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How do you maintain momentum in the structure phase?

24 January 2024 • Blog

Organizations that want to reap the benefits of low-code and have set about implementing a digital transformation framework eventually enter the structure phase after a run-up in the start-up phase. To leverage the good results and organizational support achieved in the first phase, keeping the momentum in the structure phase is crucial. How do you approach that and what resources can you use to achieve it?

“Low-code application development requires a different, agile approach than traditional software development,” said Charles Bronzwaer, partner at Bizzomate. “Agile working with low-code requires an overall change in the way organizations work. Instead of fully thought-out functional designs that describe how an application should work, you start working with user stories that describe the user’s experience. The traditional way of working often results in a highly technical description of processes that can often be interpreted in multiple ways, resulting in an enormous amount of documentation. In agile working, you start much more from the impact of a solution for the user which means that documentation needs to be described less technically.”

The new way of working has implications in other areas as well. Because low-code platforms enable the rapid development of applications, space will need to be made in the organization to facilitate that speed. This means that the way organizations look at problems, budgets, planning and even recruitment will have to change.

Provide specialist teams
One of the first steps companies should take for a successful “structure phase” is to set up specialist low-code teams dedicated to this way of working. Such teams also require new and consistent guidelines that enable them to meet high expectations. You can achieve this by establishing model guidelines; descriptions and instructions in which you make and record agreements about best practices, security guidelines but also naming and, folder structures, among other things.

Bronzwaer: “These guidelines are important because it allows all teams, now and in the future, to work according to the same principles. As a result, the applications that are developed are consistently of high quality and meet the organization’s requirements. Also, in this you lay the foundation for developing secure applications.”

Develop high-quality applications faster
Clear guidelines make it easier to collaborate and share new functionalities because team members always know from each other what guidelines are being followed. It thus also shortens the time it takes new team members to join the teams. After all, there is already a foundation in place that they can learn from and fall back on. Through peer reviews where new functionality is always checked by a colleague to see if it meets the agreed upon guidelines, you additionally ensure that those guidelines are actually followed.

Because development teams have a foundation to continue developing on with the existing guidelines, those speed gains are also reflected when new projects are launched. This is because there is immediate clarity on how to work, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel. At most, some additions are needed. This saves considerable time.

Bronzwaer: “Rapid development only makes sense if you are not faced with an endless list of errors and bugs at the end of a project. Good model guidelines incorporate best practices that ensure that fewer errors occur. When they do occur, they can be more easily fixed by following the guidelines that provide guidance for debugging. So establishing good model guidelines is an important step in maintaining speed in the structure phase and preparing your organization for the scale phase.”

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