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Plan your citizen development program

Align with your existing ServiceNow® practices, app dev methodology, and digital transformation objectives.

Formalize your citizen development initiative by establishing a program framework with KPIs. Secure executive and stakeholder buy-in for support.

Assure ownership, measurement, and participation.

Plan your program

With effective training and management in place, your citizen development program can be a game changer. Citizen developers can help IT reduce backlogs and increase innovation. With their program participation, citizen developers gain valuable, transferable skills and can enhance their career path.

Good citizen developer candidates will have:

  • Deep organizational understanding
  • Process expertise
  • Collaboration skills
  • Desire to learn

Find potential program participants based on the characteristics and skills your program manager and IT admins define.

Find the most suitable candidates from one team or business unit or opt to invite participation from your entire organization. Plan to collaborate with your internal communications teams to socialize your program via various internal channels.

Set criteria for your pilot. Ideal candidates for citizen developers understand how an app works and can add value to the business.

They should be willing to invest in the app creation and continuous improvement over time and agree to:

  • Build and maintain their skills
  • Comply with IT-approved development practices
  • Attend at least 75% of program meetings
  • Participate in the communities of practice

Citizen developers lack the technical knowledge to fit into your existing development processes. IT admins who understand your internal policies and processes need to decide if and how modifications can be made to accommodate citizen developers. Training in internal IT policies, security procedures, and for ServiceNow apps, should be part of your overall enablement process.

Inspire and engage your citizen developers with:

  • Orientation and on-boarding activities
  • Education on the Now Platform
  • Learning opportunities
  • Recognition

Set up a learning program to teach skills and establish standards that will let your citizen developers be active contributors to the program and add to their professional experience.


  • Official learning and certifications
  • How-to reference library
  • Practice environments
  • Assessments

Plan for the growth of your program. While IT developers will continue their focus on your enterprise projects, your citizen developers will still need support.

Provide them with:

  • Hands-on training for beginners
  • Access to ServiceNow training content
  • A community for knowledge sharing
  • Mentors or coaches

Governance model

Strike a balance of both business and technical needs.

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Planning for governance is critical to ease the concerns of your line of business stakeholders and IT. Implementing the Now Platform guardrails creates a safe space for your citizen developers to innovate while still protecting the platform.

Consider how work gets done on the Now Platform, by describing how you will:
  • Envision, evaluate, and prioritize opportunities to digitize workflows
  • Create, deliver, and drive adoption of digital workflows in response to demand
  • Measure the value you deliver and communicate your success
Decide how to use and manage citizen development on the Now Platform as part of your planning. The Now Platform is your engine for digital transformation, and your operating model is how you run that engine.

Technical governance

Good governance streamlines decision-making.

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Defining who owns the decision-making processes for the technical standards on the Now Platform should be a key part of your planning.

Forming a technical governance board for decision-making balances experience with priorities. This board will define technical standards and best practices, specify development processes, establish guidance on testing and deployments, and detail training requirements.
Invite a blend of IT and business owners to participate. Consider inviting a:
  • Platform architect
  • Platform owner
  • IT domain owner
  • Program manager
  • Business analyst
  • Quality assurance lead
  • Security/compliance lead
  • Development lead
  • User experience lead
Document their roles and how they will work with the Now Platform using a combination of personas, scopes, and tools. Factor in your security and DevOps models as you plan.

Strategic governance

Adhere to your roadmap and vision.

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Aligning with your enterprise vision is an important step in strategic governance. Your roadmap defines the path and helps keep you in step with your initial plans, KPIs, and program goals.

Strategic governance helps:
  • Establish and monitor measures of success
  • Control budgets and resources
  • Monitor and adhere to set schedules

Portfolio governance

Manage demand for new apps and services.

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Create a demand board to collect requests and enhancements. This helps you build a roadmap that aligns with the vision for your citizen development program. Define who needs to be involved in portfolio choices and detail how that group can make informed decisions.

Recruit a chair for the demand board and develop a charter that outlines its mission and purpose. Having internal alignment upfront will help smooth your decision-making process in the future.

Your demand board should involve key participants from across your organization. Consider inviting the following roles to participate in demand board decision-making:
  • Platform architect/Platform owner
  • Program manager
  • Business analysts
  • IT process/domain owners
  • Vendor managers
  • Portfolio/service owners
  • Key suppliers and partners
  • Demand managers
As part of the planning process, be sure to outline what decisions the demand board will make. Some of the most important considerations are how will you:
  • Determine the criteria for new capabilities, functionality, and configurations
  • Govern demand intake
  • Delegate approvals for low-risk changes
  • Select an app that is a good fit for the Now Platform
  • Decide what makes an app a candidate for citizen development
  • Support the app in production
  • Determine the criteria for apps to be deprecated or merged
Jabil built citizen dev on ServiceNow.

3X increase in dev capacity

Learn how Jabil is realizing significant business value. With nearly 5K work hours saved, Jabil embraced citizen development as a service on the Now Platform.

Bring new employee experiences to life

Excel at excellence

Improve velocity and manage risk with a ServiceNow Center of Excellence and Innovation (CoEI).

Bring new employee experiences to life

Talk with an expert

Success starts here. Build your citizen development program with help from ServiceNow.

How CIOs are shaping the future of work

See next step

Learn about the pilot phase of your citizen development program.