While the pandemic caused a sudden shift in how people work, the transition to a post pandemic normal has been marked by a two-steps-forward, one-step-backward dynamic. This has created clear challenges in how Federal agencies manage their workforce. Leaders created and revised new policy guidelines for office capacity, vaccine status, and hybrid/remote scheduling. The sudden shift to remote work and the transition to hybrid models put stress on existing processes for managing projects for mission delivery and completing the administrative tasks that keep the lights on.
TCG found that a low-code approach offered an effective solution to rapidly changing requirements around workforce management, particularly tracking the vaccination status and arranging hybrid and alternative work schedules for Federal employees. This approach also provided the flexibility needed to manage frequent changes to policy about data that needed to be captured.
The importance of low-code solutions is growing. In 2021, Gartner predicted 70% of applications developed by organizations will utilize low-code and no-code technologies, a significant increase from less than 20% in 2020. While the number of user-developers is likely to increase, this does not mean that organizations will no longer need traditional developers. They can work faster utilizing low-code applications with their extensive coding skills and expertise.
Agencies should consider these best practices for utilizing low-code application platforms to improve workforce processes. These practices are drawn from TCG’s experience with low-code implementation at Federal agencies during and after the pandemic:
Low-code applications reduce the need for a fully developed solution before prototyping. With a low-code application such as PowerApps, users can utilize the application as a prototyping tool and move into a development environment with the solution already built out.
Developers no longer need to build out separate solutions for several different situations when low-code tools are utilized. Low-code-solution features can be reused to decrease delivery time and eliminate the need to start from scratch.
Alignment with Requirements
Business requirements run the risk of being forgotten as low-code applications are developed through several iterations of a product. Low-code teams should have one central document that lays out what the interface looks like before application is created or during development. The document with interface requirements should get updated as a low-code application is developed.
UX/UI Parallel Development
The UX/UI design process should run in parallel with development to remain up to date with the low-code application’s requirements and iterations. As interface features from low-code applications can be reused to build features for another project without rewriting code, it is imperative to maintain UI specifications to ensure adherence.
Integrating Agile practices into the development of low-code applications can facilitate the introduction of new application features to stakeholders, which results in quicker feedback and more efficient product iterations.
The quick turnaround of applications, the ability to build out systems by non-developers, reusability and customization are just a few benefits of low-code solutions that government agencies can leverage to improve processes.
Pete Sinnott is a communications specialist at TCG. TCG’s applications and IT services help develop a transparent, efficient, and ethical government.