AdobeStock 161655931, Jacob Lund

Business

Citizen Developers at Kindred Credit Union

DECEMBER 7, 2023

Kindred Credit Union is a Canadian membership-based credit union focused on small business banking. By using Flowable’s low-code capabilities, Kindred Credit Union empowered Citizen Developers in the company to create workflows, ultimately streamlining operations.

Responding to challenges smartly

Kindred Credit Union had a pre-existing organizational focus on digitalization and automation, but when COVID-19 hit, it further accelerated the need for efficient client service through digital interactions. The pressing demand for digital solutions put a strain on the organization's existing development capacity. To address the increasing demand for digital solutions, a new staff role, the Kindred Workflow Designer, was introduced. The primary objective was to leverage the expertise of business process experts in designing workflows, to:

  1. Streamline the process by eliminating the need for knowledge transfer to the development team.

  2. Allow those intimately familiar with the processes to take the lead in creating the workflows using Flowable.

The Kindred Workflow Designer concept has proven highly successful, boosting development productivity, and enhancing the organization's agility without compromising operational responsibilities.

The impact of the Kindred Workflow Designer Group

1. Speeding up development

By empowering business experts to create workflows, Kindred Credit Union sped up the creation of new workflows immensely. Over the years, the delivery rate has doubled annually (see image 1). In 2023, in only 6 months, Kindred Credit Union was able to almost match the workflow deliveries of the previous year.

(Image 1: This chart showcases the number of workflows Kindred Credit Union created and deployed over the years with the new staff role, Kindred Workflow Designer.)

Speeding up development freed up time, that could be used more effectively, such as quality customer service, strategic planning, and more.

2. Streamlining communication and operations

In a traditional approach, the business expert would initiate requests to the development team. The software developer would then collaborate with the expert to understand the problem, before creating the necessary APIs.

However, with the integration of Citizen Developers, the paradigm has shifted. The Workflow Designers work closely with the teams to create workflow steps, user interface forms, and configure APIs. Any additional API development is addressed collaboratively with the development team, ensuring a smoother and more agile development process. This decentralized approach streamlines communication and operationalizes processes more efficiently.

3. Fostering collaboration

With approximately 15 Workflow Designers across departments, the expertise in Flowable now spans the entire organization. Monthly calls serve as a regular touchpoint, breaking down departmental barriers and creating a platform for sharing progress and addressing queries. This initiative has not only established a peer support network but facilitated a collaborative effort to develop strategies and methodologies tailored to the non-traditional development team.

Low-code and Open Standards for agility

Flowable played a key role in Kindred Credit Union’s success in implementing Citizen Development within the organization. Two main features were of relevance:

1. Low-code capabilities

Flowable's low-code and user-friendly platform allows individuals without extensive programming backgrounds to create, modify, and deploy business applications with ease. This accessibility fosters collaboration between business users and IT professionals, allowing non-technical stakeholders to actively contribute to application development.

2. Open Standards

Flowable supports the OEM Open Standards – BPMN, CMMN, DMN. By aligning with established Open Standards, Flowable ensures seamless interoperability and compatibility with a wide array of systems and technologies. This adherence not only fosters a more open and collaborative development environment but also future-proofs applications, reducing dependency on proprietary solutions. As Kindred Credit Union’s experience shows, not only with Flowable but also in the broader realm of business process modeling, there is a highly recognized value in promoting widespread workflow literacy across the organization. The understanding that the business process, expressed in BPM notation, can be transformed into a digital, executable version holds significant value. Workflow Designers demonstrate enhanced effectiveness, underscoring the importance of fostering design literacy within the organization.

Conclusion

Citizen Development has proven highly successful in boosting development productivity and enhancing the organization's agility without compromising operational responsibilities. Flowable is the key element that brings together all different people, systems, and data within one platform. Thanks to the easy-to-use, low-code approach, business users can create workflows independently, while professional developers can use Flowable’s flexibility in architecture and integration to scale and adapt workflows in more complex cases.

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