Project Management

Citizen Development Part 4: Deployment and Beyond

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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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 


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Categories: citizen development

What types of apps can citizen developers build? 

Especially when starting out, citizen developers can excel in areas like administration, data-tracking, and reporting. These use cases are often processes that run on separate spreadsheets, or database tools. 


Citizen developers can take part in developing applications for these processes, and moving them to a no- or low-code platform enables IT to provide governance. This is far more secure than having dozens of unsynchronized, unmonitored applications floating around in every department. 


These types of administrative and reporting functions have a tendency to fall outside of IT’s radar, and so without citizen development, they may never make it to production. Through citizen development, organizations are able to start small with these types of apps, see concrete results, and scale over time. It allows the business to easily test multiple solutions without interfering with or violating the overall IT landscape.

The safety of a sandbox 

How do citizen developers get started in a safe and controlled way? One effective way is to provide a sandbox. Providing a sandbox has two main advantages: 


  1. You enable citizen developers to start building applications with minimal risk;

  2. You remove the fear (for citizen developers and IT) that something will go horribly wrong. 


Citizen developers, especially if they’re new to the role, will have different skill levels and will work at different speeds. Providing a sandbox enables citizen developers to work in a way that is comfortable for them, and allows IT to control the output. 



Once the application is ready for deployment, IT should provide citizen developers with clear instructions on the next steps. This helps ensure that citizen developers do not become overwhelmed by a stage of the development lifecycle that, after all, is probably new to them. 


Examples could include making citizen developers aware that IT will run security and compliance tests, that IT manages imports and migrations, and that IT announces the release. 



As is the case for all development methodologies, KPIs should have already been set so that you’re ready to test – and you know what you’re measuring. Regardless of your KPIs, it’s usually prudent to include some of the following in the testing process: 


  • Does the application meet the expected quality standards? 

  • What kind of feedback are users and stakeholders providing? 

  • How does the application fit around existing systems? 

  • Is the performance adequate? 


Sharpening the saw 

It’s the last of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits for a reason. Once you’ve understood the impact of the application in terms of meeting KPIs, etc., this information should be communicated to the citizen developers, stakeholders, and the wider organization, with a view to improving the process moving forward. 


It’s also important to recognize success and to ensure the organization as a whole recognizes it. A successful citizen development strategy is one that is refined over time and, to do this, it pays to have company-wide buy-in. The more people that see the success of the first citizen development initiative, the more people will want to take part in developing the next innovative solution, and the more talent you will have at your disposal. 

Posted by Ryan Whitmore on: July 27, 2021 05:54 AM | Permalink

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Kwiyuh Michael Wepngong Financial Management Specialist | US Peace Corps / Cameroon Yaounde, Centre, Cameroon

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Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes.