Back in 2019 Gartner started talking about a new upcoming model for distributed delivery, introducing Fusion Teams.
Digital “fusion teams” are distributed and multidisciplinary digital business teams that blend technology and other types of domain expertise. At least 84% of companies and 59% of government entities have fusion teams.Gartner Digital Business Teams Survey, 2019
With fast-changing and cross-cutting digital opportunities and risks, it is no surprise that most IT employees participate in flexible „fusion teams that extend across IT and other parts of the business. Back in June, I was talking about a meetup with a group of developers during a workshop break to further discuss this topic.
Today, I´d like to revisit this topic as more and more workshops occured and many more fusion teams visited a Design Thinking workshop to get together as a team to indentify a problem, solve it and start into a planning and execution phase to do so. Above visuals shows a sketch note around this and offers a main theme:
Everyone contributes within their comfort zoneboth Citizen and Pro developers
I think this is essential in terms of starting this journey and don´t look at things with reservations, such as: Low-code is a kiddy thing – what should I use it for being a pro developer? You know, low-code won´t replace you or your work. Low-code will neither solve every business problem. But low-code can be a perfect extension of your current toolset, if you´re open to learn new things and re-use known things to help the fusion team becoming even more successful. Let´s take a closer look.
Above visual shows a summarized view of possible interactions from being a pro developer. It starts – no surprise – by being open to the fusion teams idea and familiarize with the transformation ongoing in authoring software. It continues by having a full understanding of low-code coming from traditional development. Only these steps ensure that you will be able to assess the right toolset being used for the job on your to-do list.
The journey continues showing four different ways of engagement. And if you take a look into Microsoft´s Learning Path you will even recognize the icons indicating modules that you can familiarize yourself with being a pro developer. But let´s elaborate.
#1 Your active part in Governance, Maintenance and Application Lifecycle Management
Using Power Platform developer tools and/or Power Platform build tools for Azure or GitHub you will recognize your role being able to help with typical application lifecycle management tasks that a citizen developer team might need for an application, a flow or a chatbot that crosses smaller teams and becomes business critical in operation. Furthermore, you will recognize your role being able to help with data access through connectors, how to govern and control security.
#2 Your active part in building components
Your knowledge around API Management, OpenAPI (Swagger) and how to discover other Web APIs will help your fusion team to use custom connectors with easy access to those APIs. You may even show Visual Studio to a couple of interested citizen developers and learn from each other.
#3 Your active part in extending the Power Platform
Understanding the Power Platform extensibility model, you´ll be able to design data access architecture or data schemas that will simplify gathering and collecting insights out of your companies or even external data. Furthermore, your knowledge around object programming language might help a citizen developer when using Power Fx and trying to understand With() or JSON. Due to requirements, your company might recognize the need of doing more things on server-side where there´s no Power Fx or Power Automate workflow for this and a Plug-in needs to be developed to perform the action.
#4 Your active part in improving the building and usage experience of Power Platform
Being a web developer and familiar with React, you may start familiarizing with Power Apps component framework. You then design and develop new controls that can be used across the Power Platform stack (canvas, model-driven or portals UI). These new control sets help to design a better user experience for more advanced scenarios. And with your knowledge around Azure App Insights, you´ll be able to help citizen developers to track important information around their created app, collect and generate insights from these signals and drive an overall usage performance.
To wrap up for today – I know it´s only a couple of examples outlined here. But it already shows there´s tons of things that can be done from a pro developer perspective within low-code tools like Power Platform. And we haven´t yet touched the fact yours creating apps, chatbots or flows with the same toolset to be faster and more agile.
If you´re now interested in learning more around this, I can only encourage you to spend an hour watching this video from Microsoft Reactor. You might feel familiar with this after a short time and want to join a fusion team next to you. So check out your company – maybe there´s a fusion team only a single click, office or department away. Until then, …