PHIL SIMON

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Thoughts on Citizen Developers and Author Choices

Why I specifically avoided a few key topics in the new book.
Nov | 21 | 2022

Nov | 21 | 2022
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The other day, I was speaking with my new buddy Sam Sibley about citizen development. Sibley serves as a global head at PMI. He’s also one of the authors of Citizen Development: The Handbook for Creators and Change Makers1 and a former tennis pro. (Yeah, I was jealous.)

He’ll appear on my pod soon, but today I wanted to share a little tidbit from our conversation.

His book advances useful frameworks on the maturity and governance of citizen developers. To be fair, Gartner, Forrester, and other think tanks also propose these types of models. (Reimagining Collaboration contained a rudimentary organizational maturity model.)

All authors need to make choices.

By contrast, Low-Code/No-Code does not.

Is this a glaring oversight?

Not at all.

For three reasons, exploring these topics just didn’t make sense.

First, all authors need to make choices. The book about everything is the book about nothing. Put differently, if you try to please everyone, you’ll wind up pleasing no one. (Cue John Madden quote.) Second, if you attempt to include absolutely everything in a book about a nascent trend, you’ll never publish. Third and along these lines, a little humility is in order. You may have written the first book on an important topic, but consider the following queries:

  • Will it be the last?
  • Will it be the only one?

If your subject is as important as you think, then the answer to each of these questions is a resounding no.

Footnotes

  1. One of the very books on the subject that preceded mine.

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