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PowerApps Centre of Excellence

Microsoft have created a Power Platform Center of Excellence (CoE) starter kit enabling businesses to support colleagues (outside Technology) create PowerApps. This certainly caught my imagination (as someone from a customer service background) But what is it and how can housing associations make the most of it?

What is it?

A CoE is designed to drive innovation and improvement, and through its central function can break down geographic and organizational silos in order to bring together like minded people with similar business goals to share knowledge and success, whilst at the same time providing standards, consistency, and governance to the organization .

(Denise Moran, Microsoft)

Its a great way to roll out the development of #PowerApps to others within your company in a secure, consistent manor that enables colleagues to work in an agile way.

The CoE covers 3 key areas

  1. Governance – Once you are familiar with your environments and resources, you might start thinking about audit and compliance processes for your apps. You might want to gather additional information about your apps from your makers, you might want to audit specific connectors or app usage – apps like the Developer Compliance Center and flows to identify connector usage part of this solution will help with that. The Compliance Components solution contains assets relevant to admins and existing makers.
  2. Support -Providing support to key colleagues within the business so they are empowered to create great apps. An essential part of establishing a CoE is nurturing your makers and an internal community. You will want to share best practices and templates and onboard new makers – the assets part of this solution, like the Welcome Email and Template Catalog can help develop a strategy for this motion.
  3. Monitor – Use Admin centres to monitor who’s creating apps, what resources etc are being used.

How could you get started?

I can almost hear colleagues in Technology shuddering at the thought of letting users loose with this new technology that they often know little about themselves. Worry not, you dont have to go big bang and provide everyone with access. Microsoft have created the kit (see ‘Where can I find out more?) to enable you to put governance and monitoring in place. But how do you get buy in from the Technology team and the business as a whole. Here are a few steps to consider:

  • Build a plan on how you want users to create apps, what rules are there around those apps. at what point do you decide that it should be in a key application rather than a PowerApp?
  • Build guard rails around PowerPlatform, ensure they have the right security around them,
  • Start small. What key processes/departments could you work with first. Are there any tech savvy colleagues who could lead the charge?
  • Train colleagues who are interested (via app in a day to hit key processes, providing great training materials use the Microsoft training videos) to create a buzz around the product.
  • Put in place and publicise how you’ll monitor the apps being developed and provide detail around what’s expected of the in house developers.

With Microsoft ploughing millions of dollars into the low code power platform, a global skills shortage in technology and more tech savvy colleagues than ever before it makes sense (with the correct governance and support in place) to open up the world of technology to those who do the day job. Will you go for it? Would be great if you could share your thoughts/comments below.

Where can I find out more?


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