[00:00:01.450] - Announcer
Do you wonder if others are dealing with the same project management challenges as you? Not sure where to turn for guidance and leadership? Office Hours are in session as we discuss project management and PMOs with global leaders, hearing their story, and learning their secrets to success. Our goal is to empower you and help you elevate your PMO and project management career to new heights. Welcome back to Project Management Office Hours with your host, PMO Joe.
[00:00:30.490] - PMO Joe
Welcome everyone to Project Management Office Hours. We're the number one live project management radio show in the US, broadcasting to you from the Phoenix Business RadioX Studios in Tempe, Arizona. I'm your host, PMO Joe. For the next hour or so, we'll be talking project management and a special topic for today that we're going to dig into. Before we jump into the show, I just want to wish all of you project managers out there, who are our primary audience of course, Happy International Project Management Day. This brings me back to a conversation I had with Frank Saladis earlier this year.
[00:01:12.070] - PMO Joe
Actually, back in March, Frank was a guest on our show. I highly encourage everybody to go back and listen to that show because he talks about the origins of IPM Day. Frank is the founder and father of IPM Day. He's actually attending, back in 2004, a PMI class and the instructor, Jerry Brightman, had said, "Go out and figure out how to go out and change the world." Frank, I think, did that, at least a part of it. And of course, a lot of people have come afterwards. But if you go back to that show about the 7:30 mark, towards the beginning of the show, that conversation starts with Frank jumps into that and gives the story and find out how it all began.
[00:01:52.510] - PMO Joe
I also want to thank our sponsors for the show, the PMO Squad and the PMO Leader. Be sure to go out and visit their websites to understand about all the different services they offer. Of course, the PMO Leader is a global community that welcomes everybody in our profession to come join and participate.
[00:02:09.730] - PMO Joe
Lastly, a reminder to visit projectmanagementofficehours.com, home of the show. You're able to see all of the upcoming episodes, understand how you can get PDUs for listening to the show, and, of course, listen to all of our past shows and understand about the different guests we've had on. Speaking of guests, very excited today to have our special guest, Matt Hubbard and Mario Trentim. Welcome, guys.
[00:02:34.150] - Matt Hubbard
Thank you. Happy to be here, Joe.
[00:02:36.610] - PMO Joe
Matt, if you could-
[00:02:37.210] - Mario Trentim
It's a great pleasure.
[00:02:38.410] - PMO Joe
Yes. Thank you so much, both of you. Matt, if you could take a moment to say "hello" to the listeners and introduce yourself to them.
[00:02:45.730] - Matt Hubbard
Yeah, happy to do so. Hi, everybody. My name is Matt Hubbard. On the personal side, I live in Chicago. I won't say in Chicago. People actually, who are true Chicagoans, loathe that I say Chicago. I'm an hour west of Chicago. I basically live in the country with my wife, Tina, and two daughters, Savannah, who is 12, and Abby, who is 9. As a family, we are passionate about serving our community. In fact, this weekend, we're doing a national trip. We're going to Lake Charles, Louisiana, who has had three category four hurricanes hit them in the last 12 months.
[00:03:29.110] - Matt Hubbard
And then on Thursday, just this last Thursday, a class... What is that called? They call it F2/F3 tornado, hit on Thursday, same town. They just cannot catch a break. And so we're going to go down there and help with some rebuild efforts. That's just our passion.
[00:03:47.890] - Matt Hubbard
Education. I have a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Michigan. And honestly, I've never really used it.
[00:03:55.160] - PMO Joe
[00:03:59.230] - Matt Hubbard
Yeah, go blue. I should have probably gotten an industrial engineering degree because I found out later in life I really enjoy process improvement. I like producing ways, improving quality, and just basically creating order out of chaos. So professionally, I've worked in automotive for almost 20 years, started in supplier quality, did a little project management. Then, really where I've settled is process improvement and citizen development, where I did do that beyond automotive.
[00:04:30.550] - Matt Hubbard
I did it in banking for about four years, ran my own consulting business for five years. And now, I'm at TrackVia doing process improvement and citizen development, where I'm happy to be. I'll tell you more about that later.
[00:04:42.670] - PMO Joe
Awesome. Thanks so much, Matt. As a Michigan fan... I didn't attend the university, but I am a fan of Michigan. I can say one of the highlights of my life is when I went and visited off-season and you can go into the stadium and just see it. I was surprised. "This is great. You can go into the Stadium." Of course, it's I think one of the biggest stadiums in the world and certainly in the US. And there's nobody there preventing you.
[00:05:08.710] - PMO Joe
So, buddy and I, we just jumped down onto the field. I'm running down the 50-yard line in the middle of the University of Michigan football field. My buddy tackles me and just laying in the grass, making snow angel-type movements. And then over the loudspeakers, we heard, "Get off the field." And two security guards come running down chasing us. But I can always say I was tackled on the field at Michigan Stadium. A highlight of my life.
[00:05:38.170] - Matt Hubbard
Yes, that's a great story. I'm glad to hear that.
[00:05:40.870] - PMO Joe
Matt, thanks for joining us. And of course, Mario, welcome to the show as well. If you can take a moment to say "hello" and introduce yourself.
[00:05:48.070] - Mario Trentim
All right. Hello, everyone. It's a great pleasure to be here. My name is Mario Trentim. I live in Brazil. I'm based in a small city close to Sao Paulo. My wife and our three kids, we like sports a lot. We like mountain biking, fishing, playing on open areas, outdoor sports. It's really great time because it's a small city, so it's easy to get everywhere.
[00:06:16.570] - Mario Trentim
As a professional background, I work in the Brazilian Air Force for 15 years between 1999 and 2014. I have an engineering degree and a master's degree. I think I used it.
