There’s plenty of talent in companies today who can create simple solutions to solve technology problems without requiring IT assistance. That creates a great opportunity for IT to work jointly with business units and whittle down the list of backlog items that can be taken care of by in house citizen developers.
Check in with just about any CIO or IT leader and you’ll more than likely find a pending backlog of changes, updates and enhancements that are on the list of things to get done. In the old days, business units would just have to wait for IT to devote the time and effort to requests, but that’s not the case in today’s world.
With low code / no code rapid app development platforms available to pretty much anyone, and tech savvy business unit staff who can whip up a solution in a few days, there may be an opportunity to chop that backlog down to a short list. The key is working together to get the best outcome for the business.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, there are more than likely people in your organization today who have already developed solutions to work around the most pressing problems. Typically dubbed citizen developers, these people create simple app solutions to help the business units achieve the outcomes they’re seeking. What’s great about these people is that they normally have a clear understanding of the problem and processes involved because they face it every day. That gives IT an extended staff who can provide some relief to the pressure of the app backlog.
So how do you leverage the talent available in your company?
Find The Resources
The first thing you should do is find the people who have been creating solutions. There always seems to be at least one person in each department that everyone goes to when they need a technical solution created for something that’s holding them back.
How To Do It: If this work has been done without IT’s knowledge, the best way to go about this is to check in with the business units and find out who the “go to” tech solutions person is in the department. If IT has been kept up to date and already has a repository of app solutions, you can tap into that to find the people responsible.
Create An Action Plan
Your next step should be to get those people together to talk about and create a plan to solve the problem. One of the best ways to do that is to get all of the resources you located together in a meeting to talk about the issues and discuss possible solutions. Even though these people are probably from different business units around the company, having all the problem solvers in one place creates a collaborative power.
How To Do It: Conduct a work session to address the backlog.
- It’s important to do a bit of prep work prior to your session. Make sure you have an up to date list of the IT backlog along with current status. Share this with your participants prior to your meeting so you can spend your time together working on an action plan.
- Create guidelines that include important boundaries for your citizen developers to follow.
- Communicate the expected outcome of the session clearly so your participants can come prepared.
- During the session, proceed logically through your backlog. You should listen more than talk and be open to new ideas as you work to resolve this problem.
- As solutions are generated to each of the backlog items, make sure to capture the who, how, when, and what on an action item list for follow up.
- Schedule a follow up session and set up communication processes before you close out your meeting.
Your load should be a bit lighter once you’ve created the action plan. This process will also help you create better relationships with the business units and build trust throughout the organization. Plus it will make getting work done easier for everyone and be a big win for your company.
Learn how to reduce your IT backlog by 50% in this OnDemand Webinar recording.Posted in Citizen Development, Democratization of IT, Rapid Application Development | Tagged Citizen Developers, citizen development, IT backlog, low code rapid application development, rapid application development