The No-Code Journey

No-code is far easier to learn than a new development language. Still, most companies will take a ramp into their no-code journey, often with the provider’s help or an industry-specific systems integrator (SI). Here is a typical progression a company takes on its DIY journey.

Phase 1

Demonstrating Value

This initial phase is heavily dependent on the no-code provider or SI. An internal no-code champion on the technology team will help them identify a business challenge requiring a medium-complexity digital solution. The majority of the development work will take place from the external team(s). This initial phase is where organizations can determine if implementing no-code will address the organization’s needs and existing challenges.

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Resources

The internal no-code champion and key technology members who will be in regular communication with the external teams.

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North Star

The goal of this phase is education and, if necessary, securing executive buy-in with a viable value-additive solution.

Phase 2

First Steps

The purpose of Phase 2 is to achieve comparatively small “wins” within the technology team. This phase’s chief activities are to get a select number of tech resources fluent in no-code and have them build “bite-sized,” non-mission-critical projects. These products should be relatively self-contained and require limited dependencies outside of the core team.

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Phase 2 is led by the internal no-code champion and powered by a small “tiger team” within the technology department. In the case of Unqork, an experienced code-based developer can get up and running after a three-week bootcamp and have access to 24/7 access to documentation and support for crucial issues. At this point, resources from the no-code provider or systems integrators are still a vital part of the hybrid development team.

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North Star

By the end of Phase 2, the team has ideally completed at least one low-to-medium complexity project. The completed project should showcase value for the company through the acceleration of the development process as compared to a traditional code-based approach. The key KPI is the amplification of engineering resources.

Phase 3

Scaling-Up

Now that internal resources have some no-code experience under their belt, organizations move on to establishing a larger no-code team that can take on an increasing number of projects of greater sophistication. This phase aims to build out the capability to rapidly develop and iterate no-code-based applications of increasing complexity.

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Resources

During this phase, organizations will develop their first Center of Excellence (CoE) featuring between 5 and 15 business and tech resources depending on the project’s complexity and scope. At this point, the provider or SI is still engaged in the partnership, but less from a direct development standpoint and more to ensure an organizations’ Creators are developing the necessary skills and a strong foundation in best practices for architecture and security.

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North Star

By the conclusion of Phase 3, the organization should have successfully implemented between 10 and 15 advanced solutions across a wide variety of use cases and business areas. At this point, all no-code-built applications should demonstrate a discernible value-add through increased operational efficiencies, amplified productivity, or an enhanced UX (measured through an improved NPS). The company should have the ability to define clear goals and KPIs for each application, which can determine success or a need for further iteration.

Phase 4

Transformation

In this final phase, the entire organization will have developed the operational and technical muscle to rapidly address evolving business challenges with a sophisticated digital response using no-code. The company should also have established a development function that will allow them to maintain and upgrade existing solutions across the organization efficiently.

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At this point, no-code will have become an integral part of the organization, with a C-level sponsor overseeing it. The no-code provider or SI may provide some guidance or resources, but engagement should diminish over several months. 

At this point, companies can take advantage of a new workforce paradigm that will allow them to apply resources more judiciously. Experienced tech professionals can be completely freed from high-volume (but not necessarily high-value) development tasks. They can spend time building sophisticated value-additive solutions, while newer no-code literate resources—or even no-code-trained business users—can address small iterative changes and updates.

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North Star

Moving forward, the development function should be able to keep up with the speed of business. Various teams can freely—and rapidly—translate the business’s needs into custom digital solutions and establish a competitive advantage over those who don’t. No-code-trained business users (with proper permissions) can even rapidly build functional prototypes, which existing tech resources can further accelerate.

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