By: Melanie Dowczek, MS Power Platform Practice Lead, B3 Group
This article by Melanie Dowczek, MS Power Platform Practice Lead, B3 Group and a 2021 Leading for Impact awardee looks at low-code/no-code as a way forward.
Velocity over time is otherwise known as the rate of speed or acceleration. We read and talk a lot about progressive forward motion in our fast-paced world. It surrounds us everywhere. I think at some point in all of our lives we realize the importance of the distance, or impact, we can achieve with the finite amount of time we all have, and it is all dependent on the velocity over time factor. This concept is so important to the world of Low Code/No Code (LC/NC) tools. In fact, it is THE concept to embrace when it comes to really taking advantage of these tools.
I’d like to share a few insights from my personal experience with empowering organizations to get the maximum velocity over time from tools like the Microsoft Power Platform.
Commonsense is Imperative
First, conscious recognition that being progressive requires taking a commonsense approach to the existing structure. Look at utilizing the best, most efficient parts of the existing operational and compliance models that have been designed to support traditional technology projects. For example, we work to support the Federal Government and most of the existing structure that is in place doesn’t take into account, even at a conceptual level, the current state of the world we are operating in. Its process and procedures were written before even understanding what LC/NC was. There is great advantage to applying that structure to maximize efficiency without exposing organizations to unnecessary risk and while also acknowledging that some of the “old” way just doesn’t add any value and adjusting the processes to accommodate for it.
Investment is a Must
Second, a little bit of upfront investment in the foundational pieces embracing rapid movement through some of the least value-added steps organizations follow is necessary. For example, having a pool of licenses available that have already been purchased and allow for quick experimentation of ideas and concepts helps create excitement and momentum in the citizen development world.
Show and Tell
Third, culture. This is the most important of all of these. Creating an almost childlike experience of show and tell that really fosters a safe environment to experiment, fail fast, share and brag about the creative solutions formed by the citizen development community is a better way to move new ideas forward. The most inspiring part of disruption is empowering folks that are used to the traditional 9 – 18-month technology project to self-solve. Think about this. Typically, we have large project teams that engage the people that know what the solution needs to be. Maybe they have had the opportunity to give some input into the end solution. And maybe, if the technology team is progressive enough, the person has had the opportunity to give design input from design-led thinking approaches. But when you give the person the tools that make it easy to self-solve, with the proper safety net around it, that allows them to configure their own solution, in their own creative way and the end results are exponentially better.
I’ve now spent a significant amount of my professional career supporting technology transformation for organizations with employees that have committed themselves to a life of service. I’ve seen physicians, pharmacists, program managers, supervisors, analysts, and others that are committed to serving patients, Veterans, and colleagues implement some of the most elegant technology solutions I have seen in my entire career. Solutions that have a real impact to the daily lives of themselves, their families, and those of colleagues across the country serving the same mission. The best investment organizations can make is to foster an environment that allows their citizen developers to maximize their velocity over time.
About Melanie Dowczek
Melanie Dowczek is the MS Power Platform Practice Lead for B3’s VA Digital Transformation Center (DTC) contract. As part of the VA modernization team and in support of Power Platform’s cutting-edge technology, she is leading more than 50 internal business units to solutions at a fraction of the time of traditional IT implementation. Ms. Dowczek has more than 25 years of business experience, with over 12 years in Healthcare and business plan development in emerging technical fields. As a cancer survivor who leaned into her recovery, she has turned Healthcare into a career and her commitment to the improvement of the Healthcare journey has propelled her into thought leadership roles that blend Healthcare and technology.
About B3 Group
B3 Group is an IT transformation firm specializing in digital services and technology solutions that impact the lives of veterans. B3 manages large-scale digital transformation platforms and provides services facilitated through its technology partnerships. Founded in 2008 on the principles of servant leadership, B3 has been recognized annually by Inc. 5000 for its strategic growth and was recently named a 2021 Washington Post Top Workplace. B3 brings its foundational values of innovation, collaboration, and integrity to every interaction with its stakeholders: employees, government, and partners.