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This way you can get off to a flying start with low-code in your organisation

Compared to traditional software development, developing with low-code requires a completely different way of working. This makes starting with low-code challenging because it does demand a lot from organisations. Work processes have to be adapted and the division of roles within teams often changes significantly. Therefore, starting with low-code is more than just developing your first app. Where do you start and how do you ensure that developing with low-code in your organisation will become a success?

Communicate with your stakeholders

The first thing you should do, when you’ve purchased a suitable low-code platform, is communicate about it with the most important stakeholders, says Henry Kraaijenbos, partner at Bizzomate. “Stakeholder management starts the day after the low-code platform is purchased. Communicate directly about the business objectives you have with low-code and explain clearly why this choice was made. This way you immediately hitch on employees, they feel involved and there is support for developing with low-code from the start.”

‘By putting together a team in which both roles are represented, the first step towards a successful, widely used low-code application has immediately been taken’

Assemble a team consisting of business people and IT people

The next step is to bring the business and IT together in the organisation as quickly as possible. Put together a core team of between five and seven people who come from both business and IT. Kraaijenbos: “As an organisation, you want to ensure that a low-code platform is actually used. By putting together a team in which both roles are represented, the first step towards a successful, widely used low-code application has immediately been taken.”

Validate your goals

Once the team has been put together, it’s important to validate the already formulated business goals again. Is this really what the organisation wants to achieve with low-code or is an in-depth study needed? Kraaijenbos: “Despite the fact that the team probably prefers to start developing immediately, it’s wise to take this step back. This creates a common understanding of the goals among all team members and a focus on the right issues.”

Select your first low-code project

Once a team has been put together and the goals have been validated, it’s time to select  the first low-code project. Kraaijenbos: “It’s often said that the first low-code project in an organisation must be quick to implement and have a lot of impact. In this phase we recommend that you base your choice on the potential end user, whether it’s an internal or external user. If you immediately tackle the biggest problem of an internal user in this phase or if you can make external end users happy with a relatively simple customer portal, your first successful application will soon be a fact and you immediately increase the support for low-code.”

Involve the end user in the development process from start to finish

The next step is to develop the first low-code application. Extensive research into your internal or external end user is essential. Kraaijenbos: “Do desk research, set up a survey, organise a workshop; in short, do everything you can to involve your end users in the development process as early as possible and ensure that you get a perfect picture of their needs.”

Organise the development process using the agile software development method. This means you can always adjust the application in small steps. Kraaijenbos: “By staying in close contact with the end user throughout the development process, you’ll create an application that works and the first low-code project in the organisation becomes a great success.”

More tips and tricks for a successful first low-code project

  • Always first validate whether the problem you want to solve with your first low-code project is a real problem in the organization. Bizzomate has developed a handy approach for this that consists of 4 steps: discover, define, design and do;
  • Provide training and coaching for your development team not only about low-code technology, but also about change management;
  • Prior to the project, carry out a baseline measurement. For example, measure how much time the average user spends on a certain process that you want to automate with low-code. This way you can better determine the success of the application afterwards;
  • Always keep all stakeholders in the organisation informed about the progress, from secretary to member of senior management;
  • Ensure that senior management remains involved and shows commitment to the low-code project within the organisation;
  • Release quickly and ensure a ‘learning by doing’ culture where it’s common for applications to be developed in small steps and not necessarily to be ‘perfect’;
  • Work visually. Grab the markers and visualise the problem you want to solve with your first low-code project. This often provides completely new insights.

From starting the first low-code project to working structurally with low-code

If the first low-code project in the organization is a success, more will follow quickly. Seeing is believing, and support for low-code will continue to increase and more departments will want to develop applications. But how do you know if the organisation is ready for ‘structure’? This is a new phase in the digital transformation of organisations where the use of low-code is formalised and digital transformation accelerates (we will go into more detail about this in a next blog).

Kraaijenbos: “There are three important signals that show the organisation is ready for this. The first is that the development team can no longer handle the requests for new applications and a second development team is needed. Another important signal is that applications are falling victim to their own success and are used so much that they no longer work. Also, when you notice that more and more business opportunities are being realised with low-code applications, you’ll know that the digital transformation of the organisation is entering a new phase.”

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