Application Matrix

Set your course by the stars, not by the light of every passing ship
Omar N. Bradley

There was a time when all sea-traveling captains entrusted their lives to the stars to chart their path. With simply a sextant and a clear view of the night sky, they could sail their way around the globe! Now, of course, we have access to much more advanced technology. We are used to (and, perhaps, dependent on) having phones with global positioning system (GPS) receivers in our pocket, allowing us to adeptly navigate unknown cities or countries confidently. Yet, as advanced as modern GPS is, its approach to finding your exact location — referred to as trilateration — is not so dissimilar from how a sextant was used long ago. Instead of triangulating off stars, a GPS receiver measures data from three orbiting satellites to form an accurate position of its location on the Earth's surface.

In this chapter, we’re going to introduce an important framework — the Application Matrix — that will act as a GPS of sorts in charting your course through the No-code Lifecycle. However, instead of anchoring our position based on readings from three satellites, we’ll take a reading on the starting point for your no-code application by assessing three complexity dimensions — specifically measuring the Business, Governance, and Technical complexity. The result of using this framework will give you the basis for adapting the use of the No-code Lifecycle to meet your needs. It will help you chart your course — both during the initial release and for the subsequent continual evolution of your no-code application.

Introducing the Application Matrix

It’s important to avoid a “one-size-fits-all” mentality regarding no-code. The approach you take to design and build a simple no-code app may not be sufficient to handle the complexity as the size/scale of your app grows. For example, the requirements of an employee feedback app would likely be very different from those of a business-critical solution like invoice management or digital lending. Conversely, if you only applied the approach that works for the largest and most mission-critical projects across all apps, you would overwhelm small project teams with too much process and prevent them from moving with speed and agility.

This means that different types of no-code apps require different approaches to skill sets and methodologies. Therefore, it’s important to have a way to customize the methodology to meet the scale of your project needs, and the Application Matrix addresses this need. We’re describing it upfront in the Playbook because it will play a key role, and we will be referring to it in various chapters.

The Application Matrix evaluates your no-code project from three different dimensions: Business, Governance, and Technical. We will outline some of the suggested criteria you should assess as a starting point for each dimension. We will also provide a few examples to illustrate the use cases. However, like any framework, it is meant to be customized and tailored to your specific needs. You should ultimately internalize this within your no-code team (or within the No-code CoE) and adapt it to meet your needs precisely.

Dimension No-code stakeholder

Dimension Governance complexity

Dimension Technical complexity

Picking the Delivery Model

Once the aggregate complexity by dimension has been assessed, you will be able to select the appropriate overall delivery model. The three delivery models discussed in the last chapter will be applied again here: DIY delivery, CoE delivery, and fusion team.

No-code apps rated Simple across all three complexity dimensions can be readily owned and delivered via the DIY team approach. No-code apps with Medium/Advanced complexity usually require involvement from the No-code Center of Excellence. Finally, the no-code apps with Advanced Technical complexity will likely be delivered using the fusion team approach.

To help solidify these concepts, let’s walk through a few examples that put the Application Matrix into action.

Example #1 Team feedback solution

Example #2 Field inspection solution

Example #3 Financial advisor solution

Final Takeaways

Scaling your approach to building your no-code app is key to success. You should select the appropriate delivery model, which will help give you the right set of roles and talent for your team. Also, take time to tailor your methodology appropriately — you don’t want to underestimate the complexity, which could lead to greater project risks or unnecessary complexity in the project. Let the Application Matrix be the guide to chart your course!

Now that the introductory concepts have been covered, we’re about to discuss the methodology that should be followed for your project. Let’s begin with the first phase: The Design Phase.