Answer These Five Questions Before You Build Anything with Chike Eduputa

Answer These Five Questions Before You Build Anything with Chike Eduputa

117. Chike Eduputa challenges citizen developers (and professional developers) to ask themselves five critical questions before building their next Power Platform or Dynamics 365 app.

Chike Eduputa is a senior manager at Capgemini Invent in London where he specialises in digital strategy and transformation. He's presenting at Scottish Summit on 9 June with the topic "Build what matters: critical metrics for citizen developers".

Register today for Scottish Summit.

Chike invites us to answer five questions before embarking on a project to build a business application. Listen to the episode to find out more.

Get in touch with Chike


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Chike Eduputa: [00:00:00] And very often when I'm speaking to my clients, but also, to citizen developers, they have five lenses I like to apply when thinking about metrics. And those five kind of my, based on my experience of design thinking, lean and agile which is a lot of the work that I do. 

Neil Benson: Welcome to episode 117 of the Amazing Applications podcast. Hi, I'm Neil Benson. 

I hope you enjoyed the previous episode, 116 with Dani Kahil and Andrew Bibby discussing the major challenges that Andrew faced on a three-year Dynamics 365 business [00:01:00] transformation project. I love hearing the actual stories from customers and from partners overcoming the issues they faced and the successes they've had with their business applications.

Let me know if you'd like to join me, visit AmazingApps.Show/Guest for more information and to schedule a chat. Or if you just want to leave me a message or a review, or send me a question that you'd like to hear addressed in a future episode, click on the, Send Me a Voicemail button anywhere on the AmazingApps.Show website to do just that. 

My guest on this episode is Chike Eduputa. Chike is a senior manager specializing in digital strategy and transformation at Capgemini Invent in London. 

Chike is presenting at Scottish Summit on Friday the 10th of June. He's got an intriguing topic that we haven't addressed before here on the show. It's about metrics and ensuring that we're building the right apps that are going to make an impact and how to measure that impact as well. I hope [00:02:00] you find it as fascinating as I did. 

If you did make sure you register for Scottish Summit. It's on the ninth and 10th of June in Glasgow, in Scotland. They've got hundreds of sessions over several tracks in two days with social events, and celebrations, and charity fundraising, all thrown in. It'll be a hoot, but there'll be no hoot for you unless you register and claim your free ticket. Visit 

Here's Chike Eduputa.

 Welcome to the Amazing Applications podcast. It's fantastic to have you on the show. I'm really excited about your topic and we'll dive into what that is in a second, but welcome to the show, I wonder if you could spend a moment and just introduce yourself to our audience.

Chike Eduputa: Thanks very much, Neil. I'm Chike Eduputa. I'm currently a senior manager at Capgemini Invent. My background is in kind of digital transformation. And so helping large clients to transform their businesses by building products and [00:03:00] services, often of a digital and data nature. Started off in life sciences, but you know, most recently work across several sectors, including financial services and energy, utility, and consumer goods clients.

Neil Benson: I did my degree in biochemistry. I think yours was in biomedical sciences. So we've got a similar background there, but I think we've both broken out of those confines and that branched into other industries. 

I'm really fascinated. You work for a business division called Capgemini Invent. I know Capgemini really well. In fact, they just acquired a local business applications partner here in Australia called Empired and Intergen. What's Capgemini Invent all about?

Chike Eduputa: Absolutely. So Invent is essentially consulting and innovation and transformation arm of Capgemini. So it's a critical aspect helping clients to really rethink and reshape and transform their business operating models. So it's really exciting, parts of Capgemini and a very rapidly [00:04:00] growing aspect of Capgemini. So bringing customer transformation with frog. We've also got enterprise transformation as well. So helping clients with that. Also intelligent processes and industries as well. 

Neil Benson: And is that a global business yet, cause I don't, I haven't seen him in Australia before? 

Chike Eduputa: Yeah, it's a, it's a global business unit and I, I'm based out to the team here in London. But yeah, we, we supply a lot of the globe actually. 

Neil Benson: How's London at the moment? Is it nearly spring time in London yet? 

Chike Eduputa: Yes, it's, it's a London's version of springtime, I'd say. So that means cold weather, but sunny. Which I can't complain too much. 

Neil Benson: You're you're heading up to Scotland in June for Scottish Summit. It's gotta be a few degrees colder up there. So, why don't you introduce your topic for Scottish Summit? I'd love to find out more about it. It's... I'll not give it away. Why don't you tell us what your topic is? 

Chike Eduputa: I'm speaking really around helping citizen developers build what really matters. So looking at the [00:05:00] topic of metrics, which is absolutely key, both in helping citizen developers navigate and understand, what's valuable and what's the right thing to build.

