faster. Any savings in the budget will be given as incentives to our team.

CDP:  Thanks for including me in the conversation. We will complete it faster, thanks to LCNC and these incentives.

A month after this conversation, the MVP of is ready and currently being beta-tested by business owners. The meeting was held with squad and here are the key discussion points:    

 Squad 1: “Great feeling: we never thought  we would complete a POC and MVP so fast without knowledge of coding. We were worried about security vulnerability and performance. But thankfully, it was handled out of the box by the CD tool. We got our MVP within a month and at half the cost.”

Squad 2:  “The role of CD Practitioner is very crucial and we are so happy we had her support. We were able to do application development with Data Model, Back end & Front end design.”

CDP:  “We all liked CD Canvas, where Product delivery and Capability Development played a major role. In CD, Maturity Model, we are successful in Discovery and Experimentation. We need to adopt, scale and Innovate.

COO:  “What I like is our flexibility throughout the development and the UX/UI team could make all preparations by ourselves. The role of IT was very minimal in our case, and the CD tool was self-explanatory and easy to use and adopt.”

CEO:  “Citizen Developer has really helped us here. We really should commit to using it for future development too. In that case, we need to understand the Manage and Lead aspect of CD and CD Maturity Model as well. Before that, let us enjoy our incentives and celebrate our success!”




Posted by Chandrasekaran Audivaragan on: May 10, 2021 05:08 AM | Permalink

Comments (2)

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Kwiyuh Michael Wepngong Financial Management Specialist | US Peace Corps / Cameroon Yaounde, Centre, Cameroon
Thanks for sharing this discourse

Chandrasekaran Audivaragan CEO| INFOCAREER PVT LTD Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Thanks for your comment and appreciate.

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