The Guide to Fusion teams

Fusion teams play an important part in the digital transformation of your company. We created a guide that explains what fusion teams are and why they can be valuable for every organization.

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Fusion teams are the solution for IT to deploy solutions faster


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Starting citizen development with fusion teams

According to Gartner, at least 84% of companies and 59% of government entities have set up ‘’fusion teams’’ - multidisciplinary (digital) business teams that blend technology and other types of domain expertise and are often designed to deliver products rather than projects. Besides that, at least 74% of organizations in industries that are traditionally subject to heavy regulation – have fusion teams.

[mockup] How to succesfully launch your first citizen development fusion team - wp

Read our Fusion Teams Whitepaper

Ready to leverage the success of citizen development by making it a sustainable and scalable way of working? It begins with fusion teams. Read our whitepaper and learn how to start your team.
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What is a fusion team?

Gartner defines fusion teams as  ‘’cross-functional teams that use data and technology to achieve business outcomes’’. In other words: a team that brings people of all different disciplines and skill levels together with the goal of learning and working together to execute a specific business outcome.  But before we dive into to nitty-gritty of fusion teams, it’s important to understand how they are different from citizen development.


Citizen development is when workers outside of the IT department build or customize apps. These apps are governed by the IT department. A fusion team independently develops a solution to improve (digital) business processes or customer satisfaction. There’s a good chance that companies already have at least one fusion team in their organization even if they go by a different name (e.g., cross-functional, multidisciplinary, innovation).


Citizen developers can come from any area of an organization. They tend to be workers who rely on analytics or technology for their job and want to improve their performance, work smarter, or help their colleagues. Members of a fusion team are mostly people with diverse professional backgrounds who join forces to achieve shared business outcomes. A low-code no-code (LCNC) platform speeds up the development process. With an LCNC tool: IT professionals and business professionals work together to build tech solutions for the business.


Fusion teams help IT deploy solutions faster. Besides that, it can mitigate two major IT security threats: shadow IT and dependency on spreadsheet macros. Also, fusion teams will result in a modernized workplace who feel empowered and engaged. More information about why companies should implement fusion teams can be found in the next chapter.



The benefits of using fusion teams

Due to the increasing popularity of fusion teams, you expect that there are benefits for companies who are using it. And you’re right. Citizen development is becoming easier and more accessible for almost all industries with low-code / no-code (LCNC) platforms. The best way to leverage the citizen development movement is with fusion teams that will empower digitally-skilled and solutions-oriented employees to use LCNC technology. With this approach, you’ll be able to deliver value-adding applications quickly and ensure they fit your organization’s IT standards.

It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to balance centralized IT operations with the ever-evolving and increasing demands of a modern business environment. Fusion teams help IT deploy solutions faster. Ensure those solutions are value-adding for the (digital) business, and increase the digital agility for most business areas of your organization.

A scalable citizen development program also eliminates two major threats to IT security: shadow IT and dependency on spreadsheet macros.

As an added benefit, you’ll be able to grow talent that wasn’t previously fully developed or utilized within the company. This will ultimately result in a modernized workplace with employees who feel empowered and engaged. 


        Quick take

  • Digital transformation will knock down the wall between IT and business departments.
  • Employees in every department are becoming more tech-savvy and want tech solutions to address challenges.
  • The modern business environment requires democratized tech.
  • Business-IT collaboration results in more resilient and agile companies. 


How to launch a fusion team

You may think that assembling your squad is the first step when you’re going to launch a fusion team. This is not the case. Before you even assemble your fusion team, you should identify an initial business case use case for citizen development. Choose a use case that is simple, relevant, and low-effort for high impact.

Do choose

  • Simple
  • Relevant
  • Low-effort for high impact

Don't choose

  • Extensive integration
  • Many stakeholders
  • intensive coordination
  • Significant security implications

We recommend

  • Portals (e.g., a supplier entering product info)
  • Excel replacements
  • Data entry front-ends

These three steps will help you to launch your fusion team with success:

  1. Identify a good business case
  2. Find a low code / no code platform that fits your goals
  3. Get the squad together and set one or multiple team leaders

To bridge the gap between IT operations and (digital) business goals, it’s important to take a proactive and collaborative approach. Building a fusion team based on the software development life cycle makes you more likely to bridge the gap between IT operations and (digital) business goals. 