[00:06:36.230] - Mario Trentim
I've been managing engineering projects and industrial projects in the last 15 years, more or less. Then in 2014, I founded a consulting company. We are more focused on PMOs, implementing PMOs not only in Latin America but also in some organizations in Europe, and around the Middle East as well. And working on PMOs, implementing PMOs, and managing some PMOs on behalf of our customers, we understood, maybe four years ago, six years ago, that we needed technology to empower project managers, business analysts, agilists. We have all these methodologies and ways of work, but then you're doing everything manually.
[00:07:27.350] - Mario Trentim
Even now, we have hybrid teams and remote work. I think that understanding how to use technology on your behalf, even though I'm not a computer scientist or a computer engineer, I can say that I am very proficient now in using everything that is available to PMOs, to project managers in automated reporting dashboards, this kind of stuff. I'm sure that this made me more competitive and more efficient. So I can manage more projects at the same time by eliminating some ways to automating. So it's been a really great journey in understanding more how to use and apply citizen developer tools.
[00:08:15.230] - PMO Joe
Awesome. Thank you so much, Mario. Mario and I have a little bit of a role reversal. I think it was two years ago or a year and a half ago or so that he interviewed me as part of the PMO Global Awards Conference. So it's nice to be the host this time, and not the guest. But a reminder to everybody that this year's conference is next week where all of the global winners will be announced. So head out to the PMO Global Awards website.
[00:08:44.150] - PMO Joe
You can get a link there to the Bridge Conference.
[00:08:47.270] - PMO Joe
At that conference, all of the different winners will be announced from PMO of the Year. We've got one of the finalists coming up as our final guest of the year in December. So excited. Maybe he'll get the victory and we can talk about what it's like to win that award.
[00:09:00.950] - Matt Hubbard
[00:09:01.910] - PMO Joe
Welcome, both of you guys. Let's jump in. Citizen developer is really the main topic for today that brought us all together to have a discussion about this. Matt, if you could just give us the low down on what this is because it's a project management show. Why are we talking about development? What's the genesis of this? And why is that important?
[00:09:27.050] - Matt Hubbard
Yeah, you bet. Happy to take this. This will be a bit of a long story, okay? Because I think I want to give you an overview of what citizen development is. But then to color the picture, I want to just tell you my story about how I became a citizen developer.
[00:09:41.930] - PMO Joe
[00:09:42.830] - Matt Hubbard
Generically, citizen development is when you empower business people who are not trained coders to solve business problems through the use of low-code/no-code tools, which are tools that basically... Think assembling apps, instead of coding apps. You are dragging and dropping existing elements to assemble the app. This is why non-professional coders can build their own app. It's through these low-code/no-code tools.
[00:10:14.570] - Matt Hubbard
I think that's just the basic description. Somebody who is not a trained coder building their own apps. That's what a citizen developer is. But let me tell you how I became a citizen developer. I will tell you in three phases. The first phase will be before I even learned about citizen development. What was process improvement like for me when I didn't have citizen development? Then, I'll move into, what was it like when I did have citizen development? And where am I today?
[00:10:42.470] - Matt Hubbard
The first phase, process improvement before citizen development. In the early 2000s, I was working for an auto manufacturer, and I was assigned to a very large North American project. It involved 13 plants in 3 countries, 60 project members and all serving about 600 suppliers. The objective of this project was to optimize and standardize the processes on paper, that was the first objective, so that these 13 plants are doing things in the same way, as efficiently as possible, when they're working with those 600 suppliers. That was the first objective.
[00:11:24.710] - Matt Hubbard
The second objective was control that process so that it happens the same way every time and establishes a baseline for continuous improvement. To control that, we were going to bring technology in. So the first objective, I'll say we succeeded. It was hard. Getting 13 culturally different sites to agree on the standard best practice was difficult, but we were very proud of our teamwork. And I'll say that we really did squeeze a lot of ways out of these existing processes. But then we moved to the second phase.
[00:12:02.870] - Matt Hubbard
The second phase was controlling the process with technology. On this, I'll say I failed miserably. This was my first project I was leading in the technology area. I really didn't know what to expect. I thought things were going to be more efficient in terms of the time that it takes to develop. I was imagining more iterative, we would figure things out as we go. I was imagining very cost-effective. It was really none of those.
[00:12:30.890] - Mario Trentim
It was very expensive; we're talking in the millions. It took too long; we're talking years. It was inflexible. I was basically told, "You get one shot; that's it. You tell us what you want to build and that's what we'll build. And if you're wrong, get back in line because we have a huge pipeline that these developers need to work on."
[00:12:51.230] - Mario Trentim
Bottom line is, we didn't end up building a system. We stuck with our spreadsheets and emails because that's the tool we had. And we struggled to control the process. Each site, we would rely on audits, training and audits to make sure that they were following what we agreed to. And, inevitably, there was variation at every single site because we just physically could not control it with technology. I had a conversation with my colleagues based on this now-new understanding of how systems are developed. I said, "Why can't business systems mature like video games did?"
[00:13:35.570] - Matt Hubbard
So video games used to be these huge, colossal consoles, and they played only one game. And you had to go to a bowling alley to play that game. It was like Centipede or I don't know. Can you say-
[00:13:49.910] - PMO Joe
Space Invaders, yeah.
[00:13:49.910] - Matt Hubbard
Oh, Space Invaders. That's a classic, right? And it did only one thing. I never bought one myself. But it probably cost thousands of dollars to do that one thing. And so Atari came out later with a home console which was not that expensive. It was $100, I think, if I remember right, for that console. And then, you just bought cartridges for the different games and plugged them in.
[00:14:14.210] - Matt Hubbard
So I was thinking, why aren't business systems like that? Why don't we have just one platform, like a console that we reuse over and over and it has the fundamentals in it. And then, you're just changing business processes by putting in a new cartridge, layering it on top. It sounded like a good idea at the time. We weren't developers, so we didn't know how to do that. But we theorized that we could cut the cost and the time down by a factor of 10 from traditional development.
[00:14:44.990] - Matt Hubbard
Obviously, these thoughts were before low-code/no-code, I won't say existed because it's always been an evolution, but before I knew about it.
