Imagine a world where businesses and organizations can self-improve their processes without needing to hire expensive consultants and increasing overhead. Employees with the relevant skill sets would be able to design and develop applications that could be used to improve various aspects of the business, from customer relations to operational efficiency.

This is the revolutionary world of citizen development, and it is disrupting the business status quo like never before.

What is citizen development?

Citizen development is the process of business users creating and deploying applications without the involvement of professional developers. By using a low-code tool such as TrackVia, citizen developers can create custom applications without the need for coding knowledge. 

Practically speaking, this means that business users with the relevant domain knowledge can develop applications that can be used to improve various aspects of the business. With citizen development, you trade lengthy business process meetings with actual working software. 

This is not a new idea, and it is not without its critics. However, with the advent of low code platforms, citizen development is becoming increasingly popular. These platforms offer the necessary tools and infrastructure to support citizen developers in their application development efforts.

Critics claim that citizen development leads to the development of subpar applications that are not aligned with organizational goals. However, this argument assumes that business users are not capable of developing high-quality applications. This is simply not true.

When properly supported and guided, business users are more than capable of developing applications that meet the needs of the organization. In fact, they are often in the best position to develop applications that improve the efficiency of the business, as they have first-hand experience with the processes and procedures.

Citizen development should not be confused with shadow IT, which is the unauthorized use of IT resources. Shadow IT often results in the development of rogue applications that are not aligned with the goals of the organization. In contrast, citizen development is a sanctioned and supported activity that is aligned with the organizational strategy.

Embracing citizen development does not mean that you need to replace your existing IT department. In fact, most successful citizen development initiatives involve close collaboration between the IT department and the citizen developers. The IT department can provide valuable guidance and support, while the citizen developers can focus on developing applications that add value to the business.

Digital transformation, as imagined by the Project Management Institute (PMI), helps enterprises become digital enterprises, where citizen developers play a significant role.

Who can be a citizen developer?

Anyone can be a citizen developer, if they have the relevant domain knowledge and are willing to put in the time and effort to learn how to use their preferred low code platform. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the necessary skill sets will vary depending on the organization and the type of applications being developed. Learn more about the differences between citizen developers and pro developers in our previous blog.

In general, citizen developers should have a good understanding of the business processes that they are looking to improve. They should also be familiar with the low code platform that they will be using to develop the applications. 

Organizations should also consider supplying training and support to citizen developers, to ensure that they are able to successfully develop high-quality applications. This can be in the form of online tutorials, in-person training, or a combination of both.

The benefits of citizen development

There are several benefits of citizen development, both for the organization and the citizen developer themselves.

Organizations that embrace citizen development can enjoy increased agility and faster time to market. By empowering business users to develop applications, organizations can avoid the lengthy and often bureaucratic process of traditional software development. This means that new applications can be deployed in a fraction of the time, and with a fraction of the cost.

In addition, citizen development can lead to increased employee engagement and satisfaction. When employees are given the opportunity to improve the processes that they work with daily, they are more likely to be motivated and invested in their work. This can lead to improved morale and higher retention rates. Like the proven recruitment benefits of ESOP, citizen development can also lead to improved recruitment, as potential employees will view the company as being progressive and forward-thinking.

Citizen developers also benefit from increased job satisfaction and opportunities for career growth. As they gain experience in developing applications, they can add value to the organization in new and innovative ways. This can lead to promotions and other opportunities for career advancement.

Finally, citizen development is a mindset shift that can be applied to any organization. It stands for a new way of thinking about how work gets done. With citizen development, the focus is on empowering employees and giving them the tools they need to be successful.

How citizen development can help your business

With citizen development, your organization can improve its processes and operations in ways that were previously not possible. The possibilities are endless and only limited to your imagination.

Common apps developed by citizen developers

A successful citizen development program will encourage employees to think freely and develop creative solutions to business problems. The best apps are usually the ones that solve a specific problem in a unique and innovative way. You might be surprised at the types of apps that your employees produce when given the opportunity to think creatively.

Citizen development can be implemented in any size organization and in any industry. The key is to find the right low code platform that fits the needs of your organization.

At TrackVia, we provide a low code platform that empowers citizen developers to quickly build custom applications without the need for coding knowledge. Our platform is designed to be easy to use, yet powerful enough to handle the most complex business requirements.


Citizen development is a powerful tool that can be used to improve the way your organization works. By empowering business users to develop applications, you can increase agility, improve time to market, and increase employee engagement.

Whether your organization is just starting out on the path of digital transformation or is well on its way to becoming a digital enterprise, citizen development can help you achieve your long-term efficiency goals.

Learn more about Citizen Development and get our most recent Citizen Development processes download.

If you are interested in a low-code platform to support your citizen development journey, request a free demo of TrackVia today.

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