Design thinking

Development_Path_Design_ThinkingAn example that can really help when building and launching fusion teams is design thinking. By using Design-Thinking, multidisciplinary teams can mitigate and prevent development challenges with an in-depth understanding of the user problem. The first step is brainstorming ideas. Then, they can choose the most suitable option and develop the best possible concept for all elements of the application. As a result, end-users won’t get confused when using the app.

  • Empathize with users - Invest time in understanding who will use the application. Don’t focus on solutions; just try to understand the pain points and how users interact with their processes daily.
  • Problem solve - Once you’re attuned to the needs of the end-user, it’s time to unleash creativity. Start with adaptable prototypes that have room to grow so you can build up to the final solution.
  • Test, re-test, and test some more - After testing the viability of the prototypes, keep the aspects that work and make adjustments to the features that need improvement.

A fusion team success story

pluryn_logoOne of the people who successfully launched one of these popular teams is Thomas Geelkerken. Thomas is a business analyst manager at Pluryn. Pluryn is a large healthcare business with 7400 employees and 1000 volunteers in 17 facilities across the Netherlands. He started looking into a new way of working because he was tired of digital solutions that didn’t truly benefit employees or clients. The traditional mindset of IT departments often hinders value-adding innovation and he was part of that system. 

‘’IT departments are having a hard time bridging the gap in the relationship with the business. The ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you’ mentality isn’t working and I was also stuck in that client/supplier relationship.”

Thomas started building a backlog of topics where he saw gaps between what the business wanted and the available technology. Then, he began inspiring others to the benefits of citizen development and low-code no-code (LCNC) platforms. When people began responding enthusiastically, he formed a fusion team to combine the knowledge and ideas within the business with the technical wexpertise of the IT department.

“The IT department will end up having a smaller role in the app since they won’t need to invest so much time learning and understanding the topic and what needs to be done. Even with 40% completed, you have enough there to understand the idea behind it. Thoughts will align and that helps you search together for the right value.”

Thomas’ team has been able to deploy four advanced, self-built applications in as many months. Each app developed by the fusion team has furthered the organization’s digital transformation. Moreover, their solutions result in a better way of working that ultimately improves the experience of employees and clients. As an added benefit, Thomas noticed the relationship between the IT department and the business is much stronger.

“You quickly see a difference because you’ve made something collaboratively with the organization. The business no longer has to ask, ‘Can I do this or that?’ Instead, IT is asking, ‘What would you like it to do?’ Because now we have a great tool that enables people to think about what they really want and need.”

The process of IT security and data privacy has also been positively impacted by the citizen development fusion team. From the very beginning of the project, Thomas meets with stakeholders to discuss the data requirements for the applications. IT preps the data sets, which always start with only what’s absolutely necessary for the project. Then the team can begin working in a safe and secure way.

Although sometimes difficult, the conversations have nurtured trust and inclusion within the organization. “Working within the healthcare system, I’ve learned a lot from people on the front lines about inclusion – how to involve people and also to include them. It’s a complex process, but in the end, it’s more sustainable.”

Citizen development fusion teams are the helping hand for CIOs

CIOs need a solution for taking back control of their IT backlog in a way that’s also compliant with the security standards of the business and easily integrates into their IT elements. This is a perfect entry point for citizen developers to start making a noticeable difference with LCNC development. You can empower their business and gain peace of mind with a strong governance framework that supports citizen development fusion teams. 


‘’The role of IT leadership is to guide citizen developers and empower them to learn by doing. A fusion team needs room to make mistakes within risk-mitigating guardrails that are defined by the IT department’’.