[00:14:54.950] - Matt Hubbard
Well, unfortunately, I didn't have it. In 2010, I was needing to leave the company I was at for personal reasons. But just before I left, one of my colleagues said, "Hey, I was out in California on a business trip, and I think I saw what you've been asking for with this flexible platform thing." I was skeptical, but I checked it out. It happened to be TrackVia.
[00:15:21.710] - Matt Hubbard
He was introduced to TrackVia. This was around 2010. I checked it out and my jaw dropped. I said, "That's exactly what I'm talking about. This low-code/no-code platform, which there wasn't a term for it at the time, that allowed people to drag and drop, who are not programmers, using the same foundation over and over again to build apps and solve business problems." The downside was I was leaving. So I'm going to a new company, and I'm like, "Well, that was a dream that'll never happen."
[00:15:54.530] - Matt Hubbard
I went to the new company, and I was delighted. So this is going to be now my process improvement with citizen development. I was delighted to see that this company had the same process and system problems that the old company did. Turns out, process and systems problems are pretty universal regardless of industry, regardless of company. And so this was like a thing that I could probably do for my career. And I did. This new company I was at, they were very supportive of trying new things.
[00:16:23.690] - Matt Hubbard
And so they said, "Yeah, sure. Let's check out this TrackVia thing. But first, let's have IT do a rigorous check about the security. That's the main thing we're concerned about. We do not want an insecure environment."
[00:16:38.510] - Matt Hubbard
Insecure, that sounds kind of funny, right?
[00:16:48.750] - PMO Joe
Very sensitive environment
[00:16:48.750] - Matt Hubbard
It's a confidence issue.
[00:16:48.750] - PMO Joe
Yes. It's very sensitive, the IT department.
[00:16:48.750] - Matt Hubbard
Yeah. "We definitely don't want an insecure environment, but we wanted to just make sure it meets our rigorous protocols." And they checked it out. They said, "Yes, looks great. Go ahead. Give it a try." I learned the platform by just following the knowledge base, and they had a bunch of how-to videos. And I started building apps to solve my own personal problems. Again, I'm bringing in a lot of psychology here. My personal problems- [crosstalk 00:17:15]
[00:17:16.170] - PMO Joe
We dig deep on Project Management Office Hours.
[00:17:20.310] - Mario Trentim
Project management skills for life, right?
[00:17:22.470] - PMO Joe
[00:17:23.550] - Matt Hubbard
You got it. Let me clarify, my own personal process and workflow challenges that I had at work. To my delight, I realized, "Wow, this works. I am making my processes more efficient and more effective because of this toolset." So I taught my own team how to do that. Now, we've got three people who are, quote, unquote "citizen developers". And we're solving problems for our department in this low-code/no-code environment. And then others, who were close to our circle of influence, started to notice, "Hey, what are you guys doing over there? You're cranking things out quickly and really improving our effectiveness."
[00:18:08.070] - Matt Hubbard
So they leaned in. We taught them, too. And maybe we had, let's say, five to seven people. A key point is in our circle of influence. It's easy to influence those around you; much harder to influence the entire enterprise. But we built 30 apps, had 700 users. Mind you, none of us were professional developers. There's a positive to that. And then, there's also some cautions for when you scale. But I'd say citizen development became like a superpower.
[00:18:39.990] - Matt Hubbard
It elevated my effectiveness for controlling processes and doing process improvement. So I was convinced that, probably, every company in the world could benefit from process improvement, low-code/no-code technology, and citizen development. So I branched out on my own. I co-founded a consulting business that utilized continuous improvement principles and low-code technology, ran the business for about five years, completed dozens of projects, and had a great time. I felt pretty good about it. Now, today I'm working for TrackVia. When I was running my consulting business, we got proficient about five different low-code/no-code platforms, and TrackVia was my favorite amongst the bunch.
[00:19:28.710] - Matt Hubbard
Now, here I am with TrakcVia. And I'm laser-focused what I would call the next phase of citizen development, and that's scaling citizen development. That's a whole different ball game. Easy for a couple of people like me and my colleagues to build a couple of apps and solve problems. But when you want to scale that across an enterprise, brand new game, new skill set that you have to apply. So I'm approaching this scaling citizen development with our customers using a people, process, and technology framework where the people are the problem solvers in the organization; the technology is the low-code/no-code platform like TrackVia.
[00:20:13.590] - Mario Trentim
But here's the new piece. The process piece is PMI's Citizen Developer framework. I think if you're going to scale citizen development in an effective and safe manner, you better wrap all of this in a strong management framework like PMI has put together. Otherwise, you just have shadow IT.
[00:20:34.110] - PMO Joe
So in the PM industry, a common practice is a non-certified, non-professional project manager still runs projects, and we call them accidental PMs, right? It's the person in the marketing department or manufacturing or something, and they lead the project, but they're not PMP certified. They're not CPMs, they're not trained in professional development. So translating low-code/no-code citizen developer is like an accidental developer. It's somebody who wasn't necessarily trained to be it. But then now they are. Is that a fair connection to make?
[00:21:15.270] - Matt Hubbard
Yes, very fair. I would actually say using your accidental project manager piece. That's what I was in the early 2000s. I wasn't PMP certified, though I will say, I read the whole PMBOK and I prescribed to the methodologies. But I didn't go through the certification because our company really didn't pursue the certification. It pursued the results of the effort. So I would say I was an accidental project manager. And then, I became an accidental developer. I did not intend to develop my own apps. But wow, when I did it, just a whole world opened up for me of improved effectiveness and just getting stuff done at higher volume than I ever could.
[00:21:58.950] - PMO Joe
Mario, you are, obviously a project background and experience with your consulting firm and others, but recently joined PMI, I believe, to work on the citizen development program. Can you explain that transition to bring you into the organization and what your role is there that you're working with PMI to do with citizen development?
