Project Management

Citizen Development Insights

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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.

About this Blog


View Posts By:

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


Engaging Stakeholders: A critical element to enterprise risk requirements

This post is the fourth in a series introducing you to elements on the PMI Citizen Development Canvas (see image below). These posts are designed to inspire you, share tips and insight, and further your knowledge and experience. I welcome your questions and encourage you to share your own stories.


In the last post, I introduced you to Business Analysis and Design. In this post, I will introduce you to Enterprise Risk Requirements. 

PMI CD Canvas - Enterprise Risk Requirements

Enterprise Risk Requirements is the component in the PMI Citizen Development Canvas that refers to functional and non-functional requirements within citizen development projects. It is also the area where the Citizen Developer identifies and manages other inherent project risks including stakeholder and communication risks. 


In this blog, I am going to focus on stakeholder risk and the importance of identifying, engaging, and communicating with them to improve the success rate of your project. 


Stakeholders - who are they and what role do they play?


A stakeholder is a person, group, or organization that has an interest in, or will be affected by, the application being developed. Stakeholders play a key role in the citizen development process. They help the Citizen Developer capture requirements and they provide valuable feedback. Stakeholders can be huge champions, or they can stop a project in its track.


Understanding who the stakeholders are, their influence, and how they perceive the project is critical, so one of the first steps in mitigating stakeholder risk is to create a stakeholder directory. 


Stakeholder Directories

Stakeholder directories come in all shapes and sizes, but in general, the directory lists the stakeholders, their roles, their influence, and their level of support for the project. This directory is used by the Citizen Developer and squad as a reference tool as they engage with the stakeholders throughout the project. 


Stakeholder Engagement Plan

In the course of creating the stakeholder directory, Citizen Developers will also be creating a stakeholder engagement plan. This will encompass how hands-on the stakeholders will be in the project, how and when they will receive status updates, and their expectations. Some stakeholders will be heavily involved in the build and by engaging them early on, it will encourage collaboration and feedback, create a stronger solution, and help reduce the potential for miscommunication. 


Capturing Requirements from Stakeholders.

Now that the stakeholders have been identified and an engagement plan has been created, stakeholder requirements can be gathered. Stakeholders help to identify app requirements and why they’re important. These requirements are typically functional requirements pertaining to the user experience or workflows. The requirement list provides direction and focus throughout the app development and it also acts as a checklist to make sure that the requirements have been met.


In my past blogs, I have shared situations where an app was created and the problem solved and they lived happily ever after, but the following situation is about a missed opportunity and a lesson learned.


What happens when a stakeholder stops it all.


Situation: A fast-growing urban non-profit was sinking in a swamp of details they couldn’t manage anymore. The organization was led by a small executive team and run by volunteers.  There were four lines of service, each led by a volunteer.


Before: The quality of service and communication was showing signs of stress. Volunteers were working extra hours to keep up with inefficient methods.


Process: A Citizen Developer who was familiar with the organization saw the situation and believed an app could solve the chaos and help scale the organization efficiently. He presented the idea of a low-code/no-code (LCNC) app to the executive team (Enterprise Stakeholders). They liked the idea of an app and introduced the Citizen Developer to the volunteer leaders of the four lines of service. He met with each one to demonstrate a prototype and to discuss how the app could save them time and improve their service.


Three of the four volunteer leaders saw the app as a solution, but the fourth felt the expense was unnecessary. She was happy to work the extra hours to save money. She would not budge from her position and even though the executive team felt the expense was worth the saving, they bent to her wishes.


After: The Citizen Developer dropped the project. The organization and its volunteers continued to struggle and count on volunteer overtime to succeed.


Missed opportunity and lesson learned:

While the non-profit was still in its infancy and developing its structure, it had an opportunity to quickly and cost-effectively solve an operational issue that was only going to get worse. The organizational structure had no real leader which made it difficult when the solution was presented. They missed a huge opportunity. 


The Citizen Developer learned a valuable lesson. He skipped a few steps and dove right into solving the problem before fully understanding the stakeholders, their roles, and their influence. Had he spent a little more time engaging the stakeholders and listening to their concerns and pain points, he may have been able to alleviate the cost concerns with the resistant stakeholder. This was a valuable lesson to learn.


Some tips from my experience:

  1. Identify the stakeholders quickly and engage them as soon as you can.
  2. Communicate with stakeholders. Find out what their expectations and requirements are.
  3. Listen and ask questions. Find out the stakeholder's pain points, needs, and perspective, not just about the solution, but the project in general. 


Stakeholders are crucial to the build and the ongoing success of the project. If the stakeholders aren’t supportive, you’re in for a steep climb that may not be worth the risk.