[mockup] How to succesfully launch your first citizen development fusion team - wp

Keep up the speed of digital transformation

Ready to leverage the success of citizen development by making it a sustainable and scalable way of working? It begins with fusion teams. Read our whitepaper to learn how to start your team.
Download Now




LCNC and fusion teams

''Stepping back to enable innovation doesn’t mean moving completely out of the picture. With the right LCNC platform, IT can maintain governance and ensure new applications connect with your security standards''. A good LCNC platform is necessary for fusion teams to work properly and to get the most out of them.


The ideal LCNC governance partner

Fusion teams must commit to upholding internal standards, best practices, and external

regulatory requirements throughout their citizen development journey. When this foundation is in place, it will lead to a symbiotic relationship built on mutual trust and respect. There are three main points that you should look for in an LCNC governance partner:

  1. LCNC platform providers should understand your standards and vision and help you put the first safeguards in place.
  2. The provider should enhance your governance capabilities as your citizen development program matures and becomes fully integrated into your business operations and departments.
  3. You should both have a mindset for continuous improvement. Above all, the provider should have the flexibility to adapt to your specific needs. 




Tips to start building an LCNC governance strategy

A good LCNC governance strategy does not come easily. We've created three tips for you that can help you build a successful LCNC governance strategy. 

  1. A comprehensive, yet flexible, governance strategy that combines the right sources, training, collaboration, and security will be the key to success. To ensure a successful governance strategy, start to examine your IT goals. Create a framework that synchronizes your organization’s IT and business strategies. Creating a good framework ensures that your organization can use technology efficiently, effectively, and with reduced risk to the IT environment. 

  2. After examining the IT goals of your company, ensure the fusion team learns key principles for good governance. It’s essential for the team to know why governance is important, when citizen developers should consult IT, and which app development and deployment rules must be followed and how. 

  3. After fusion teams know the key principles for good governance, it’s important to identify any granular governance features. This can be required by asking the following questions: What is the workflow for app approval and who has the final authority to publish them? Who will maintain apps built by citizen developers? How much training will citizen developers require before they can start building apps? And how will the company determine if the applications are value-adding for the business?


Choose the right operating model

To successfully implement a citizen development practice in your organization, you need to centralize competency and knowledge. Depending on your organization’s culture and structure, you can either go all out with a Centre of Excellence or go for a more open approach such as the Community of Practice. 

Competency center (CoE)          

For traditional, hierarchical settings. Is an experienced team that has managed and built applications. 

  • A bridge between citizen developers and IT
  • Implements and maintains the governance processes
  • Supports citizen developers in building application
  • Promotes scaling citizen development
  • Governed by rules over build, architecture, deployment, access, etc. 

Community of practice

for organizations that are operating in fast-moving industries with regulation requirements. Citizen developers still report within their existing functions. 

  • Similar to CoE but a less rigid, grassroots establishment, based on volunteers via suitability
  • Success depends on design thinking and support for application development
  • Governed by principles and CoE




Managing organizational change 

IT changes in a company are part of the digital transformation. When implementing change in an organization, resistance is inevitable. What you can do is minimize this resistance. How? With sufficient preparation.  It’s important to:

  • Strategize with support and guidance from IT
  • Document and share the plan
  • Create learning pathways.


Accelerate your digital transformation

We’ve arrived at a pivotal moment for business-led IT. With low-code no-code technology, organizations are innovating at the speed of a modern business without being held back by technology or IT resources. Low-code no-code technology gives fusion teams the ability to quickly improve processes, experiment, and test new products. For many companies, implementing fusion teams and citizen development is the only way to keep up with the speed of new features and digital transformation. We are more than happy to answer any remaining questions about citizen development, LCNC projects, development idea’s or fusion teams. Request a free consultation today by leaving your contact details below! Also, keep an eye on our socials for more recommended content.

[mockup] How to succesfully launch your first citizen development fusion team - wp

Accelerate your digital transformation!

Ready to leverage the success of citizen development by making it a sustainable and scalable way of working? It begins with fusion teams. Read our whitepaper to learn how to start your team.
Download Now