[00:22:19.950] - Mario Trentim
Sure, that's cool. And then I'll give you some background on how, as a project manager, I also implemented citizen development to become more efficient and more competitive. But I recently joined PMI in helping making this connection with volunteers and chapters on what they can get from citizen development. Before explaining this role and everything that is going on inside PMI related to that, I think it's important that we understand project management is changing. So people who are working with project management, like the three of us for more than 15 years, we see a lot of things, lots of change.
[00:23:04.350] - Mario Trentim
I remember when we started Agile and there was a lot of criticism in Agile when PMI embraced Agile. Lots of people against and not in favor. I think that we have different skill sets that are needed for what we call the future of work. So people have to be more flexible, lifelong learners. They have to use technology. You are working from home, to remote work, hybrid teams. So this is a whole new skill set which was accelerated by the pandemic. But if we go back maybe 5/10 years ago, we already had citizen developers.
[00:23:47.790] - Mario Trentim
It's just that we didn't have this name. But people using Excel spreadsheets, VBAs, they are trying to solve their problems in different ways without professional developers. That's the summary. So you do not have an architect, software developer, or something like this to build a system or an application to you. Because it was always very cost-intensive and time-intensive. As technology evolved, what happens is that now we have technology abstraction. You don't have to build everything from scratch.
[00:24:26.310] - Mario Trentim
Now, think about a website, for example. Probably many of you already created a website. I had to create a website when I was in the engineering school because we had to submit the homework to a specific professor. We had to do it through a website. And for me, it was a nightmare because HTML right here and so on, you had to upload the pictures, this kind of stuff. It was really nightmare. And today, if you go to wordpress.com or wix.com, these are low-code platforms.
[00:25:02.970] - Mario Trentim
You just type the name, PMO Joe or I'll create my website, for example. Then, I'll describe, I'm a consulting company, something like this. You already have free populated website. Then, you just drag and drop. I want the emails here, pictures there, and so on. So we've been doing this for a long time. But now we have a name for this because we need more governance and organization as Matt described. So people were solving their own problems through shadow IT, maybe using Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, other things that were not controlled.
[00:25:47.070] - Mario Trentim
Now, this is a big problem because we have the general protection data law, we have security, much more cyber attacks, many more cyber attacks than we had in the past. So it's not the way we should go. When we think about low-code platforms, you already have built-in security, data protection laws, other things that make it really easier.
[00:26:13.050] - Mario Trentim
So explaining what happened in my career, and then how I joined at PMI to help on that. By implementing PMOs and managing PMOs, we find that maybe the project offices are the most outdated departments in the organizations, unfortunately, because we have all the methodologies, PMBOK, PRINCE2, PMO Global Alliance, all of these methodologies, but no software system.
[00:26:46.830] - Mario Trentim
The majority of the companies, they don't even have something like Primavera or Project. They don't have this. Some organization have, the majority do not have. And when you go to the other departments, you should go to marketing sales. They have CRM, automated marketing tools. They're already doing this in finance, cost reimbursement. They have applications for everything. And when you go to the project offices, they are really outdated, most of them.
[00:27:20.310] - Mario Trentim
I noticed that we spent a lot of time doing work that did not add any value. So copying for a spreadsheet to other spreadsheets. And some people call the project managers in the organizations like PowerPoint producers. You get everything, then you put on a PowerPoint, and then you plan, you put on a PowerPoint, and so on. For example, back in 2014, I managed eight projects at the same time as part of a program. And then, I had a Microsoft project file on my computer, those MPP files, not shared.
[00:27:58.470] - Mario Trentim
I had to create and everything. Then, I printed this. I gave to the people so that they took the piece of the Microsoft Project and they created Kanban boards on their walls. So they were in different teams. They took that thing that I print and they put post-it notes, more details on their walls. And then, when I had to create a report on that, they took pictures of their walls and send it through WhatsApp so that I could figure out the percentage complete on my Microsoft Project.
[00:28:35.430] - Mario Trentim
This is extremely inefficient. I've always been talking to other project managers and project management offices since 2014 that they should learn how to use technology, any technology. If they are going to use monday.com, Trello, or whatever, they should be learning these technologies because in the near future, that was 2014, in the near future, the companies would not hire or promote people who does not know how to use the tools related to their profession. That's it. When we think about development for project managers, you do not have to build the finance applications or sales applications.
[00:29:22.890] - Mario Trentim
You have to solve your own problems in a way that is more efficient. I was very happy that PMI created this. I think it's something that dates back from 2018 or 19. If I'm not mistaken, it started in the Brightline Initiative. The Brightline Initiative is an organization sponsored by PMI and now absorbed back to inside PMI. It worked with [inaudible 00:29:51], BCG, The Economist, The Gartner, many organizations that were discussing the next 30 years. They were discussing digital transformation technology is now part of every business model.
[00:30:13.530] - Mario Trentim
I believe that this was the seed when PMI started discussing this and in 2019, started creating the framework. As a volunteer during the year of 2020, I helped as a technical expert, let's say, or evangelist and providing feedback as a volunteer to the content created, also delivering some webinars to chapters and volunteers. Now, this is a product and a specific division inside PMI. So it was created outside like a side hustle to try and develop something new. Now, it's part of PMI. My role is really connecting this to the volunteers and to the chapters in explaining what we can get.
[00:31:09.270] - Mario Trentim
I think, maybe, we're going to have other questions during the interview related to that. But just a quick comment to conclude, I see lots of benefits to the volunteers because the PMI volunteering days, if you're familiar with PMI strategy, so PMI 4.0, we have the project manager, this the center. But also we are broadening our outreach, extending impact, which is good because it's taking project management to other areas. But it's also observing other area's knowledge like we have business analysis inside PMI. Now you have Agile, Disciplined Agile.
