Define the rules
After you have identified your winning team, it is time to define the appropriate process and procedures that govern your App Factory. Clearly define and publish the expectations the practice committee has for App makers and applications to help to avoid user frustration with the program.
Understanding what you need to build, launch, and support a successful application in your organization is vital to implementing a repeatable governance process that qualifies future App makers to join. Use the following considerations for a low-code App Factory to avoid the creation of rogue applications that can multiply into a tangle of duplication and inconsistency.
App makers own the application
Empowering citizen developers to create and release applications to address business problems should be coupled with the responsibility to support and maintain the applications. A key benefit of an App Factory is allowing App makers to address their business needs that are not being addressed by IT. When the responsibility for the application is removed from the App maker, the responsibility might fall on the already overburdened and unavailable IT team. Getting App makers to buy into owning their applications as a requirement for membership in the App Factory is a good first step.
Qualify the App makers
Stack your winning team with business users by qualifying App makers have both appropriate business requirements knowledge and the right degree of technical aptitude and curiosity to carry them through the app dev process. A low-code App Factory is not a way to shortcut the IT priorities to have a desired application built. The maker needs to build the application, qualifying business users have the desire to learn the needed skills to build the application helps ensure that coaches are not building applications for App makers. It is a best practice to have coaches that are hands-off the keyboard when helping App makers to further ensure App makers understand what is being built and can support it.
- Does the App maker clearly understand the business objectives?
- What level of technical capability does the App maker possess?
Understand the business need
To set your App Factory up for success, you must ensure that your application suits the business needs. While the business need for an application might exist, it does not mean that your App Factory is the appropriate location to address that need. Before accepting a project in to your App Factory, understand how the application would be built in your App Factory. Can the available tools provide a solution to the business need? The answer might evolve as your App Factory grows and expands. The following considerations can help determine if your App Factory is a good fit to solve the business need.
Does the business process deal with any sensitive data?
Healthcare, financial details, and other personal information might need to be managed and secured in accordance with regulatory standards. If your App Factory is not configured to comply with these standards, these applications might not be a good fit for your App Factory.
Does the solution require integration that does not exist?
To solve a business use case, the application might require data located in other systems that your App Factory does not have access to. When an integration cannot be built, the application is not a good fit for the program. As your App Factory evolves and grows, evaluate the creation of new integrations to enable the solutions for more business use cases.
Do you already have a system that should be solving this need?
When the business need is related to or expands on a process that is the domain of an existing system, your App Factory might not be a good fit for a solution. While the business need might outline a gap in existing HR, finance, or IT solutions, creating a new application to plug the gap can lead to more confusion than benefit. It is recommended to avoid the creation of several disparate solutions to address a common use case.