Citizen Development and Power Platform

Publication date: 2022-04-22

The concept of “Citizen Development” generates more questions and wrinkles on foreheads of surprised listeners than the flash of understanding in the eyes, so today I will try to briefly (tl; dr – you know) tell what it’s all about.

We are in the process of intense digital transformation, there are more and more IT projects, there is often a shortage of hands to work, and the aforementioned projects are often demanding, because the business user is more aware and has greater needs.

We often see the so-called EDD, or excel-driven-development, which in practice means trying to make from poor Excel a complex application. It starts with a table and ends with a bloated file that no one controls anymore, or one person grows up to the role of a druid who mixes in a magic cauldron, and when he leave company, the whole village will be left without a magic drink consisting of macros, Visual Basic and bewildering formulas.

Sounds incredible? For Developico, it is statistically one-third of the existing situations, before the implementation of the Low-code application based on the Microsoft Power Platform.

At this point, you need to describe the protagonist – a business user who knows how the process works, needs an application that will handle this process and has sufficient technical knowledge to create a simplified version of such an app. Citizen Developer.

And no, I do not mean a programmer who gets caught somewhere in the meanders of business, but a business person who wants to learn about LCNC (low-code, no-code) technology, i.e. Power Platform. I will not write in this article how it, the Power Platform, works, here the knowledge is provided by extensive sources (including articles on our blog), I will only mention that mastering it for someone who is an Excel Druid is like switching from a cauldron to a Thermomix.

What does this mean in practice? Faster application deployments – yes, applications! Full-blooded automation with forms, validations, gids with custom views, permissions and data centralization.

Organizations that will take a risk and try a new approach will be pleasantly surprised – most of the projects waiting for implementation will be done in a low-code thermomix, which will have a “hyper-agile” function on the display.

My guess is that not all are fans of agile and on the other hand others will say that everything is agile. However, take my word for it, at Developico ¾ projects are implemented in this hyper-agile manner: one or two consultants who are also LCNC developers are able to meet with the client every other day to discuss the next sprint in the project.

So quickly changes are made to the application. Of course, not all projects can be implemented this way. In the remaining quarter, you must follow the second path of the “IT assisted” type, where IT helps to understand connections with the existing architecture, or the third path, that is good old programming (waterfall enthusiasts are already smiling here), where real custom programming druids do their magic. However, most of the users’ needs are the first path, so it is definitely worth getting acquainted with the topic of Citizen Development.

I promised to make it short, so here I will end this shortest trilogy in the world. I recommend the following to your attention, here you will find valuable practical knowledge and templates helpful at the beginning of the road: