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Citizen Development

Govern and scale creation and deployment of business-led digital solutions across the whole width of your organisation

Use the expertise already present in your organisation to your advantage

Citizen development is about much more than just building applications. It’s about developing day-to-day digital solutions that impact the way of working business-wide. It’s about laying down the foundations of a continuous improvement culture within an organisation. The ongoing democratisation of tech will grow to include citizen data science, citizen integration and more.

To put it broadly, citizen development and automation is the business-led development, integration, automation and continuous improvement of tech solutions. This allows the everyday employees in your organisation to innovate and automate the work and data architecture at the fringes of your business, which could lead to new insights.

Expedite continuous improvement

Even devoted businesses can lack the clarity or means to adjust their processes quickly. Using the expertise already available within the organisation leads to faster innovations.

Increase agility and resilience

Organisations are evolving faster than the technologies supporting it. Readiness to adapt the work flows of their business teams is necessary to quickly react to interferences and new opportunities.

Fortify the IT and business alliance

IT departments need a secure approach to allow business professionals to develop, iterate and integrate solutions. Unlocking faster innovation enables IT to focus on high-value tasks and minimise backlogs.

Dynamically manage risks

Constantly changing controls and regulations can put a strain on businesses. Powerful, IT-centered governance and compliance frameworks gives organisations the assurance that processes follow compliance practises.

Citizen Developer Personas

Citizen developers most often are business professionals without formal training in software development, but who have an affinity for technology and like to use tech to their advantage in solving problems related to the business or their work. They tend to have a good grasp of processes and data, utilise logical thinking, and are highly motivated to master new technologies to help them create business solutions.

Personal affinities

The tech-savvy

Regarding technical skills, a lot of citizen developers have at least some knowledge of programming, know their way around a computer or have a natural feeling for technology. Neither of these is essential to be suitable as a citizen developer, because as John Bratencevic at Forrester points out: “Attitude is more important than ability”. But it is a good indicator of aptness.

The problem-solver

A large part of citizen development is solving problems, which is why natural problem solvers are usually very suited to become citizen developers. They’re people who put in the extra effort to improve their department. These people could be in sales, customer service or human resources, but they usually have a role in the organisational side of the business.

Organisational roles

The business analyst

Within each organisation there are people who have a deep knowledge of the business data, and which data is relevant to who. These analysts are responsible for managing information from multiple sources. They already suggest improvements to processes and decisions. Given the right tools, they can develop applications handling data and providing meaningful insights.

The process owner

Where there are processes, there are process owners. Process owners are in charge of a business process or value chain. They know the processes like the back of their hand, and can easily identify the bottlenecks. Awareness of which manual activities take a lot of time is another strong benefit. These process owners can develop applications that manage process-wide tasks.