What did this post spark in you? Are you new to no-code/low-code app creation? Have you used a suitability assessment in your company? Please post your questions, comments, and stories below.

Want to learn more? Grab your copy of the newly released book Citizen Development: The Handbook for Creators and Change Makers.

Posted by Jody Temple White on: April 16, 2021 01:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

A Quick Introduction to Ideation 2.0 (with a Case Story)

Welcome to the world of citizen development.

Amazing things happen here in the world of citizen development. If you’ve been in it a while, you already know how incredible it is to watch an idea go from spark to screen in days or even hours. If you’re new to citizen development, get ready for a fascinating new reality.

This post is the second in a series that will introduce you to elements on the PMI CD Canvas (see graphic below).  These posts are designed to inspire you, share tips and insight, and further your knowledge and experience. I welcome your questions and encourage you to share your own stories.

I am glad you’re here. Last month I introduced you to Hyper-Agile SDLC. This month, I will introduce you to Ideation 2.0

PMI CD Canvas - Ideation 2.0


What is Ideation 2.0?

Ideation is as old as humanity itself. You know how it goes: A group gathers to come up with ideas to solve a problem or invent something new. Ideators love it; implementers get restless.

Ideation 2.0 lets the genius of both groups shine simultaneously. Ideators get to perpetually ideate and implementers get to perpetually implement. It’s a synergetic union, but how is it possible? 

It’s possible because of low-code / no-code / (LCNC) app creation. Your team spots an inefficiency and decides an app can fix it, then builds the app (often within a few days), launches the app, and continuously improves it with little or no delay, based on user feedback and more ideas.

The key differentiator of Ideation 2.0 is the real-time development of LCNC apps (built by non-IT personnel) and rapid iterations based on user feedback and requests, allowing ideas to quickly take shape and launch throughout the entire development process.


Case Story: Ideation 2.0 in Action

Situation: A security company needed to improve and secure data sharing between their dispatch and event security teams and determined a LCNC app could be the solution.


Before: The dispatcher team handled incoming requests, security issues, and scheduling security officers. The security team were stationed at various locations and provided security support at events, for VIPs, and small groups. The two teams had no efficient way of securely communicating the constantly changing incoming and outgoing information in real-time. They relied on unsecured texts, emails, and radio messages to relay updates, and each day the security team would download a PDF doc of the day’s info, which was quickly outdated.


Process: A core team of dispatchers and security officers was formed to design a secure app for data sharing between teams. Ideation 2.0 kicked off with a team idea gathering session to create a product vision board. Once that was completed, a prototype was built to specifications in 5 days using the hyper-agile SDLC process, then tested, and released to the core team for a beta test. Ideation 2.0 continued as the core team quickly returned with additional ideas, feature requests, modifications, and adjustments. The requests were implemented according to the change request process and the tool was deployed for a two-week trial for user testing in the field.   


After: The teams were trained on how to navigate and use the tool and quickly began sharing additional ideas (continued ideation 2.0) based on their team’s needs. The core team remained in close contact with user teams and saw that some of the functionality originally requested by the core team wasn’t proving helpful after all. The citizen developer updated the tool and pushed it out to the end-users quickly and efficiently. Additional ideas and features outside of the original ones were added, such as the ability to upload photos, complete required incident forms, and time tracking. This further increased the value of the tool in the eyes of the whole team.

Ideation 2.0 was part of every step starting with the core team’s initial ideas, beta-testing, two-week trial, and final survey questions. Ideators, implementers, and end-users were key to the creation and continual improvement of the app which exceeded the initial requirements and expectations.


Applying Ideation 2.0 in Your Organization

In the world of citizen development, Ideation 2.0 is not a one-time thing, it is a continuous flow of idea generation and implementation throughout development. There are many ways to gather initial ideas for an LCNC app from your team. Some are detailed on this portal and others can be found in the Citizen Development Body of Knowledge.

In the meantime, here are four suggestions as to how you would apply Ideation 2.0 to your next project:

  1. Identify your stakeholders. This is critical. These are the people on the frontlines who will be most impacted by the app and will offer the best feedback and ideas.
  2. Create a quick and easy way to collect feedback and ideas from your stakeholders all the way through the development process. If it is too hard, they may clam up.
  3. Implement a change request that prioritizes requests, so all stakeholders feel heard.
  4. Incorporate the updates and feedback as quickly as possible and notify stakeholders of the updates along with any necessary training to assist in the user adoption.


What did this post spark in you? Are you new to no-code/low-code app creation? Have you used Ideation 2.0 in your company? Please post your questions, comments, and stories below.

Posted by Jody Temple White on: January 18, 2021 06:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know."

- Groucho Marx