[00:31:52.530] - Mario Trentim
You have Wicked Problems Solving, although not specifically like the PMBOK Guide, but it helps in multiple types of projects. When we think about citizen development, my personal experience tells us that as an agilist, business analyst, project manager, PMO manager, it will be ten times more effective. In my consulting company, for example, we managed five times more project in 2020, 2021 than we did in the past, in 2019 or 2018, with the same number of project managers. That means we add more value. And these people also were promoted.
[00:32:44.130] - Mario Trentim
They have better salaries because they are capable of managing more projects. I see lots of benefits to the volunteers, to the chapters, and to the project managers in general.
[00:32:57.690] - PMO Joe
It's an interesting background and I'm a nontechnical person as well. But I have built websites and used tools like Wix to do that because it's drag and drop and put a picture in and add text. It's straightforward to use. But 90 episodes into the show, we've talked to a lot of project managers. Frequently, I'll ask them how to get started in project management. And they used to be developers as they were doing development. They were the one that would always organize the team and make sure that they were working towards progress and eventually their career evolved away from development but into project management.
[00:33:38.610] - PMO Joe
So I think there's probably a very large population of our profession that already is starting from a point where they understand development and they understand the effectiveness of it and the benefits of it. And you both have certainly described benefits of the citizen development, low-code/no-code movement. But there's got to be some challenges to this as well, I would imagine. What have you uncovered on your journey about some of the challenges of going to this type of work?
[00:34:13.290] - Matt Hubbard
Yeah, there are definitely challenges. I'm going to describe two challenges, I think. One that just entered my mind as you were speaking, Joe, is no-code/low-code is great. I'm an advocate. I love it, but it's not for every situation. There are situations where professionally developed custom applications are more appropriate. So PMI is actually addressing this challenge in their framework where they've outlined an SDLC for citizen development. And it begins with the determination of: is citizen development appropriate for this project? It gives three paths.
[00:35:01.650] - Matt Hubbard
One is, "Yeah, this is a great fit for citizen development. If somebody is already trained as a citizen developer, let's get them to knock it out, pretty much, by themselves. And we'll just do some checks and balances at the end to make sure that all of our security protocols and governance is met, but they're pretty much on their own." Second path is: "they can pretty much do it on their own. But there are integrations and some customization that are needed. So we're going to partner with IT and do some professional development and some citizen development."
[00:35:39.450] - Matt Hubbard
And then the third path is: "this needs to be managed by IT completely. We might have a citizen developer do some prototypes real quick to help us with clarifying the requirements which is..." I'm going to digress here. I'm going to take a sidetrack here just for a second. Back in when I was the accidental project manager and learning about technology, I learned that I was asked for my requirements, and I've never seen this new process that we just designed in a system before. So I'm hypothesizing and theorizing what I think the requirements are, but I don't know for sure.
[00:36:20.430] - Matt Hubbard
So this is another area where low-code/no-code has helped out tremendously. "I don't know, I think this. Let's whip that up in 30 minutes and try it on for size and see if it's what we think is right. And if it's not, let's adjust until we get it to the point where, yeah, I've validated. This is what I want built." And so at the very least, it can be used as a rapid prototyping tool to make the requirements for the professional developer more sound and sure.
[00:36:53.910] - Matt Hubbard
So that's one challenge, which I feel like PMI is tackling that pretty well by acknowledging that one size doesn't fit all. The second challenge, and probably the bigger challenge that I'm more leaning into, is just scaling in general. I alluded to this earlier. Me and my buddies, who are just in my team or connected very closely to my team, easy for us to use low-code/no-code and just knock out a solution and improve our realm. Doing that at scale is challenging because it requires all the soft side skills, the management framework, the relationships, the change management, the governance.
[00:37:41.550] - Matt Hubbard
That's a very specific set of skills that if you don't know them, you will likely fail when you try to scale to other people. And I did that. I was really excited about what I discovered with low-code/no-code. And our team was killing it. And I went to share it with teams that I had no influence over, and they were like, "Woah, easy there big fellah. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but that's not for us."
[00:38:09.150] - Matt Hubbard
And not even really give it a try because I wasn't really going through effective methods of communication and change management and introduction, which PMI and their citizen developer framework is encouraging the right types of communication early in the citizen development maturity curve, and later to bring it to a full culture. And my experience with not being able to scale low-code/no-code and citizen development, now that I'm at TrackVia, I'm finding that same challenge exists with some of our customers.
[00:38:47.490] - Matt Hubbard
We've got a customer who is just killing it with low-code/no-code, built a quality management system for themselves, and influence the people in his group to do the same. They're excited about it, went to share it with people outside of his group. And again, they got the same thing like, "Whoa, that's your thing, right? That's the quality thing. That's not for the rest of us." And so I think the number one challenge that I'm working on tackling is, how do you scale this thing safely and effectively?
[00:39:24.270] - Matt Hubbard
If you just throw it out to the masses and tell everybody to go to town, that's a recipe for disaster. You need to have some guardrails in place.
[00:39:32.610] - Matt Hubbard
So when I joined TrackVia, I actually didn't know that PMI was entering into the citizen development realm. So I started developing my own citizen developer framework, and it has a lot of the similar elements that PMI has. But frankly, I was glad to find that PMI was entering it because their product is superior to what I would have put together. And PMI, they're a trusted, and I'll call it neutral, champion for this, something that somebody from a low-code/no-code platform couldn't be as well as PMI.
[00:40:12.450] - Matt Hubbard
So I've set aside the work that I did to build my own framework, and I'm all in with PMI. I've got the book right here. I've consumed the 250 page, we'll call it CD box. I just align with it. My customers are aligning with it.
[00:40:29.850] - Matt Hubbard
I'm seeing it make a difference where that example I gave you earlier, where the gentleman built a quality management system and was trying to share that success with others, following the PMI five-stage maturity model and just making sure that you're covering your bases in each stage. He's making progress that he couldn't have made before without this framework.
