The Benefits of Moving to a Low Code Systems Economy: Time of Completion for Projects
Welcome back for part two of our deep dive discussion into low-code. In this piece, we
will be walking through the expected time of completion for projects when developing using
low-code platforms. I hope that by the end of this read, you will recognize the stark difference in product delivery time between traditional product development methodologies vs. low-code and how saving that time can significantly improve your business and your client’s business.
I’d like to start off by saying that, as much as I prefer low-code to traditional
development, I don’t want to make this seem like a traditional development hit-piece because there really are great advantages to creating products the good old-fashioned way. One of the core advantages being that traditional development enables the Dev team to create unique and highly specialized applications. You can accomplish this with low-code however, the degree of uniqueness and specialization you get with traditional development is superior. This is because, with traditional programming, you have a full-stack of programming languages to work with. With low-code there are a lot of “out of the box” functions and features that the developers can utilize in creative ways to get the job done. Now, taking the traditional route is great if your client business has the time, the resources, and views the product as a luxury as opposed to a necessity. However, if your client business wants to increase their level of productivity, impress their customers with exceptional service, and do so in a business-quarter or less…then low-code is the clear champion. “Among businesses, what this evolution [low-code] brought in was a change of mindset as to how they’re developing applications. From a cross-collaboration spirit between business and IT users to an ability to build applications 5-7 times faster compared to traditional development…” – Morisca (2020). As a customer, this means you can add value to your business 5-7 times faster. That’s really what this redemption of time boils down to…adding value faster.
Another thing to consider as we compare and contrast, is…what happens if the project
doesn’t go as planned? Digging deeper, as we mentioned in part 1 of our discussion, a product could really add value to a business. The reason I say could with italics there, is because sometimes products just don’t turn out how the business had envisioned. When this happens, under traditional product development, it could lead to frustration on the Dev side and simultaneous dissatisfaction on the business side, as it is mutually understood that any adjustment or restructuring of a feature would require additional time and resources to complete. This is quite a disappointing thing to deal with when your goal was to deliver a useful product to a business in a short period of time. With low-code, this isn’t much of an issue. Let’s say that Kilby Solutions delivers a product to a client within 3 months’ time, which is right around the average, and our client says, “You know what, Brandon, this doesn’t look like what we had envisioned. We were hoping this process would end up looking different and the interface for filling out our business-specific data would better match our vision…” Most times, that very day, our Dev team can incorporate the feedback received from the client. If it’s a massive overhaul, maybe a week. This may not seem like much, but it really leaves a very generous cushion for error on both sides of the product team whether it be the dev side, misunderstanding the clients desired outcome, or the business failing to express their desires adequately (both in timing and/or description). With traditional programming, this would pose a serious problem. The project would be further delayed, sidelined, or in worst case, scrapped altogether.
So, we described what may happen if the project doesn’t go as planned. But what
happens if the project isn’t going as planned? Under low-code, as previously mentioned,
feedback is gathered an implemented most times that very day. The dev team has the ability to act quick and be nimble in steering the project in the right direction if it had gotten off track at any point. This will ultimately save time in the midst of an engagement whereas with traditional programming, the dev team simply cannot be as nimble. A lot of organization and coordination would be necessary prior to implementing course-altering client feedback. This surely adds hours and additional overhead to any project where this may occur.
Now, we talked about how low-code allows the delivering organization to provide a
useful application to its client in an impressive time frame but we are missing something
here…What about how the swift time of completion benefits the delivering organization? Well, speaking from experience, the ability to churn out projects quicker permits the business to grow faster, if scaled properly of course. But for a moment, putting proper scaling aside, completing projects within months encourages the delivering organization to pursue new projects while simultaneously completing one. This means your business is constantly in a state of growth for as long as there are projects to be had. You are in a cycle of pursue, propose, work, deliver, add resources, cont. Next, talent acquisition and retention. Completing projects on a shorter timeline can be an attractive quality to attain and retain new talent. Id venture to say most people typically don’t like working on mundane projects, doing the same things day-in-day-out for a very long duration of time. It’s exhausting and quite bluntly, boring. People typically like to work on something, achieve, and appreciate the fruits of their labor…then repeat. So, having the prospect of being able to spend your time working on different projects in different business areas is a major bonus here. That said, I know I can’t speak for all people, and I’m sure that some do love coming into work and chipping away at something they’ve been doing for years hoping that the
end result will be meaningful…but not I.
So, if you’re a speedy reader, we are now a few mins in, and if you’re a slow reader like myself, a whole lunch break… and I promised these pieces would be fairly short and sweet so instead of adding a shameless Kilby Solutions plug into my conclusion, I will, instead, leave you with a rhetorical thought experiment: If time is money…and money is time…why waste it?