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Blog Article

The Success Drivers for an Introduction of Citizen Development 

May 6, 2024 | 3 min

Citizen Development / No-Code / Low-Codecplace Community

Everyone is talking about citizen development. No wonder, as analysts assume that the use of No- and Low-Code solutions by specialist departments has enormous innovative power. But what does a company need in addition to committed employees in order to make effective use of the advantages of Citizen Development? This guest blog post by our partner QuinScape, a part of Dataciders, addresses exactly that. 

Citizen Development QuinScape

The speed advantage for developing business-critical solutions or adapting existing solutions to new requirements is enormous through the utilization of Citizen Development.  

We witness this effect daily with our clients. With cplace, companies have exactly the right mix of make & buy for their project and portfolio management. The solution offers highly specialized building blocks that enable complex project management requirements to be implemented simply and out-of-the-box.

At the same time, cplace as a platform is capable of being quickly and effectively utilized within the company’s domain by business departments through configuration (No-Code) as well as deeper customizations (Low-Code). If this isn’t sufficient, there are no limits with cplace, and software developers can implement any customizations in the codebase (Pro-Code). This is a technological prerequisite for scalable Citizen Development. However, a simple introduction of a corresponding platform is not enough. 

What are the Success Drivers for the Introduction of Citizen Development?

Citizen development often emerges as a grassroots movement. In many cases, the right platforms, or the business-threatening standstill – caused by paralyzing special software solutions – motivate the specialist departments to take the initiative themselves. This momentum must be contained. The task of top management is to create a culture and guidelines in which these initiatives are not only possible but explicitly desired.  

During the introduction of Citizen Development, five critical factors have emerged from the large number of our projects to ensure that companies benefit from the promised innovative power and that the movement is not nipped in the bud.

  1. The appropriate strategic platform 
    A solution tailored to the specific domain must be implemented. Relying on generic solutions, which are therefore not very domain-specific, often leads to problems in most cases. It’s precisely when challenges become specific that generic No- and Low-Code platforms fail to provide an answer. Instead, it is advisable to introduce the right platform for different specialist domains – cplace is the tool of choice for our customers. 
  2. The right people with the appropriate mindset 
    Do-it-yourself is a must, not only to retain knowledge, but also to address the scalability issue of IT experts. However, the hands-on mentality must be deeply anchored in the corporate culture. Corporate IT must not disrupt this development, but must support, challenge, and encourage local drivers – on strategically selected platforms. Citizen Developers have existed for decades, but solutions often emerge in shadow IT, relying on non-business-ready and non-scalable solutions such as Excel. These individuals need to be identified, motivated, and trained on the available platform.
  3. Implementing rapid flagship projects 
    Companies should reward and celebrate solutions that emerge from business departments and are characterized by their Citizen Developer characteristics. Initially, rapid flagship projects need to be realized to strengthen creativity and motivation within the departments. It’s not uncommon for us to witness a kind of wildfire effect with cplace at clients, quickly spreading: Departments showcase self-built solutions to each other. Often underlying this is the digital version of the IKEA effect. 
  4. Planning software construction together 
    Despite all the dynamics, innovation power, and the establishment of decentralized, impactful solutions: support from corporate IT or platform experts is needed to accompany the construction within the company. Departments and experts must decide together whether a project can be implemented autonomously and independently or with the support of partners. Digital ruins may not be visible, but poorly planned and incorrectly integrated system landscapes can disrupt work processes and prevent innovation. 
  5. Scaling with the right partner 
    Even very large applications on platforms like cplace can be supported by skilled architecture and the provision of abstraction layers by citizen developers. This all requires an experienced partner who designs systems in such a way that collaboration by specialist departments is made possible in the right places and the code is implemented by experienced software architects in very demanding areas. 
QuinScape Citizen Development

We’re happy to assist in building a suitable strategy and embracing Citizen Development within your company (by selecting the right strategy, enabling Citizen Developers through training, pair programming, and collaborative solution workshops or design sprints). 

cplace is suitable as a multiplier for innovation via Citizen Developers for all sub-processes relating to the product development process and project and portfolio planning. This is partly due to its ease of use and partly due to its scalable architecture: one of the critical points for the success of Citizen Developers is that solutions must not come up against invisible limits and ultimately must be developed individually at great expense. In the best cases, solutions such as cplace are designed in such a way that there is a quick handover between the Citizen Developer and the experienced software development team, and they can seamlessly implement any requirement, no matter how complex. 

About the Author

Christopher Klewes, CEO, QuinScape GmbH  

QuinScape empowers companies to gain a decisive competitive edge through data-driven optimization of their products and business processes. With innovation and technological excellence, it develops tailored IT solutions that aid in making better decisions. 

Website of QuinScape GmbH (part of Dataciders GmbH)
Christopher Klewes

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