The following is the third in a series of blogs about how a center of excellence can help you unlock the potential of your people and Power Platform.
So far in this series, we’ve looked at the maker movement and why Power Platform can enable the makers in your company to make a real difference to your business processes. As we noted in the last blog, the tools Power Platform includes can be crucial to enabling your makers, with Power Apps and Power Automate enabling them to not just build applications, but also to automate time-consuming processes and improve business operations.
However, some controls are necessary. You don’t want makers creating applications inconsistently and without rhyme and reason. This is where a COE can help.
How Does a Power Platform COE Help You Achieve Your Goals?
The first question that you have to address when discussing a center of excellence is what exactly it is. A COE as a typically small group of individuals who drive improvement that meets the goals of a business, often with the adoption of new technology. This includes implementing rules and standards to establish governance in the usage of the new technology, with a goal of consistency across the business.
In the case of Power Platform, this can be vital. One of Power Platform’s greatest strengths is that it enables makers to build and deploy their own applications. However, doing so in an uncontrolled manner can result in inconsistent tools, conflicting ideas, and the lack of focus on an overall business goal.
A Power Platform COE aims to achieve the following goals:
- Deliver applications that fulfill the minimum viable product rapidly in order to prove concepts and provide value
- Enable rapid innovation with minimal or no involvement from overburdened IT resources
- Create intuitive, simple, and continuously improved applications
- Put guardrails in place at the platform level that enable innovation and minimize risk
- Reduce the risk of shadow IT through tools, data, processes, and procedures that are in a “circle of trust”
- Enable an evolving architecture based on business needs
- Create business application templates
- Provide operational support through automation
- Provide built-in support for mobile development
- Outpace custom development efforts with Power Apps low code/ no code solutions at a fraction of the cost in a fraction of the time
- Establish budgets for both small, low-priority applications and large, high-priority enterprise apps through governance
When Do You Need a Power Platform COE?
While a COE will help you get the most out of Power Platform, you might not necessarily need a COE – at least not yet. A COE will help you take Power Platform throughout your organization and support its successful adoption, meaning the need for a COE depends on your organization’s Power Platform maturity.
We have developed a maturity model for Power Platform adoption that has five stages:
- Briefings and Demos
- Proof of Concepts
- First Production Applications
- Multiple Production Applications
- A Center of Excellence
Once you have moved beyond the stage where you have produced multiple production applications, a COE will help you to establish standards and guardrails.
Power Platform COE Team Structure
Now that we have looked at when and how a COE can help you, we will examine how you should structure a Power Platform COE in our next blog.
To learn more about how a Power Platform COE can drive innovation in your business, follow this link and download the guide.