One of the most common questions we receive focuses on how to structure an organization for low-code success. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but we do have a few guidelines for getting started. The most important part is thinking of your Appian-trained workforce as a team, with mutually supportive roles and responsibilities across the organization.
When guiding new users to the right training, we split responsibilities into four basic categories: Leaders, Planers, Builders, and Administrators. Let’s dive deeper into each of these categories and discuss which team members might fit into a particular role.
For our purposes, leaders include business stakeholders, managers, or executives who need awareness of low-code automation capabilities but are not heavily involved in the development process. A leader provides vision, direction, and creates the structure from which the other team members thrive.
See our Vision pillar for more resources geared towards Appian Leaders.
The planner role defines the processes to be automated, prioritizes development efforts, and ensures coordination with other business units. The most common job titles we see functioning in the planner role include business analysts, product owners, project managers, scrum masters, and UX designers. Some organizations have distinct team members assigned to each role, while others may have a single individual functioning across multiple roles. At a minimum, you should plan to include both a product owner and an analyst as part of your Appian team. This will ensure your organization is positioned for success.
Appian planners need a strong understanding of the Appian delivery methodology and a basic understanding of how Appian objects come together to make applications. See our Delivery pillar for more resources geared towards Appian Planners.
Builders are the core of any Appian delivery team. Their primary job is taking requirements produced by the analysts, prioritizing them with the product owner, and converting them into applications using the Appian low-code platform. Functionally, the role of an Appian builder can be broken down into the following positions:
Appian strongly recommends a Team of 3 structure for most projects, with larger projects or initiatives distributed across multiple teams. Each team should be cross-functional in so much as any member of the team can take on any task when needed. Naturally, some team members will be stronger in certain skills than others, but we’ve found that high-performing, multi-disciplinary teams are best suited for low-code success.
For example, a low-code developer often falls into the “Developer and…” paradigm. This means that a particular team member might fall into a dual role as a low-code developer, in addition to acting as an architect, scrum master, UX lead, or test manager. When building these small cross-functional teams, it’s important to look for team members that have skills outside of their primary role or function. Whether that’s an interest in data models, integrations, or process mining, looking out for complimentary skills is the best way to establish a versatile low-code team.
Administrators own responsibility for the Appian system and supporting infrastructure. This includes overseeing server admins, database administrators, IT staff, or anyone supporting the application’s backend. Administrators are most often concerned with the security implications of the Appian platform and how it interacts with their internal systems. This includes things such as data management, web APIs, user accounts and more.
Although administrators aren’t usually involved in development themselves, they work closely with lead developers to define technical requirements and boundaries. To this end, administrators should pursue a basic level of training to better understand the terminology and underlying infrastructure of the Appian platform.
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