Citizen Development Canvas
A canvas, made from tightly woven hemp, from the Latin ‘cannabis’, will come back to that later. The Citizen Development Canvas is the PMI framework describing the five major components that is design to ensure organisation build business apps, operate, and scale citizen development across your enterprise. The canvas is designed to cover all the aspects of implementing citizen development as an extra tool in an organisation’s toolbox. It covers not just the process of building business apps in a new way but also ensuring the business app is aligns with corporate strategy, is managed and controlled and building the capability within your organisation to take advantage of the benefits of citizen development
On the benefits the PMI handbook refers to performing risk management and application development as a single integrated activity and the ability to design, build and deploy application without the need for software engineering and technical architects, at speed, using a new delivery lifecycle called Hyper-Agile SDLC. Yes, you read that right – Hyper-Agile SDLC. Just when you though Agile had gone mainstream along comes Hyper-Agile removing the need for extensive requirements gathering, handoffs and unnecessary documentation, lighter governance resulting in less management overheads. What is the Latin root of the word ‘canvas’ again? OK, that last comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek because a large focus of the PMI handbook is how to build proper oversight into any Citizen Developer project.
Looking at the Citizen Development Canvas you can see that it is way more than just a new method for developing application that will speed up delivery and reduce cost, there is a whole cultural change needed to reap the real benefits. And the benefits are significant.
Figure3. The benefits of Citizen Development
This new way of delivering software development projects is happening and will only become more widespread but the knowledge as to when it should be deployed and the understanding the wider governance surrounding the methodology will need to be embraced by Project Managers.The danger is jumping straight into Quickbase, PowerApps, AppSheet, or any other tool, to develop application and ignore the governance, risk and organisational issues. The whole concept just gets bad name and none of the potential benefits get realised.
This is where Project Managers need to become Change Makers – a recurring theme from the PMI. Moving beyond delivery of projects to the time, quality and budget constraint and start focusing on the ability to adapt, create and influence organisations to embrace new working practices. Remember there is a whole generation coming up behind us to which this type of idea is their ‘norm’, hand them a spreadsheet to manage a project and wave goodbye as the best talent walk out the door.