Mazars in Germany Empowers Business Users With a Personalized No-Code Citizen Development Program and Foundation
Standardized internal processes and new business development capabilities
Bespoke, scalable, and governable no-code implementation program and learning pathway
Custom platform environment with Mazars templates, components, and styling
Mazars is an internationally integrated partnership, specializing in audit, accountancy, advisory, tax and legal services. Operating in over 90 countries and territories around the world, Mazars draws on the expertise of more than 44,000 professionals – 28,000+ in Mazars’ integrated partnership and 16,000+ via the Mazars North America Alliance – to assist clients of all sizes at every stage in their development.
One of the organizations’ biggest member firms is Mazars in Germany: an innovation frontrunner within the Mazars Group. In just three months, led by the Digital Solutions team and partnered with Betty Blocks, Mazars in Germany has implemented citizen development: creating a bespoke and governable low-code/no-code (LCNC) foundation for business users to build applications, governed and supported by the Digital Solutions team.
Doing more with less
In an uncertain, complex, and constantly changing business landscape, Mazars is facing the universal challenge of finding or creating digital solutions to securely and efficiently counter complex and short-term problems. Meanwhile, these applications have to be delivered at accelerating speeds with less available resources.
The Digital Solutions team at Mazars in Germany sought a solution and found citizen development. Through application development by business users, the application development process is IT-sanctioned and done in collaboration with or led by the relevant subject matter experts. Thus, those experiencing the problems are quickly building and implementing their solutions. This offers a huge competitive advantage.
Mazars in Germany went through a meticulous selection process regarding their LCNC development partner. Various elements were crucial for the support of their citizen developers, such as:
● Ease of use ● Provisions on templates ● IT governance ● Good documentation and training videos ● Simple integration into different infrastructures ● Style in Mazars branding ● Secure and separate environments and fast support
Betty Blocks ticked all of these boxes for Mazars, providing a secure and easy to use platform for their business users.
“As a citizen developer, the Mazarian of tomorrow will be able to implement its own application, independently crafting the solutions to their own problems.” - Andreas Steuer, Manager Digital Solutions
However, the implementation of LCNC citizen development is not just about a new technology or familiarization with the platform, but involves a new way of work. Mazars knows that this requires structural, practical, and governmental changes in the organization. Here’s how they did it.
“As a citizen developer, the Mazarian of tomorrow will be able to implement its own application, independently crafting the solutions to their own problems.”
A center of excellence
Mazars’ LCNC development started with their Digital Solutions team, who were trained, guided, and supported by the Betty Blocks consultancy team over the course of a couple of weeks.
The two teams established an internal Center of Excellence: a collective composed of the knowledge holders and first-users of the platform. Roles within the team include product owners, product managers, change managers, communication experts, and no-code developers, as well as close IT guidance. The Digital Solution team built and launched various applications, intended for both internal use and customer-facing applicability. Further applications to optimize and facilitate internal processes, as well as to improve customer support are currently being developed. With Betty Blocks’ support, they are working towards a knowledge and skill level to independently support their citizen developers.
Mazars is thus taking advantage of a key benefit of the Betty Blocks platform: it can be used either as a no-code or low-code platform. Through this capability, the platform is suited to each user regardless of their experience or capabilities. With a center of excellence established, strategizing, and building around citizen development began.
A LCNC Habitat with Betty Blocks
Supported by the Betty Blocks consultancy and services teams, Mazars have created a bespoke no-code environment and custom-created a roll-out plan to structurally build citizen development into the organization. The custom Mazars environment is complete with specific templates, components, styling and branding. Meanwhile, the IT department has added specific roles and permissions, enabling fully governed application development.
With the Betty Blocks platform, finished applications can be shared as templates, and made available to all users. As components and individual applications can be reused each application is built faster than the last, and the time-to-market is minimized. Mazars in Germany is thus launching with a complete and ever-growing application library.
“With each application developed on the platform, the next is created faster and easier. The onboarding process is quick and simple, and users are truly empowered in unlimited application development.” - Yilun Liu, Business Engineer and Product Owner
Two phases to adoption
Meanwhile, together with the Betty Blocks team, Mazars came up with a personal program and learning path to launch citizen development. Roll-out was done in two phases to inspire participation and boost adoption throughout the organization.
In the first phase, Mazars ran a three-week workshop program introducing participants to the Betty Blocks platform and supporting them in their first development projects. Betty Blocks supplied Mazars with the learning tools and hosted bi-weekly Q&A sessions, while the Center of Excellence ran the workshops independently. Through the program, business users learnt how to conceptualize, design, and create applications for their business needs.
Two months later, Mazars launched their next step towards adopting citizen development: a Hackathon. The event is preceded with a presentation introducing citizen development and the hackathon itself. Meanwhile, an internal campaign collects ideas to be selected and developed during the event. This is followed by a panel assessing the applications and awarding the winner, while the finished application is used to inspire the next wave of citizen developers.
"Betty Blocks provided us not just with a platform but with a partner in development. Together we discussed, thought through, and expanded many great ideas. Together we got things going from governance concepts to change processes, new product features and the first few applications." - Andreas Steuer, Manager Digital Solutions
A step into the future
Mazars has thus taken a true change management approach for launching citizen development in a governed and scalable way. By establishing a full LCNC habitat composed of a bespoke environment and personalized learning program, Mazars in Germany has laid the foundation for fostering citizen development. Meanwhile, the organization has established a basis which is scalable and can be implemented by other users, departments, and Mazars countries.
“With citizen development we can launch innovative solutions which free up time and make our organization as a whole more efficient. We are driven forward by our own expertise, our own people.” -Klaus-Lorenz Gebhardt, Partner Digital Solutions
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