Embracing Citizen Development

Kiefer Consulting has spent over 30 years helping organizations in innovating, improving business processes, and deploying software to reduce costs and save time. We have a talented team of business analysts and developers that can collect requirements and build an application.

Several years ago, Microsoft floated the idea of citizen development. Citizen developers are not technical and typically don’t have the technical expertise to build applications. They are typically the users that are closest to the business processes and understand the process from end-to-end. These are the users that Microsoft has identified as the individuals that will use the low-code or no-code applications that enable organizations to streamline, automate, and optimize legacy processes.

It seems ambitious that Microsoft would expect that software development take place outside of IT, but if you are wondering if this approach is a good one, lets break things down a bit.

Small processes are what keeps an organization running

If you ask any IT department, you will find that they are focused on large and strategic initiatives that will impact the business at an enterprise level. There really isn’t enough time to work on optimizing or automating small processes at the departmental level. Typically, these processes only touch a small subset of the organization. IT simply does not have enough time to address building, optimizing, or automating these processes.

Microsoft has recognized that these processes are very important to the business and there is a significant opportunity to tackle inefficiencies. The Microsoft Power Platform enables non-technical users to build applications and automate processes. 

How to ensure quality when apps are being built outside of IT

Non-technical users building applications can present problems. The quality of the applications may not be up to the standards of the organization. To help users in building applications that meet the quality standards of the organization, some organizations have instituted a Center of Excellence (CoE). The CoE brings together users and subject matter experts to help ensure the organization is building the right apps and that users can get the support they need  to build apps in accordance with enterprise standards. A CoE empowers users and helps to establish a culture that supports innovation and citizen development across an organization. Kiefer Consulting can help your organization in establishing A CoE and create a road map to support citizen development.

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Leveraging the tools you already own

If your organization has invested in Microsoft 365, you might already own all of the applications that will enable you to embrace a culture of citizen development. In 2019, we published an article about a philosophy at Microsoft called Tech Intensity. Tech Intensity calls for every organization to be fast adopters of best-in-class technology and also requires the organization recognize the need to build their own unique digital capabilities. While Tech Intensity seemed like a very progressive idea, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of tools that help organizations stay productive in the modern workplace. Citizen development is a component of Tech Intensity. 

The Microsoft Power Platform provides organizations with the applications and tools that enable Tech Intensity.

A partner that helps you move quickly

Organizations that wish to innovate at the speed of business often need the help of a partner. Kiefer Consulting has helped organizations by building out strategic road maps that enable Tech Intensity, citizen development and innovation at scale. Contact us today to learn more about building a Microsoft 365 road map that puts innovation, optimization, and automation at the forefront of all that you do.

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