As organizations strive to keep pace with the ever-changing digital landscape, the need for efficient and effective software development has never been greater. One business practice that has gained significant attention in recent years is citizen development, a practice that enables non-technical employees, such as business users, to create custom software applications using low-code or no-code (LCNC) platforms.
Some examples of Citizen Development used to solve the real world across organizations:
- A large retail company using a low-code platform to enable its store managers to create and modify their own reports, allowing them to make data-driven decisions more quickly.
- A healthcare organization using a no-code platform to empower nurses and doctors to build their own applications, streamlining patient care and improving overall efficiency.
- A financial services company using a low-code platform to empower its business users to create and update their own automated workflows, reducing the dependence on IT and increasing agility.
- A logistics company using a no-code platform to enable its warehouse workers to build their own mobile apps for tracking inventory and streamlining operations, which increased productivity and reduced errors.
Low-code and no-code platforms are software development tools that allow users to create and deploy applications without writing extensive amounts of code.
Examples of low-code platforms include:
- Salesforce Lightning Platform
- Microsoft PowerApps
Examples of no-code platforms include:
- Amazon Honeycode
In this blog post, we’ll be taking a look at the PMI Citizen Development Program and its flagship offering, the PMI Citizen Developer Practitioner Micro-credential, which provides the methodologies and best practices needed to efficiently create effective and scalable applications using LCNC platforms.
The PMI Citizen Developer Program is a vendor-agnostic set of educational resources that provides the guiding principles of citizen development and sets industry standards and best practices. The program offers three courses:
- Citizen Developer Foundation which is a 1.5 hour course that gives an introduction to citizen development, the Citizen Development Canvas, and best practices.
- Citizen Developer Practitioner (CD-P), a 6-8 hours course that provides the methodologies to create effective and scalable applications using LCNC platforms.
- Citizen Developer Business Architect (CD-BA), a 6-8 hours course that provides leaders with critical information to manage the governance process, oversee collaboration between stakeholders and embed organizational structures to make citizen development thrive.
This course provides tools, frameworks, and best practices to implement citizen development projects while mitigating the risk of shadow IT by identifying the right Citizen Developer path to follow in the Hyper-Agile Software Development Lifecycle to ensure IT is brought in early for projects that have dependencies from IT or for high risk and high complexity projects that need to be delivered by IT.
I recently signed up for a self-paced course called the Citizen Developer Practitioner (CD-P), the course is divided into 8 modules:
- Hyper-Agile SDLC
- Ideation 2.0
- Suitability Assessment
- Business Analysis & Design
- Project Risks & Enterprise Risk Requirements
- Application Design, Development, and Deployment
The course is very well put together, easy to navigate, with narration, knowledge checks, a wealth of downloadable job aids and materials you can use as reference after completing the course. My favorite part of the whole course was the inclusion of case studies for 3 different citizen developers in various industries, all with distinct experience levels, for each case study as you progress thru the course you are shown how the concepts and tools featured in each of the modules are applied to create and deploy an application.
In addition to the Case Studies the course design team built-in the opportunity for the learner to apply the knowledge gained in each module to a Sample Project of their own choosing to practice, in case the learner is unsure of what project to choose they provide a large list of potential sample project relatable to the leaner regardless of the industry or job function they are coming in from.
Once you complete the course you are given a window of 6 months to take an on-demand exam with PearsonVUE to gain the Citizen Developer Practitioner Micro-credential that awards you a Credly badge, this Micro-credential does not expire and does not need to be renewed. The exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions and you have 60 minutes to complete it, you are allowed up to 3 exam attempts a period of 180 days inclusive of the initial attempt, for additional information you can review the Micro-credential FAQ.
In this blog post, we’ve scratched the surface of citizen development, if you’re interested in learning more about this powerful business practice and how to implement it in your organization, I encourage you to learn more about the PMI Citizen Developer Program and consider signing up for the PMI Citizen Developer Practitioner Micro-credential while it is at a discounted rate the course was originally released for $249 USD and it’s now available for $199 USD.