No matter what industry you’re in, how established your brand or how clever your strategy, if you can’t make the right decisions quickly and effectively, and execute those decisions consistently, your business will lose ground. Strong business performance relies on high-quality decision making. Perhaps no department knows this management truth better than IT. Tech organizations have long struggled with proving value back to the business.
One benefit of low-code practices is rapid development. But low-code can also help you with rapid business decision making.
Low-code approaches are naturally supportive of rapid, collaborative decision making. Due to it's roots in declarative programming, low-code can play a role in helping your organization rally around effective decision making. Some would define declarative programming as anything that is not imperative. Wikipedia says:
Declarative programming is a non-imperative style of programming in which programs describe their desired results without explicitly listing commands or steps that must be performed. Functional and logical programming languages are characterized by a declarative programming style. In logical programming languages, programs consist of logical statements, and the program executes by searching for proofs of the statements.
In a low-code environment, we tend to think of declarative as focused on what computation should be performed and not how to compute it. This is essentially what makes low-code so powerful for rapid decision making. Low-code development encourages this discussion of "what," while also accelerating the "how" - bringing out working code that illustrates ideas discussed only a short time ago. The agile low-code approach is also collaborative between business owners and IT developers.
Those three ingredients are essential to good decision making: Clear goals, defined roles and strong, respected teamwork.
Business units are on the front line, close to the customer - they tend to need decision making to respond to market and customer needs quickly. Corporate teams see the big picture, set broad goals, and keep the organization focused on winning. Who should get to make the decision about application project priorities? Why does it matter so much?
A recent Harvard Business Review study surveyed executives at 350 global companies about their organizational effectiveness, only 15% said that they have an organization that helps the business outperform competitors. What sets those top performers apart is the quality, speed, and execution of their decision making.
A good decision executed quickly beats a brilliant decision implemented slowly.
For decisions involving application development, low-code approaches naturally allow cross-functional teams to move quickly.
Three essential steps to rapid and effective decision making are built in.
- Step one: Clarify roles. Here is where the thick lines between business teams and development teams dissolve. Business teams can think "out loud" while senior software developers can bring their ideas to life in real time. That helps quickly prove or disprove the value of the idea, and how complicated it needs to be - particularly for a minimum viable project type scenario. Alternately, citizen developers on the business team can quickly develop applications for key customers or in response to market needs.
- Step two: Involve the people who have to live with the decision. A low-code approach is very agile and iterative. The people who will use the app - business teams, customers or partners - can be very involved throughout the development process. That saves everyone time and heartache.
- Step three: Establish clear lines of collaboration. Decisions that cut across functions are some of the most important a company faces. Indeed, cross-functional collaboration has become an axiom of business, essential for arriving at the best answers for the company and its customers.
How can you tell if your low-code efforts are improving your organization's decision making? One way is to track project timelines and overruns. Another is to think back to the last time someone battled IT for ownership over an application project. Of course, another sure sign of better decision making is if everyone can't remember the last time they sat through a meeting wondering why they were there! What's the decision making impact of low-code in your organization? Tweet us to share ideas and learn more about Flowfactory low-code platform.
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