Companies that decide to proactively embrace Citizen Development as a strategy can’t just say “let’s do it” and allow things to run amok. Setting the foundation before forging ahead will help them use citizen developers to further the goals of the company and embrace the needs of the employees.
Citizen development is a good thing. It allows companies to move forward with solutions quickly rather than having to wait for the excruciating process overburdened IT departments must endure to go from solution identification to implementation. Plus it gives the people who are closest to the issue control over what and how things are done.
And let’s face it. In this day and age with so many digital savvy business users within companies, people aren’t going to wait years (or even months) for the IT department to provide the answer.
It’s important that the leadership of the company understands the value that citizen development brings to the organization. Make sure they’re on board and that they understand how it can help everyone provide a better outcome for customers and better company results.
Here are three must-dos any company should implement before moving forward with a citizen development initiative.
1. Find Out Who’s Who
Every single department has a “go to” person who’s a resource for team members when they run into a process issue or related problem. The key is finding all of those people in the company. There are a few different ways to go about identifying these people.
- Put out a formal request to each department asking them to identify team members who are this resource for their people. This could be viewed as a bit intimidating or controlling, so the nature of the communication has to come from a position of collaboration not retribution.
- Ask IT department staff who they know in each department that are tech-savvy business people.
- Visit each department and have discussions about what they do and how they do it. Through this casual assessment process, the names of resources should bubble to the surface.
2. Set Up Controls
IT departments are experts at understanding and addressing governance, controls, regulatory, and security issues. This is an area that many business users may not understand or get why they’re necessary. So it’s important that the solution platform used for the creation of business applications by citizen developers gets set up properly by IT with the proper controls in place. Plus it will go a long way in getting cooperation from users by helping them understand the necessity of any controls that are implemented.
3. Communicate In An Open Forum
Embracing citizen developers and the value they provide – not to mention how they help IT – will go a long way in developing a cooperative partnership. But it doesn’t stop once the initial foundation has been established. A key component to ensure ongoing success will be consistent communication between IT and all of the citizen developers across the company. This could take the form of a regular roundtable to discuss what’s new, what issues people are facing, and to share knowledge about what’s working and what’s not.
Learn how successful companies are utilizing citizen developers and key considerations and steps for incorporating a strategy that empowers line of business users to create business applications to improve team and organizational productivity. Download An Introduction to Citizen Development: Bringing Shadow IT into the Light today.Citizen Development, Rapid Application Development | Tagged Citizen Developers, citizen development