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Build your pilot

Start training your citizen developers. Teach them the rules and tools in a governed environment.
Citizen Development Pilot

Test ideas and processes with a pilot project. Start small and grow as your citizen developers learn.

Apply proper governance as you build skills.

Invest in your citizen developers

Train your citizen developers in best practices and ServiceNow capabilities while you provide ongoing guidance. Promote standardised development guidelines to ensure consistency within your citizen developer community and as you begin your pilot.

Get your citizen developers comfortable with the technology. Your Now Platform® education offerings should include:

  • Orientation
  • Capabilities overview
  • Application development instructions
  • Using a personal development instance
  • Hands-on training and support
  • Guidelines and policies
  • Process, support and approvals

Record training sessions and make them available on-demand. Provide materials and documentation along with ServiceNow training content to help ready your citizen developers to build their first app on your developer portal.

Test ideation and your demand intake process as part of your pilot. With roles and responsibilities already defined, your teams should focus on key objectives, including:

  • Evaluating ideas and demand
  • Weighing ideas against business priorities
  • Business cases
  • Technical feasibility
  • Potential costs
  • Cross-functional synergies
  • Controlled opening of the Now Platform to the business

Ideas are best managed via a portal where citizen developers can submit their app suggestions for evaluation and approval. The portal will collect the right level of information to ensure alignment with:

  • Business needs
  • Technical feasibility
  • Data requirements
  • Demand management

ServiceNow offers a customisable app intake catalogue as part of our App Engine Studio offering.

Activate the tools your citizen developers will need. This means providing access to all the tools, data, policies and processes it will take to create an app. Ensure security and access control according to your company policies.

Toolset reviews and orientation have already happened as part of your early education. Your citizen developers may work within one or more of the following developer tools:

Provide citizen developers with templates from App Engine Studio to help them start building their app quickly. Offer a library of performance and value KPIs that can be used to demonstrate the value of the app to the business.

As your pilot project begins, IT admins and your programme owner should implement multi-channel support opportunities. Build a citizen developer community within Yammer, Slack, Teams or the internal communications tool of your choice. This gives your IT admins and citizen developers a place to engage regularly and communicate easily regardless of physical location. It also allows for questions and content to be searchable so citizen developers can self-serve and find answers to frequently asked questions that were already answered.

Offering IT admin “office hours” is a good way to dedicate time to support your citizen developers. Providing one or two dedicated hours a week provides a:

  • Forum to ask more detailed questions
  • Means to get answers quickly
  • Focus time for IT with fewer ad-hoc requests
  • Source of content to create self-help docs

Engaged and supported citizen developers will gain confidence in their abilities as they learn and ensure a more successful pilot and program.

The best use case should be your pilot.

Pilot the best use case

Select the use case that best aligns with the criteria set in your planning process.

Bring in the pros

Have your professional developers guide and mentor your citizen developers.

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Your professional developers play a significant role in the training of your citizen developers. They will serve as mentors and offer guidance on:
  • Best practices
  • Code reviews
  • IT policies and standards
  • Completing complex aspects of the app
Involve them in your programme planning and especially in the pilot phase. The pilot phase is where your citizen developers will begin training on the tools and processes within your organisation.

Working alongside professional developers puts another layer of “governance” in place for your citizen developers. Professional developers can course correct anything they may see that sets the citizen developers on the wrong path.

Simplify your model

Use existing organisational standards to help shape governance.

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Use your current governance model as a starting point and add any modifications or IT oversight needed for your citizen developers. Business users may feel overwhelmed by heavy-handed governance and intense approval cycles. To encourage programme participation, consider creating a “light-weight” model that can be used in your pilot and specifically serve citizen developers.

Spark interest and innovation with a governance model that allows:
  • IT assessment and assignment of projects
  • IT reviews of sandbox testing
  • IT oversight of deployments to production
  • Citizen developer skills acceleration

Refine your processes

Plan for contingencies and iterate your processes as you kick off your pilot.

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Be ready to update and modify your governance and programme plans as you begin your pilot. Spend time discussing and agreeing to standards now so they won’t be an issue later.

Consider your governance-impacted process and where changes may need to be made:
  • Idea sourcing
  • Development process
  • Release management

Kick off your pilot

Iterate, test your governance, then scale and refine.

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Launch your pilot with a project kickoff. Level-set all the participants on expectations, timelines, where to go for help and the goals of the pilot. Solicit feedback from your teams to improve your programme and processes. Follow up with documentation on your process to ensure an understanding of:
  • Governance
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Credentialing
  • Application and component naming conventions
  • User experience (UX) standards
  • Data sharing restrictions and integration rules
  • Security guidelines
  • Maintenance and auditing
  • Protocol and tools testing
  • Training requirements
This is the time IT admins can test their guardrails. As the pilot progresses, the team should evaluate if the governance in place is at the right level and make any adjustments that might be needed.

IT admins will continue to activate the security model and toolsets, and manage the manual DevOps processes as the pilot continues.

Make SAP ERP accessible to all with a better UX

No code, no problem

Medtronic created a citizen development programme to increase app dev capacity and speed digital transformation.

Bring new employee experiences to life

Excel at excellence

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

Bring new employee experiences to life

Talk with an expert

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

How CIOs are shaping the future of work

See next step

Learn how to scale your citizen development programme.