[00:40:56.250] - PMO Joe
I think the explanation of the concepts certainly makes sense, right? It's certainly a tool we should have in our toolbox and playing devil's advocate for a second within the industry where we get a lot of chatter just within our peer groups of "Hey, why is PMI expanding to business analysis? Why are they expanding into Disciplined Agile? Now, they're expanding into development? I'm a project manager. My projects have enough challenges already. I'm 50 percent success rate on projects, and now he wants me to get distracted by this shiny new tool over here that's going to keep me from running my projects successfully."
[00:41:41.490] - PMO Joe
Mario, obviously lots of experience in this space. I'm sure you hear some of that same chatter. Why is PMI doing this? I mean, come on, you're the Project Management Institute, not the Development Institute.
[00:41:54.810] - Mario Trentim
Yeah. I think that PMI was bold enough to reinvent itself in PMI 2.0. And when we think about PMI 4.0 now, in my opinion, that's my personal opinion as a volunteer and being part of PMI for a long time, I think it's really the leading professional organization. We could, as other organizations have focused only on a specific framework. For example, we could be connected to PMBOK fourth edition until now, 2021, right? That would mean, in my opinion again, we would not be a relevant organization as we are today.
[00:42:36.630] - Mario Trentim
Because if we think about, let's say, PMBOK until sixth edition, fifth edition, we didn't have even the Agile mentioned. We had stakeholders in fifth edition.
[00:42:48.270] - Mario Trentim
We didn't have this in for our fourth edition. So if we think about PMI fourth edition, PMBOK Guide fourth edition. If PMI had heard the criticisms in updating and expanding to Agile, to business analysis, I really think we would not be adding value. We hear, now, PMI talking about the change-makers because we are not only professional project managers. In my case, I'm an engineer and a professional project manager. It is a career path that made sense to me in the past. But if I was starting today, I wouldn't do it. I graduated as an engineer.
[00:43:32.370] - Mario Trentim
I worked as maintenance engineering, mechanics engineering, and so on.
[00:43:36.750] - Mario Trentim
Then I was in the engineering teams. Then I was engineering manager, and then I was project manager. I took PMP and this was my career. If I was starting today, probably, I would take DASM maybe, so the Disciplined Agile, because more organizations are embracing Agile. We need this flexibility. It is expanding our boundaries outside technical projects to events, to human resource projects, finance projects, marketing projects, and so on. And really, if I was starting today, I will study citizen development and disciplined agile. That's my opinion.
[00:44:19.710] - Mario Trentim
So I understand that there is a lot of criticism in every change. So there are some people resistant and it's okay, I think. From my perspective, I understand in the PMI 4.0 strategies published in the website, I think we are in the right path because when I was working on project management offices, maybe five or ten years ago, we were trying to convince the organization that they needed project management.
[00:44:56.370] - Mario Trentim
Now that their organization understands they need project management and their organization's methods to a level that they believe they should connect operations, IT, maturity, business analysis to project management. Why would we keep inside the project management offices without collaborating to the other areas?
[00:45:20.550] - Mario Trentim
Another perspective is that PMI is offering new services, but that does not mean you have to take it all. You don't have to take CAPM, RMP, risk, schedule, program, portfolio, PVA. You do not have to take all of this. It is just that these disciplines, in my opinion again, they are really connected. So if we think about portfolio management, it's totally connected. Doesn't mean that you work with portfolio. If you don't, you don't take the certification. So that's fine.
[00:45:55.770] - Mario Trentim
But these disciplines, they are connected. And I think it makes a lot of sense in creating the frameworks in a way that they are integrated to provide governance, as Matt mentioned, because what happens if we compare again to Agile? And we were doing Agile before we had certifications and DA Toolkits and so on. But people started doing Agile because it's easy to start. They were doing it in a way that is not scalable. Sometimes people were questioning their organization.
[00:46:32.970] - Mario Trentim
I saw some research mentioning that we spent, I believe, $100 billion in wasted projects because of Agile. But the problem is not Agile. It is that agile without governance and scalability because it's easy to start. So the negative point, as Matt was mentioning, is that citizen development is easy to start, but it can become really complex. The PMI framework stated that if we think about the other platforms, like Microsoft Power Platform, for example, you can use zero code, no code, some code, which is low code, but you can go through pro developers.
[00:47:17.490] - Mario Trentim
So if you want to use professional developers and extend the capabilities, you can do it. So you can build very robust, scalable, and secure applications. But in this case, if we think about PMI framework, as Matt mentioned, we have a suitability assessment in the beginning. If you can do it by yourself, for example, I have my spreadsheets, timesheets from my team. I want to do it. You can do it. That is the fast track. So if I want to do something that is related to other departments, for example, maybe reimbursement in my project, then maybe I need the [inaudible 00:47:58], IT will be helping me.
[00:48:02.310] - Mario Trentim
And in some cases, it's IT delivery. Although it's low code, you cannot do it without knowledge. That's why also we have the foundations, practitioners, the architect, and so on. Just as an analogy, as Matt was providing his opinion, I was searching on Google here, for example, the largest website using WordPress. When WordPress started, people said that you would use WordPress only for personal blogs. So if you Google right now, BBC America, Sony Music, Microsoft uses WordPress, the website background, and so on.
[00:48:45.030] - Mario Trentim
And when you look at these websites, you don't know it's WordPress. Why is that? Because they built on top of that. It's not just the drag and drop. So I can create a low-code application. For example, I have a video on my YouTube that I create one in 10 minutes. But then I'm not thinking about sophisticated data. I could do much more. So there are low-code application that we developed with our team that we needed seven people in three months, six months. But if we would do it with professional developers from scratch, maybe, it will take more time.
[00:49:27.270] - Mario Trentim
But the other thing, as Matt mentioned, is that low code is not for everything. As people believe that agile was the solution for all, right? The traditional project management will die. So it didn't die. We still use front-end loading, [inaudible 00:49:44]. In industrial engineering, I have the same Gantt chart. It's the way it is supposed to be. We have fixed price in the contracts, the steel. So it really depends on the type of project and in the industry that you were working. So when to use agile, when to use traditional approach, or when to use a hybrid approach, this is in the PM box seven right now.
