When a company needs to decide on tools of the future, software tools that will catapult them forward, the Power Platform requires serious consideration. People, Process, Projects and the Platform come together to establish the future of business systems and create opportunities for those businesses to thrive.
The workforce has changed, and the skills needed to take your business into the future must evolve. The products that worked yesterday may be obsolete tomorrow. Like all transformations in industry, we need to look at our current tools, processes, people and what will generate profit in the future and reduce operational cost now.
Lately I have been thinking about how the Microsoft Power Platform is changing and enabling the way we do business, how it is a platform as described by Kelly to build products and services.
More than ever silos need to be broken down amongst the people within organizations. Cross-Functional teams need to be assembled and tasked with solving problems that are costing the company in wasted time and resources.
IT departments need to evolve or be replaced. Stakeholders want and need access to software tools that empower them. IT needs to add business value by enabling the business with modern software tools, that reduce operational costs, while adding massive business value.
Individuals who understand the challenges of their day to day roles and have ideas about how to solve them. They need to be empowered with software tools, equipped with digital guide rails and be allowed to create practical solutions to their problems.
Job Titles should be dispensed with in this new way of creating solutions. Rather than top-down ideas, ideas should be harvested from every area of the business, with high value paid to those that live and breathe the work every day.
Senior Leadership buy-in is needed if this transformation is to take place as people who are not traditionally considered technologists will now start to learn and get involved in building software applications to save time and create business value.
Architects will be needed to empower people with the right guidelines, to make sure that overall company requirements are being met such as integration, data architecture, security, and data loss prevention as well as establishing design guidelines and best practices.
Product Owners will need to work with the various stakeholders to maintain focus and to see that deliverables are met to create business value. IT Support & Governance will also play a vital enabling role to safeguard corporate data and support for the applications built.
As more line of business applications are built and supported within the organization, Fast time to value will be expected and will map the way for ongoing automation, simplification and repeatability of business processes.
I have found that bringing together a small team that sets up as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) is a starting point for company-wide innovation. This CoE will create community, education and resources to allow the company to grow into full app development maturity.
Processes to capture ideas and iterate on the apps that have been built as MVPs, moving them into production and company-wide supportability. As the CoE matures, an end to end BizDevOps process can be constructed to allow for ongoing app creation.
As one looks at the organization for the opportunity to innovate, any intensive paper processes will be a starting point. Clipboard type tasks, checklists, registers and rosters, any day to day function that is repeated over and over again with a level of predictability are app creation opportunities.
Carry out time studies to measure how much time could be saved if a process could be digitized, optimized and automated. Look to replace “Forms” with a digital equivalent. Create a backlog of projects that can be delegated to Product Owners, look across the company for low hanging fruit, projects that will enable quick wins and high impact and effect the business broadly.
Look for projects that can be moved into production within thirty days. Keep an eye out for ways to save time and digitize the mundane aspects of business so people can focus on innovation in their role. Ask the following questions.
- What app creations will have positive staff impact?
- What apps could be built that will lead to positive customer impact?
- What apps can be built that will lead to positive profit impact?
The Power Platform has three core tools that enable business to Analyze their data using Power BI, Act on date with PowerApps and Automate business processes with Flow. Power Platform integrates existing data sets, supports enterprise-scale, including access control, security and data loss prevention.
It provides multiple accessible interfaces for all types of devices both inside the organization as well as customer-facing. And it does this with tools that enable anyone with an idea, a problem, or a solution to create the future of doing business in their company.