Creating low-code apps to help the line of business work better is a good thing. But if those apps are created and never revisited to see if they are still valid and filling the need they were developed for, that’s not the best thing. Just like any software, it’s not set it and forget it.
Companies aren’t stagnant entities – processes change, products and people come and go. Apps need to be kept fresh and flexible so they continue to be relevant.
That means you need to continuously monitor them for relevance and make changes as needed.
At the very least, when there’s a change in software at the enterprise level, apps that were created to fill gaps for that software should be revisited. This activity will normally take place during the requirements process, but sometimes things fall through the cracks.
Since low-code apps don’t have to go through traditional routes for maintenance and updates like company IT systems, making sure they’re still meeting the needs of users should be a fairly simple.
Hopefully, these apps are documented well and cataloged in some type of repository to make keeping track of them and related changes easy.
This can be accomplished with a regular audit process.
Hearing the word “audit” often strikes fear in people, but simply put it’s just a check and balance to make sure the app is still doing what it’s supposed to do.
What to Ask
A short survey can be used to audit an app. It should include questions that help determine:
- Who’s using the app
- How people are using the app
- If the app is meeting the needs of the user
- What changes or upgrades are needed, if any
To make it easy, an app could be developed to conduct the survey and track results.
Who to Ask
All existing users at all user levels should be part of the audience that is asked about the functionality of the app. If there’s a team that meets regularly to coordinate efforts on low-code apps, it wouldn’t hurt to include them in this process too.
When to Ask
This is going to be a toss-up depending on how frequently things change in the organization. If there are frequent changes that can impact the app, doing a quick check in on a monthly basis isn’t a bad idea. On the other hand, if an app supports an environment that’s pretty static, every three to six months is probably often enough.
One More Thing
In addition to conducting a survey, it’s a good idea to periodically watch people use the app. We humans do so many things automatically that we often don’t think to mention them to other people when completing a survey or giving feedback. Watching someone use an app can help identify where changes need to be made that can make it even more effective.
As apps age and things change in an organization, it’s also important to keep an eye on whether apps are getting too large or contain too many customizations to be as effective as they once were. Over time with updates and modifications, this can easily happen. In this case, you’ll want to consider at what point you should totally rewrite the app and refocus it to ensure it meets its intended purpose.Posted in Citizen Development, Rapid Application Development | Tagged audit, documenting, low code