Microsoft

How to Get Started With a Power Platform COE

The following is the fifth and final in a series of blogs about how a center of excellence can help you unlock the potential of your people and Power Platform.

Throughout this series, we have explained how Power Platform enables your makers and why and how a COE enables these makers. Now all you need to know is how to get started with your Power Platform COE.

Steps to Start Your Power Platform COE

Building a Power Platform COE can be boiled down to the following steps:

  • Forming the team
  • Delivering quick wins
  • Acquiring leadership support
  • Building reusable patterns and reference architecture
  • Engagement and platform evangelism

To achieve these steps, we recommend following a six-step process:

  1. Envision the COE
  2. Assess existing applications
  3. Define the program
  4. Implement governance
  5. Create the schedule and backlog
  6. Provide application support

Envision the COE

Understand business drivers and priorities for the Power Platform. Work closely with project stakeholders to roadmap and plan for implementing the COE.

Assess Existing Applications

This assessment should be a structured process to give you an understanding of each of your legacy applications and how well the existing functionality maps to the Power Platform.

Example legacy applications include:

  • InfoPath Forms and SharePoint Designer Workflow
  • Legacy on-premises BPM solutions that have high support and maintenance costs
  • Custom applications
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Typically, the application assessment process includes:

  • Reviewing existing legacy solutions and legacy application Power Platform candidates
  • Working with admins to confirm and supplement the application information
  • Working with admins and stakeholders to establish a plan for interviewing application owners
  • Categorizing the applications and meet with application owners
  • Finalizing the assessment and categorization

Define the Program

Part of setting up the COE includes defining a set of standard processes and procedures. This includes how and when to:

  • Communicate to stakeholders
  • Map content
  • Migrate content
  • Test, validate, and measure success
  • Proactively identify and empower champions
  • Escalate issues

In order to do this, program definition activities should include:

  • Developing overarching tools, processes, and communications for the overall program
  • Setting up Scrum tools and processes
  • Documenting roles and responsibilities
  • Developing training materials
  • Planning a PowerApps champion community

Ultimately, the aim of this stage is to enable makers of all experience levels – those with no app developer experience; those who may work with Excel to create rudimentary applications; those who have some M365 development knowledge; and those that are already developers but may not be familiar with PowerApps.

Each of these audiences will have differing needs in terms of communications and training in order to produce applications. You decide how that will happen during this step and will schedule activities such as hackathons, COE meetings, communications, and Power Platform office hours.

Implement Governance

This is where you provide the guardrails that will make your Power Platform program successful and consistent for everyone within the organization.

You do this by:

  • Securing your tenant
  • Establishing an environment strategy
  • Setting up data loss prevention policies
  • Leveraging out-of-the-box activity logs and analytics
  • Installing the Power Platform COE starter kit
  • Establishing and automating audit processes
  • Setting up alerts
  • Enabling self service

Create the Schedule and Backlog

In this stage you’ll define the overall schedule for the program. You need to know who is ready, who needs more time to prepare, and then prioritize the work based on business needs. The schedule should be documented and easy to follow for everyone – much like the governance policies of the Power Platform program itself.

Provide Application Support

Here, you will define the support processes and procedures for the Power Platform moving forward. Initial activities for this include:

  • Configuring support tools
  • Defining SLAs
  • Determining document escalation flows
  • Defining enterprise application criteria
  • Defining what qualifies as a support activity vs. an enhancement project

Ready to Get Started With a Power Platform COE?

Our Power Platform experts are ready to help your team unleash the full potential of Power Platform. Follow this link to contact us and reach out for an initial discussion.

Learn More

To learn more about how a Power Platform COE can drive innovation in your business, follow this link and download the guide.

About the Author

James is a Senior Marketing Coordinator at Perficient, responsible for cloud transformation marketing. He has been at Perficient since January 2019. James is originally from Australia but now calls St. Louis home.

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