[00:50:11.370] - Mario Trentim
So you can use a combination.
[00:50:12.570] - Mario Trentim
But you have to use a combination with governance, not half-baked solutions. In citizen development, I believe that PMI did a great job in putting up the framework. Probably there are gaps, so it will evolve. So first edition, second edition, third edition with the help of the community. So as more volunteers, more chapters create their communities of practices, the organizations are using the framework, the framework is going to evolve. But it provided, at least, guidance in the steps that you have to follow, the hyper agile software development cycle.
[00:50:57.150] - Mario Trentim
It provided guidance in the maturity levels that Matt mentioned. And it also provides some tools for assessment and understanding when to use and how to use low-code platforms and use this citizen developer mindset. So maybe it's not for all the project managers. Maybe. And that's fine.
[00:51:20.550] - Mario Trentim
But I really think that it will add value to your company, to your day-to-day activities in making you more efficient. It is not only building application, this is one of the things that, I don't know, maybe some of the people who criticize the development and low-code, not only at PMI and PMI volunteers because we have this in the IT industry, you will find a lot if you Google.
[00:51:48.810] - Mario Trentim
So pro developers versus citizen developers. I think that a lot of people criticizing, they didn't take the time to understand what it is and if it's helpful or not. And if it's not helpful, you just not use it. But it's not only about applications, you have automated workflows and this is really powerful. So you can use IFPT. You can use [inaudible 00:52:17] . You can use Power automate.
[00:52:20.610] - Mario Trentim
These tools should connect the triggers, and then automate tasks. When I receive an email from my customer, create a task to someone else, send a message on Microsoft Teams, for example. So you would have to be monitoring your email, for example, wasting time and then posting on a channel and then creating a task manually. Why not automate these flows? So citizen development is more than only the applications, mobile applications. Actually, we have applications, automation, we have virtual agents, machine learning, and artificial intelligence that can help you with data.
[00:53:03.510] - Mario Trentim
And we have the dashboards. So if you're using Tableau if you're using Power BI, this is also citizen development. You don't need code. You may use and extend, but you connect the data. You create the dashboards and you refresh dashboards in real-time, consuming information from multiple places. I can get information from my ERP, from the PPM software, combine it to stakeholder satisfaction. And then, I use very simple formulas, divide this by that and so on. And I have very clear KPIs, in real time, for portfolio project management.
[00:53:44.970] - Mario Trentim
So this is extremely powerful. I believe that every PMO and every project manager should at least give a chance and try to search some of these tools and case studies to check if this is going to help them or not.
[00:54:02.850] - PMO Joe
I think ultimately the decisions won't be made by the people providing the tool. It's by the consumers. It's like saying, "I'm going to put my house on the sale and I'm going to sell it for a million dollars." Well, if nobody wants to buy it for a million, you don't have a million-dollar house. So you guys, both within PMI and TrackVia and all the different shops out there working with low-code/no-code, the ultimate question won't be determined by you, right?
[00:54:28.110] - PMO Joe
It's the consumers and are they embracing it? And I think back to... We're all old enough to remember when we would do email on... You had to have two separate phones. You couldn't have your company email on your personal phone because work needed to have those things separate. That's just ludicrous. How could we have work email and your personal email on the same phone? But the consumers drove that innovation and forced organizations to accept that. And forced them to find a way to make it be secure and able to do that.
[00:55:01.950] - PMO Joe
So I think what we're going to find out is, will organizations accept the low-code/no-code? And I don't know if there's any data or any market research done on this yet. Are results coming back? Do we have any information on how well is this being received out there in the industry?
[00:55:22.230] - Mario Trentim
Well, we have some research on how that's growing. So you see this Gartner, Forrester, not only the vendors, so the research companies and their consulting companies. It really takes time. If we think about IT, some organizations still use outdated IT from 20 years ago. If you think about cloud, some organizations move it to the cloud because of the pandemic in 2019. Although we have cloud solutions and cloud applications since 2008 or 2006, right?
[00:56:04.470] - Mario Trentim
So you have the first movers, then the majority of the people, and there will always be some people behind for a long time, maybe a decade. What we see from some of this research and consulting companies is that the low-code/no-code market is forecasted to reach $20 billion by 2022. So next year. So it's a big market. The other number we have from Gartner is that the number of citizen developers will be four times the number of professional developers. So more people using low-code than professional developers.
[00:56:49.110] - Mario Trentim
Because the truth is we have a gap in professional developers.
[00:56:56.310] - Mario Trentim
So there is a deficit of about 500,000 software developers in the US only. In Brazil, we have numbers similar. So it's 420,000 software developers deficit. And we just cannot have as many software developers as we need. But the question is, do we really need 1 million professional developers more? So some of the problems we have in automation, applications, and so on, they could and should be done by the users. So citizen development is about empowering users. It does not mean that you will be able to solve everything.
[00:57:47.550] - Mario Trentim
That's why I recommend that you read the PMI CD book, the handbook, citizen development, because then you understand when you can use it, when you cannot use it, and how to properly use it. For the things that you can use it, usually it's time-saving and more cost-effective than going professional developer.
[00:58:09.270] - Mario Trentim
So for example, imagine that I have to manage the timesheet for my team. I do that. And then, I have to hire 10 developers to build an application for that from scratch. Now, I can already connect to the other things that I have. Maybe in one day, I have a timesheet solution using low code, if that's possible. So when it's possible, if you use it properly, you will have huge time savings and cost savings.
[00:58:42.090] - Mario Trentim
And I think that the industry as a whole is understanding that we have lots of organizations adopting low-code, even the banking industry. So large banks in the world they are embracing low-code, highly regulated industry, the banking industry. And we see the others doing the same. I think it is a trend because of the cost reductions and also the platforms improved a lot in a very fast pace during the last two years because of the pandemic. If we think about communication tools, collaboration tools, productivity tools, maybe we had a decade in a year of development.
