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Co-code - Is this how we deliver value for both IT and business?

Vincent Kruse Profile picture for user Vincent Kruse June 10, 2022
The right people, at the right time, collaborating with the right tech. Vincent Kruse of Neptune Software explores ways that 'co-code' can deliver value by unlocking human potential.

Working at home vector flat style illustration. Online career. Coworking space illustration. Young man freelancers working on laptop or computer at home. Co-code concept © VECTOR FUN - Shutterstock
(© VECTOR FUN - Shutterstock)

Over the years, we have seen technology dominate the boardroom, resulting in an accelerated demand for value-adding applications from the business. But are we able to maximize this value? Or are we stuck in the old ways of delivery, unknowingly losing the potential value that these solutions could deliver?

I assume that by now, everyone is familiar with no-code, low-code, and pro-code platforms, and how these platforms accelerate the development and integration of applications while also empowering the citizen developer. But, there is a new term, “co-code” which is gaining popularity amongst a small group of technologists and business leaders.

Co-code, a derivative of fusion teams, is the collaboration of the right group of people at the right time with the right technology, to collectively deliver a solution to solve a business problem. It connects the knowledge and expertise of those closest to the business with the IT governance and coding skills of professional developers. Could co-code minimize the loss of value typically experienced during delivery?

Every innovation or application development project starts off with very high expectations and perceived value. The promise of financial savings, faster time to completion, creation of additional revenue streams and more are tempting value drivers on the business side. But, without the correct IT governance, value can be lost at every step of the journey, resulting in a solution with a delivered value far below the initial expectations. In turn, this causes an aversion to future innovation projects.

Co-code works best when supported by a fit for purpose Rapid Application Development (RAD) platform and enhanced with a pragmatic, governance-led AI, helping to ensure value is optimized throughout the delivery cycle. If the RAD can provide intelligent recommendations and governance controls, the business users, IT and citizen developers are free to focus on the user experience and the value the solution could deliver.

While this might sound like a stretch, many of these functions exist today. Not only does this make value realization easier but it unlocks the human potential, freeing people from mundane tasks to focus on extracting and delivering value. But how does a team achieve a co-code result? 

In my experience, and considering the potential of RAD platforms, I believe the following five topics are core when trying to deliver value in co-code scenarios.

Implementing governance

  • RAD platforms can greatly support co-code teams by consistently providing recommendations to everything from screen layouts to application naming conventions, automated documentation completion and integration activities at every touch point along the development lifecycle.

Automating documentation

  • Documentation has always been critical to successful implementations. With the speed at which applications can be developed today, many teams are developing applications in days, without documentation. While this reduces your initial time to value, it increases the potential technical debt and reduces the ability to effectively maintain the application(s).
  • RAD platforms are now capable of translating your requirements and developed application into documentation while also maintaining version controls on the go.

Minimizing technical debt

  • Through intelligent recommendations on reuse and a reduction in application duplication, RAD platforms can do their part in helping to reduce technical debt.
  • Citizen developers can receive notifications at any point through the development process, notifying them of potential reuse opportunities in both components and entire applications.

Providing frameworks

  • It is often the case that while citizen developers know what they want to develop, they are not always sure of what design guidelines to adhere to. RAD platforms help citizen developers select the appropriate design framework, adhering to those subsequent design guidelines. 
  • All applications are now delivered with a consistent look and feel, further reducing potential technical debt while increasing time to value.

Including stakeholders (sharing / insights / feedback)

  • The above topics support the solution from a desirability and feasibility perspective, but we need stakeholders to ensure the solution is viable. Setting the expectations with and ensuring support from the correct stakeholders across both IT and the business will maximize the opportunity for value.
  • RAD platforms continue to support here as well, allowing stakeholders to provide feedback, show heat mapping usage and see the application come to life, in real time.

There’s no silver bullet just yet, we still need to continually manage stakeholder expectations, ensure developers and users receive the relevant training / onboarding and manage any perceived risk. But each day, we get closer to a world where you would be able to ask, and the solution would be dynamically delivered for you.

There is a future where co-code implementations, supported by a robust RAD platform, would allow fusion teams to confidently deliver solutions which minimize technical debt and deliver on expected value across IT and the business.

I look forward to meeting you there.

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