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Citizen Development expands the reach of automation by making it accessible to the knowledge worker. Business users no longer require an extensive IT background before embarking on their automation journey. Automation truly IS for everyone, but if the average person doesn’t easily understand it, they will never grasp why they should implement it in the first place. Citizen Development can be a great introduction to the world of automation, but if we want Citizen Development initiatives to be successful, it is important to consider the unique barriers of knowledge workers who don’t possess comprehensive tech skills. 

Knowledge workers need to understand what automation is and what it can do for them.

If the concept of automation is too foreign to the user, they may overlook their need for it. They may choose to stick with their time consuming, inefficient processes simply because it is what they know and understand. We need to help users see that automation is completely accessible to them and worth their while. 

It is also important to note that knowledge workers may not be familiar with some of the “tech terminology” typically used to describe automation processes.

If the language we use around automation is confusing to the user, that alone can be enough to make automation seem inaccessible and intimidating. Simplifying the language and using layman’s terms to explain automation processes and functions can help users easily develop a clear understanding.  

Another thing to consider is that knowledge workers may feel uncomfortable with handing their work over to a robot.

We can eliminate this fear by demonstrating that users don’t have to fully give up control. The very nature of Citizen Development maintains the user’s authority by putting them in the driver’s seat. They will feel like they have control over their work when they get to automate their own processes and run them at their leisure. 

Ultimately, the goal is to empower the knowledge worker through a bit of education.

If we want Citizen Development initiatives to be successful, we need to acknowledge that automation can seem foreign to people without tech backgrounds, thus creating a gap. We can bridge this gap by educating them, using simplified and easily understood terms. When we give knowledge workers the proper tools and information needed to succeed, we build their confidence and avoid intimidation.  

Once a basic understanding is established, it becomes a foundation for Citizen Developers to build upon. They will further recognize the value of automation through the experience of creating and running their own automations. Furthermore, knowledge workers will begin to realize just how much they are capable of and begin to uncover more ways they can make the technology work for them.  


Jessica R. Zaniewski, Marketing Coordinator. For further questions, discussion or inquiry about CampTek Software Services, contact