But also communicates actually the, the impact that the applications or their flows are having. So, yeah, really, I'm excited to actually share some of my experiences, but also practical metrics that citizen developers can actually get started with when they are building the next applications.

Neil Benson: My experience is typically with enterprise applications that have long gestation periods, big business case and evaluation periods. And I haven't come across a lot of citizen developers yet, even the large organizations that I work with, you sounds like you've come across quite a few and maybe they're, they're not building applications that are focusing on the biggest problems in their team or in their department. Do you think that's a fair comment? 

Chike Eduputa: I think so far citizen developers has not been a formerly recognized [00:06:00] body of people within an organization. But increasingly over the pandemic, what we've realized is with tools like Power Platform, for example, lots of people have had to quickly and rapidly actually creates prototype new applications to support quite immediate critical business needs. 

For example, you've probably seen some room booking apps spring up quite quickly. One of my favorites is an acronyms app, where I'm just trying to understand what's the lingo is across an organization when all you have to do is use lots of the intranet a lot more than you would have to when you're just in the office and, and, speaking with people.

So, the, the rise I would say of this group of people, often non-technical in just the either having kind of limited to low experience with coding, using this tools more and more. And now I think many of my clients, in particular, looking for how they can [00:07:00] kind of formalize and tap into this energy.

Neil Benson: I have a little bit of, you'll have to forgive me, Chike, but I have a little bit of skepticism that citizen developers are the right people to build these applications. They understand the business problems better than anybody else, but are they really the right people to solve those problems?

Traditionally, we would have hired somebody from IT and built an application in the traditional way. We're arming these people. We're giving these people the tools that enable them to solve their own problems. But is that the best use of their time and experience? Are they better off serving our customers, answering the phones, enacting the business processes or are they really the right people to build the applications? You have a personal point of view on that?

Chike Eduputa: Yeah, absolutely. So I think, as you mentioned, initially, it's, what's critical is the application being built, and, and the value, because what we are tending to find a lot is the backlogs of IT teams is, is rising [00:08:00] exponentially. And with the challenge around actually trying to find good, skilled developers out there. It's a real challenge for lots of businesses, that's increasingly dependent on digital technologies.

The drive really is to set the right guardrails for lots of these citizen developers, because on the other end of the spectrum, you don't want anyone in anyone to have access to and create a lots of issues and risks, rights, around access to data, creating a lots of d efunct or unused applications.

So it's, it's quite critical actually for organizations to think, are we setting the right guard rails? This group of people, who are, yes, closer to the challenges at the coalface. Are they building really what matters? 

Neil Benson: So in terms of metrics, if I was on a traditional team evaluating a business challenge, I would be [00:09:00] thinking about return on investment.

What's what's the cost of the problem per year? What's the cost of the solution per year? When's my break even? What's my return on investment period? What's my discounted cashflow over the next couple of years? All very financial metrics. 

Our end users don't think like that. They think about what the immediate problem in front of me in front of my team.

What kind of metrics do you think end users should be thinking of whenever they think about what problems to solve? Should we be putting these decisions into the hands of team leaders and individual users and how should they be thinking about what problem to solve? 

Chike Eduputa: So you are actually spot on in terms of w when we talk about metrics very often, the default metrics tend to be either business impact metrics. In fact, if you go on the Microsoft websites or the Power Platform website, the very first metric that you're going to see that is around the return on investments research that will carry it on and the NPV. So it's one that definitely, we will cover a bit in the, in the [00:10:00] session. 

But I like to think of metrics as, first of all, just to understand what a good metric is. And it has to drive a change in behavior. So, if I have, a flow, for example, that increases conversion rates by 2%. So what? Am I improving on something or am I reducing the risk of failure in that metric is a, is a lot more valuable. So I'll kind of touch upon, what good a metric looked like.

And very often when I'm speaking to my clients, but also, to citizen developers, they have five lenses I like to apply when thinking about metrics. And those five kind of my, based on my experience of design thinking, lean and agile which is a lot of the work that I do, you see, kind of covers things around:

Are we exploring the right thing first of all?

 Are we build in the right thing? 

Are we building it right? 

Are we building it fast enough? 

And then are we scaling [00:11:00] it in the right way? 

So it's kind of five simple metrics that you get through on, on, on the journey when you're creating your application. 

Neil Benson: Between those five thought patterns, where do you think people fall down the most? Do you see a particular trap that they fall into more than the others. 

Chike Eduputa: Yeah, so at the very beginning, it's first one is exploring the right thing. And so very often the enthusiasm and the excitement, it's a lot of people jump right in to try and find out what's been created before and also learn about on loans, but where lots of the, the, the big drop-offs happen is the second step, which is around actually building the right thing.