[00:59:28.350] - Mario Trentim
So now the question is, if I'm a company, should I develop my own project management software? For example, there are 20 excellent solutions out there as a service that I can pay per month. Cheap, always updated. So should I develop something internally from scratch? And now the organizations are making the same question or asking the same question for all the areas. Should I develop my own ERP, my own CRM system? Should I develop my own integration systems?
[01:00:05.070] - Mario Trentim
So first, this is my suggestion. Learn what is out there. Check if you can use it. Because if it's already there, why reinvent the wheel? So if it's already there and it can reuse it or connect in some way, then it will gain time to market. This is extremely important. Imagine that today, for example, you would create a training company or a university. We are going to build a learning management system from scratch. It does not make any sense. And then you are going to integrate the students with the exams and so on.
[01:00:47.250] - Mario Trentim
It doesn't make any sense.
[01:00:48.990] - Mario Trentim
You already have platforms for that. You have low-code platforms for that. That you can start a training company, just recording videos and everything is there. So we see this in many industries. PMI had some events to different industries, low-code in the health sector, in the finance, and so on. I think that now it's time for the PMI community, the business analysts, agilists, project managers, change-makers, that we also understand the benefits for us project managers. So how can you automate your project tasks, update tasks, [inaudible 01:01:32], take pictures, and update your project, this kind of stuff.
[01:01:38.270] - Mario Trentim
And then we will be more successful in helping the organizations to transform themselves. Because to think about project managers and PMOs, we're working with all the departments, right?
[01:01:52.250] - Mario Trentim
So that would be the same effect that Matt mentioned. So if the PMO is using modern tools, automated, related to project management, then they are talking to the stakeholders and providing a real-time dashboard, providing automated tasks, and this kind of stuff. The other areas are going to ask, "Where did you get that?" "This low-code platform we've been using." "Can we use that for marketing?" They will get this. So this expands our outreach.
[01:02:24.950] - Mario Trentim
I find it really very positive that as project managers and PMOs, the project officers, we can not only help the organization manage their projects better using methodology, but also in a more efficient way using the proper tools. And then let's say contaminating positively that they will use these tools.
[01:02:53.850] - PMO Joe
Yeah. I think we've just hit the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, on the category.
[01:03:01.950] - PMO Joe
Unfortunately for us, our time is coming to a close here as we've talked through our window that we have available to us. But I think for next year, I'd love to have you guys come back and revisit this with one year's additional experience under our belt to see how PMI, the program, and TrackVia, and citizen development is being accepted within the industry and see the evolution, right? To the point of, "Hey, with 1.0 is the start for this. So what does 2.0 look like?" So thanks, both of you, for coming on today.
[01:03:35.490] - PMO Joe
Certainly want to give you a last chance if people heard this and they want to connect with you, how can they contact you and continue that discussion? Matt, what's the best way for folks to reach out to you?
[01:03:47.190] - Matt Hubbard
Joe, thank you for having me. I can talk about this all day long and I shouldn't. I will just conclude with thank you. I hope that we do do this again next year. This is a journey, right? This guide here is new. This year, it's new. And so it will evolve. We will evolve. And so we all are thinking about it as continuous improvement. So yes, I'd love to have that chat again. If you'd like to engage with me over the course of the next year, I am happy to engage in conversation.
[01:04:25.810] - Matt Hubbard
I'm active on LinkedIn, so please connect with me on LinkedIn. You can also email me at [email protected] or feel free to visit our website trackvia.com.
[01:04:39.010] - PMO Joe
Awesome. Great. Thank you so much, Matt, for joining us. And Mario, same thing. What's the best way for listeners to be able to connect with you?
[01:04:47.530] - Mario Trentim
All right. Thank you again. It was a great pleasure to talk to you and you can reach me on LinkedIn. So LinkedIn, Mario Trentim. You can find me there. I'm always active and sharing things related to project management and citizen development. If you want, you can also drop me an email. My email is [email protected] I will be happy to talk to you as well.
[01:05:13.870] - PMO Joe
Awesome. Thank you so much, Mario, for joining as well. And of course, thank you to all of our listeners. Please be sure to head out to projectmanagementofficehours.com to check out all of our upcoming shows and of course, the past shows. Also, we record these episodes, so be sure to subscribe to Project Management Office Hours podcast on Apple podcast, I Heart Radio Spotify Spreaker, whatever your platform of choice is. Our next show, here, coming up in a couple of weeks. We always focus one show each year in November on Veterans as we celebrate Veterans Day here in the States.
[01:05:52.870] - PMO Joe
So, Mario, thank you for your service to your country as well. We're going to have Curtis Brown, who's the military outreach person with the PMI Alamo Chapter, joining us. And also Cathy Christian, who is on the board of directors with VPMMA, the Veteran Project Manager Mentor Alliance, joining us. We're going to be talking about veterans and project management. Then, in December, we'll have Chris Ronzio on, who is the founder of Trainual, an organization that's out there helping people put together playbooks and automating that.
[01:06:27.850] - PMO Joe
I wonder if there are low-code/no-code on their solutions. I'll ask them about that. Then, we finish out the year with Luis Guardado, who is the PMO leader out of El Salvador and one of the finalists for the PMO Global Awards this year for PMO of the Year. If we think about that, the smallest country in Central America is El Salvador; they have one of the top four PMOs in the world right now through the PMO Global Awards and Global Alliance. So hope everybody can join us for that episode.
[01:06:58.030] - PMO Joe
Thank you, everybody. Of course, thank you to our sponsors, the PMO Squad and the PMO Leader. That's it for now. Office Hours are closed. Until next time. I'm PMO Joe and you've been listening to Project Management Office Hours.
[01:07:12.010] - Announcer
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