Citizen Development

Citizen Development - What is this?

The Citizen Development movement is starting to gain momentum.

More and more companies need quick support in the form of additional software. Unfortunately, the current market is still insatiable with programmers. This article explains what Citizen Development is, which can be a cure for these problems. In this post you will also learn what are the advantages and disadvantages of Citizen Development, and we will answer the most frequently asked questions:

  • What is Citizen Development and Citzen Developer?
  • What LC/NC platforms do we recommend?
  • Why does Citzen Development make sense right now?
  • What can Developico help you with?

Citizen Development - Details

Applications developed by non-programmers are more than using No-Code / Low-Code platforms. They require oversight and risk mitigation like any other system to be successful!

What is a Citizen Development?

A situation in which company employees who are not IT professionals plan, create, and publish applications and solutions that solve a specific business problem.

Who is a Citizen Developer?

Citizen Developers are people who can create applications without coding knowledge using low-code / no-code tools.

You’ll hear more about Citizen Development in an episode of the Draft Conversations podcast (in Polish language)

For more on Low-Code / No-Code applications, see our article.

Recommended LC/NC platforms

Low-Code platforms allow you to write simple and fast software that will run on any device. They will work well for introducing Citizen Development to your organization.

Why Citizen Development?

There could be many more reasons, but the most important reasons are staffing shortages and cost.

Shortage of developers

The world needs more software developers. The deficit of developers in the US market alone will be half a million by 2024.

Costly software development process

Many companies don’t have the resources to hire a programmer but need applications for their business.

With LC/NC platforms, the costs are significantly place. Using them allows corporate organizations, small businesses, non-profits, and individuals to create powerful applications in a matter of hours without coding knowledge. The platforms often have templates for general-purpose applications (e.g., HR or administrative applications) or for specific industries, such as restaurant management or inventory tracking.

Benefits and risks

Citizen Development is a big thing that can have many benefits. Unfortunately, implemented incorrectly, it can become problematic.

Unquestionable advantages

  • speed of solution development ; possibility of validation and prototyping
  • price for users
  • the creator of the application is close to the problems that the application is supposed to solve
  • psychological aspect – the most satisfied with the application will be the creators themselves. Citizen Developers, however, need freedom and security.

Risks (avoidable)

  • shadow IT – Imperfect, developer-dependent, insecure software developed outside the eyes of IT departments or management. Current platforms eliminate this problem by offering security and management methods.
  • governance – modern LCAP platforms offer extended environments that allow for preserving all possible forms of data security


  • convince IT departments – the guardians of the organization
  • conviction that it is worth acting today

Citizen Development:
Stages of organization maturity by PMI Citizen Development


This stage begins when you first hear about Low-Code and Citizen Development. The education stage can begin during a webinar for all company employees where a speaker will talk about interesting Citizen Development facts, benefits, challenges and tools.


In the experimentation stage, Citizen Development evolves from the initial POC to subsequent use cases until it reaches critical mass-the tipping point at which Citizen Development gains sufficient validation and momentum to be formally adopted.


Citizen Development is actively working and creating excitement. It has gained momentum and continues to accelerate as the added value to organizations is recognized. CD is beginning to be seen as a key factor in digital transformation.


At this stage, CD is a key enabler of organizational value, co-creating the elements and environment that foster further benefits and creating a culture of continuous innovation.


Citizen Development has a life of its own and leads to innovation and large-scale transformation. There are now many widely communicated, successful examples of CD being used in project delivery that continue to drive more activity and demand growth. CD has been integrated into the business strategy and is at the center of the organizational culture.

Shadow IT has been transformed into a powerful culture of continuous innovation with CD playing an important role in redefining business processes and creating new, innovative solutions.

Case studies

Although the idea itself is still very fresh there are already first stories emerging that show that it is entirely possible to achieve success through the Citizen Development approach.

We suspect that it may be the case with turquoise organizations. Many companies only became aware of turquoise organizations after they were published and defined.

We encourage you to contact and support such companies.

PMI – Success stories

Follow the link below to read Citizen Development’s implementation stories.

  • Leading law firm transforms appointment booking system, meeting the digital expectations of clients, slashing drop-out rates and reducing risk of lost revenue
  • Nekkanti expanded process automation to all centers in one week improving Productivity by 15% and reducing application development time by 60%
  • TOP U.S. MORTGAGE LENDER Saved over $50,000 per year on one function alone and reduced vendor footprint by eight.

Ways we can help

Long term support

Developico Support Services which provides access to a dedicated team of specialists.


We can help you with creating an app or fix the one you already have.


Courses. Workshops. Showing useful and simple tricks to improve the work on applications and helping you to better use the software.

Related app

Contact us directly

Michał Guzowski

Entrepreneur, strategist, architect, consultant and programmer. He’s been in IT industry since 2012. He has been working with Low-Code / No-Code platforms and Citizen Development since 2018. He is the founder of the consulting company Developico and the educational company No Code Masters.

He co-creates the Low-Code / No-Code community in Poland, around large vendors: Microsoft, Google and Amazon. He has been awarded the title of Microsoft MVP three times in the Business Applications category.

I help my clients develop their companies by undergoing digital transformation using Low-Code / No-Code platforms and process automation.

Privately, husband and father two sons. In his spare time, he reads books or plays games on the console. I’m interested in business models, psychology, management and IT.

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Understanding the business

Once we know key information about your company, we can see what tools you use and how you use them.

Use of your tools

We deliver solutions from start to finish. This means we focus on your business at the operational level.