So this is the key challenge is really articulating value. So if I'm building, an application that is meant to, I'll give a very simple example of in, in my team, as part of a fun challenge, we said, how can we build a flow that automates a reminding birthdays, right? And so, you dive right into [00:12:00] discovery, you watch the YouTube videos, you check out the templates and you find, oh, that's, it's possible, but then when you come to the value question of, "Is this valuable?" Does, does it become a bit impersonal if we do this? That has lots of lots of citizen developers kind of fall down at this point in terms of articulate and actually what's the value. 

And I'll talk to Scottish Summits about cost of delay. And, and that's a very key metric, that's how I'd always advocate citizen developers to have a view or points of view on because it really helps shape and answer that value question. 

Neil Benson: Yeah. I often think about cost of delay when I'm working on these enterprise Dynamics 365 and Power Platform projects.

 They're enterprise scale, they're mission critical and we quite often think of releasing once or twice a year. Well, there's a huge cost of delay. If there's a very valuable feature that isn't going to get released for six or nine or 12 months. That's that there's just an inherent cost you're carrying [00:13:00] by not improving the business process by releasing that feature on its own a little earlier.

And yeah, it's a complicated set of criteria you have to weigh up when you're thinking about release plans for complex apps, but also even when their apps are quite simple and smaller scale, and what's the cost of delay? How quickly can I fix the problem? 

Chike Eduputa: Absolutely. And, and as I mentioned, metrics, the key value of metrics is behavior change.

So having that conversation, even at the personal productivity and business application level is super critical because the trend right now, and is where I am seeing in many clients, is these kind of enthusiastic it's as in developers are now working even closer with pro developers and IT teams. And so, them coming into those conversations and being a experienced in having this type of conversations around cost of delay and articulating value does help. 

Neil Benson: Another one of your thought patterns was around, are we [00:14:00] building it fast enough? Can help me unpack that one a little bit? Cause if I want to build it faster I just hire a Microsoft partner to come and build it for us and it'll get done tomorrow. So what's your thinking around building it fast enough?

Chike Eduputa: Certainly. So it's an interesting one and many teams often get hung up on so if you're speaking to say a product owner in a team or a citizen developer in a small team very often, they are doing this on top of other commitments, on top of other priorities, as well. And very often, depending on the, the, the criticality and the value as we discussed earlier, it tends to fall to the back of the backlog. So building it fast enough, and the emphasis on 'enough' there, is you want to have that momentum.

That's you're able to kind of release value at the specific cadence and the most important metric there is around cadence. So, as a team what's is our [00:15:00] ability to kind of, ship and, and deliver value to our customers, at a certain frequency and so many citizen developers, and that actually many teams do not have a view, right, or do not track that metric at the moment. But rather it's, it's more. We have a deadline that is approaching even faster, right. We need to either get external resources or, bring on board more resources to speed up rather than, getting that cadence baked in right from the stop.

Neil Benson: Yeah, that's fascinating. I was working with a group of Microsoft partners this morning and we were talking about the availability of stakeholders and subject matter experts and the product owner to participate in our project. And where are we get a lot of pushback and people say, "No, I just don't have time for all of these application development meetings and the events and the sprint reviews. I haven't got time. I'm busy." 

That's a clear sign that we're not solving a valuable enough [00:16:00] problem. Because I think if we were they'd clear their calendar and people would participate. And so when I get that kind of level of buy-in and people being able to make every meeting, that's a clear sign that we're solving the right thing and it's high priority for the organization. And yeah, it's, it's a great way to measure the value of what we're doing is how willing people are to make time for it. 

Chike Eduputa: Absolutely, and hence why that second step is a lot so critical to the success of the, of the other metrics. At a, at a client case, the clients used the, the cost of delay figure almost as a, I'll say carrots and a stick to get this, to get things moving.

And he virtually printed it where every team member, knew the cost of not delivering every week. And so you know that you, again, have helped to have those conversations around actually what's important and what should we be prioritizing? 

Neil Benson: Yeah. That focuses the mind, hey?

Chike Eduputa: Absolutely. 

Neil Benson: And in terms [00:17:00] of the development team, whether it's a group of subject matter experts, citizen developers who are building their own application, how can they measure their own productivity in terms of the development velocity? Should they be using the same type of metrics that agile development teams use? The professional developers who do measure velocity, and burn down, and cycle time, and throughput. Do those similar development metrics also apply to citizen developers and makers?

Chike Eduputa: Absolutely. So I wouldn't advocate reinventing the wheel and also I wouldn't advocate for over measuring as well. It's a, it's a fine balance. And again, during the Summit is, there are, there are many metrics, across those five frames, but particularly in this fourth one around building it fast enough.

