Succesession Planning

I work for a small, but growing, business that needs to improve the way it manages jobs and people. I have two options.

Option 1 is to pay for an off-the-shelf solution. The best suited one I have found will do a lot more than I can do in Appsheet, but it is not as customizable and I am not sure that our staff would have the ability to learn to drive it. The monthly cost is about double what Appsheet costs but all the development has been done and all bug fixes and future enhancements would be done by the supplier.

Option 2 is to develop a custom solution with Appsheet. I have already done some work with Appsheet and, although some refinement is required, I am now satisfied that we can accomplish what we NEED, with Appsheet. However the Appsheet solution won’t be as elegant, will need progressively more development and ultimately more maintenance.

At this stage I am tending slightly in favour of Appsheet but I have one concern. Although I am not a programmer, I have the ability to develop, maintain and enhance the App as needed. However this is only a small business and I am the only one here with the ability, or interest, in managing this solution. If I get hit by a bus or decide to retire tomorrow, the business is stuck with a system and no driver. If I opt for the off-the-shelf solution and get hit by a bus, they would simply need to get my replacement trained by the off-the-shelf provider

The only solution I could think of would be to pay someone to review my code from time to time and be available to train someone, and make future enhancements, if I get hit by a bus, or decide to retire tomorrow. I am seeking comment on how other businesses are dealing with this issue.

1 Like

I don’t have any specific advice to offer, but I gotta applaud your perspective! It’s SOOOO nice to see someone in your situation thinking about things like this!!! Wow! Keep it up!

1 Like

Redundancy is always a concern with any software solution, be it an existing off the shelf service, custom full stack developed application, or a low-code / appsheet app.

With respect to AppSheet, an experienced developer could recreate most any other appsheet app’s functionality from the ground up with relative ease, if the situation required it. If you got hit by a bus or moved on from your organization, a reasonable approach would be to direct your employer to an app developer here to maintain the codebase. In the backend, the AS team is making sure all existing apps continue to function (for the most part).

The way I see it, you get the customization of full stack development with the stability of off the shelf solutions.

I told my employer to contact @Grant_Stead if I get hit by a bus. :sweat_smile:

4 Likes

I can understand your concern. We have the same problem.
On the other hand it’s funny to be concerned about it.
Because: AppSheet says it’s a No-Code Platform. They think that everyone can build Apps. Just like writing a letter with Word.
That would mean: Even if you get under the bus, instead of in the bus - someone else could just continue with your AppSheet Apps. Just like continuing a letter.

BUT: In fact, the more experience you get with AppSheet the more difficult will become your Apps. To the point that even AppSheet Support will not understand what you did.

The only solution: Built your Apps in a way, others can understand what you did. Make use of good documentation, so someone could read what you did and why you did it. I am using Trello for my App Documentation.
AND: Try to get someone else in the Company to learn AppSheet.
On the other hand you will have a save job - being the only one that is able to use AppSheet :wink:

3 Likes

I’m kind of in a similar situation, except I need some expert help to finish the app the way it should be. I am contracting with one of the power users in this community and he will help me over the hurdles I have as well and go through the whole app to make sure it is efficiently and properly built. He would then be able to be hired by my organization to take over if something happens to me. We have a software development team but they have so many projects, that is why I am taking this one on. The contractor could bring one of them up to speed pretty rapidly, once they have the time.

I totally agree with Fabian that it is not as easy as finishing a letter. Far from it.

1 Like

I think it depends on the complexity of your apps and those around you. I have 100% faith that not a single person outside of our development/IT team could continue our apps. Lucky for us we have about 3 developers who could learn one another’s apps in about a couple weeks and about 3 IT members that are smart/technical enough to be able to figure out the apps in a couple months if us 3 developers got hit by a bus. This is where developing stable apps that, even if you can’t continue development, will continue to at least provide their basic functions. If your apps are going to be completely self contained to appsheet then learning isn’t hard. Its once you get other services on top of appsheet involved that you hit the “No-Code” wall as I’d call it.

2 Likes

Thanks to everyone for your comments.

There were really no surprises in your answers. I used to work for a multi-national and succession planning was never a problem because there is always someone wanting and willing to learn. However, once I get this system implemented, this business will only need about a day a or two a week admin support so a backup can’t realistically come from the organisation.

I will reach out to @Grant_Stead and any others who are willing or recommended to see if they will become my behind the scenes backup. Thanks again for your support and comments.

2 Likes

Fingers crossed you don’t get hit by a bus lol

2 Likes