Even if as a citizen developer, you can start to articulate and communicate. If it's been down rates that's is, is your, is your key metric and well-understood not just by your team, but also others, key stakeholders, for [00:18:00] example, the IT then that's something that is actually going to be quite critical for you and, and secondly, the appreciation of the different metrics out there. And the impact of those is quite important as well. So yes, if, if I would I'd advise and advocate for one metric for every citizen developer to track in terms of how quickly they're releasing value will be burn down rate.

Neil Benson: It's fascinating, you touched on that idea of having to explain my metric. If I talk about story points per sprint to my chief executive, I just get a blank look. If I have to then explain what a story point is and explain what a sprint is, you've lost them already. So you have to really provide metrics that are not just meaningful for you and your team, but that resonate and are clear for the other stakeholders that we're working with, who haven't got time to learn about the methodology or the approach that we're using, they just want to understand the value that we're creating. 

Chike Eduputa: Absolutely. 

Neil Benson: Chike, in terms of the [00:19:00] audience that you're hoping will come along at Scottish Summit, other than the citizen developers who else can benefit from what you're going to teach us Scottish Summit? 

Chike Eduputa: Certainly, I think it's first and foremost, of course the citizen developers, but the business leaders and actually business managers and teams would value a lot because these are metrics that's not just applicable to a development team, but also are key to making prioritization decisions at the business meeting. But also IT teams as well. 

One of the observations I have is, they had tons and tons of technical metrics and performance metrics out there, which are baked into the Power Platform, but also the centre of excellence kits. But that there is a role for kind of the administrators of this platform.

Often in IT teams to support citizen developers in helping to actually gather the data for these metrics. This session is them also for them as well, to understand how [00:20:00] can they help and also be a supportive partner to this citizen developers. 

Neil Benson: Oh, you just touched on it on a really raw nerve there about collecting the metrics.

Many years ago, I maintained a scorecard for my business in a Wiki page and we had a balanced scorecard and on different quadrants and different types of metrics, but everything was collected weekly and calculated manually. And it became such a pain that I was put off doing it. And so the metrics never got collected and the scorecard became pretty worthless.

What advice do you have around how to collect metrics in such a way that it's easy so that the metrics are then appreciated rather than a dreaded every Monday morning? 

Chike Eduputa: It's a pain that's, it's not just felt by you, but by a lots of business analysts out there in the world.

Right. Who have either in fact at a recent client's' engagements on the client is having [00:21:00] to, almost have 50 meetings with 50 service owners every month to pull together the relevant information. That's a lot of, a lot of time. 

This is where it's not about volume of metrics. But rather, about ease of these metrics to gather, but also to understand and how important they add to actually drive change. And why we tend to have often is once you've articulated, what are those top five metrics that you want to gather? Then the approach to collecting them can be simplified a lot as well.

Neil Benson: I was listening to a podcast recently about setting your own goals for personal development. And for example, if you want to improve your fitness, some people have watches and fancy heart rate monitors and things that can collect all sorts of metrics. But when you're just getting started, maybe the number of times you work out a week is a nice, simple metric to help get you started. Later, if you do buy a watch or you [00:22:00] track your running on your phone, then you can measure the number of miles or kilometers you run per week. And as you get more sophisticated, maybe you can measure your resting heart rate. 

The metrics can get more sophisticated as you get better at gathering the data and analyzing it. But you don't have to start there. You can start with something much simpler. 

Chike Eduputa: Absolutely. Absolutely. And, and there's a diminishing return, right? So on collecting too many metrics as well. So it's finding that sweet spots. 

Neil Benson: Cool. Sounds like a great session. I'm really looking forward to it. 

Chike Eduputa: Likewise then. Yeah, I'm really excited to actually be in Scotland. It's a place that, and Glasgow is a city I love as well. So yeah. Looking forward to meeting everyone there. 

Thanks very much, Neil. 

Neil Benson: Thanks, Chike. I really appreciate you joining me. 

Chike Eduputa: Cheers.

 Thanks so much for listening to the Amazing Apps podcast you can join the show's mailing list at https://AmazingApps.Show. You'll get a personalized welcome video from yours truly and a notification when there's a new episode available. [00:23:00] There are also shortcuts so you can follow the show on all major podcast players and you can follow Amazing Apps show on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. You can send me a message or a voicemail if you'd like your question answered on a future episode and even support the show through BuyMeACoffee or by buying an Amazing Apps t-shirt visit https://Amazing.Apps.Show. Thanks again for listening I really appreciate you. Until next time take care and keep sprinting