4 Tips for Delivering Successful Power Apps Projects

December 13, 2022

4 Tips for Delivering Successful Power Apps Projects

December 13, 2022

Person reviewing Microsoft Power Apps on their laptop

Microsoft Power Apps provides both professional and citizen developers with the opportunity to rapidly create full featured mobile or browser-based apps. As a low-code/no-code solution that is part of Microsoft’s Power Platform, Power Apps developers can benefit from the value of the complete platform – leveraging automation, AI, and analytics to create a complete solution that truly reflects their business processes.

Sean is a member of MNP’s Digital Services team in Calgary. Delivering business-critical solutions for the past two decades, Sean is a strategic advisor delivering tailored solutions that create effective workflows. Sean helps his team deliver process modernization solutions with the Microsoft Power Platform across a broad range of business lines.

Technology owners opt for Power Apps because of the numerous benefits it offers to organizations, such as a robust connector ecosystem, templates, and an effective drag and drop design environment. This technology allows organizations to be agile in their ability to modernize workloads, without the need to rely on traditional app building processes, reducing the time required to develop solutions that address business opportunities.

The future of app building

As a part of the Microsoft Power Platform, Power Apps provides organizations with control over their own digital transformation. The possibility of putting low-code solution development tools in the hands of citizen developers opens new digital opportunities for organizations to explore.

Power Apps offers several capabilities that simplify the app-building process, encourage user creativity, and improve operational efficiency:

Ease of use

Usability and flexibility are two of the major advantages of Power Apps. The nature of its design makes it possible for people with minimal coding knowledge or technical background to develop applications. With an intuitive interface that allows you to drag and drop, you can speedily add buttons, text, labels, and data connectors. The solution is preloaded with other components and templates that make it easy and effortless to develop solutions.

Cost-effectiveness

Power Apps allows organizations to significantly cut down on the financial investment required for application development. By providing in-house technical teams with training to become effective with the tools – pro developers and citizen developers can quickly become productive.

Organizations also see a reduction in the time required to turn around important updates and enhancements after a solution has been deployed – saving on the development effort and reducing the time that business units spend using tools that aren’t optimized.

Automation of internal processes

Applications provide the ability to evolve processes that are trapped in ineffective legacy systems, email inboxes, spreadsheets, or other unwieldy storage and instead capture business information in a structured way – so that process data can be easily accessed, analyzed, and leveraged for automation.

Succeeding with Power Apps

We have identified a few important steps that can help you successfully take full advantage of Power Apps.

Evaluate opportunities

Evaluating your opportunities when building with Power Apps requires two crucial steps:

  • Be aware of your skill set: Understanding your team’s collective and individual abilities helps you identify what Power Apps can deliver for you and how to strategically leverage it.
  • Evaluate your return on investment (ROI): Any technology investment warrants proper ROI analysis and Power Apps is no exception. We recommend that you consider this for each solution you create with the Power Platform. Factor your total cost of ownership into ROI calculations, including upfront analysis and development, project costs, licensing, and sustainment. Compare your total cost of ownership with the value that the solution will bring – time savings, reduced manual effort, improved quality, and better decisions are a few of the value metrics to be considered.

Get stakeholders on board

It’s important to engage your stakeholders from the start of your application development project until the end (and don’t forget post-live check-ins and follow-ups). Team members who interact with, and benefit from, the application being built should be involved to get their buy-in and feedback when necessary. This is especially critical for the end users – internal or external.

You should consider them in key milestones such as testing and incorporate their feedback in updates. Creating simple mock-ups and wireframes your stakeholders can review along the way can help your development efforts stay focused and on target.

Employ an iterative process

Building on #2 above, the iterative process allows you to improve your application as you build. Schedule periodic review sessions with your team and focus groups that contain end users. At these sessions, everyone can engage the application and provide real-time feedback that will help you tweak and adjust where needed. This process will continue until you’ve achieved the intended, valuable result.

04

Create a strong governance strategy

Success with Power Apps is more likely when you establish a system that allows for a unified approach to application development within your organization. The lack of a governance strategy can open doors to unprecedented challenges such as pressure on your IT team, implementation failures, duplicated and redundant applications, and haphazard application deployment.

You can prevent these issues by organizing a group of individuals focused on the platform’s success, known as a Center of Enablement (COE) team.

The answer: A Center of Enablement

As described in an earlier article of ours, a COE is an organizational structure that enables the distributed development of applications. It is a multi-disciplinary team that centralizes in-house development skills, talent, and expertise in a way that makes information more accessible to your developers while enhancing clarity, focus, and consistency around your organization’s application building goals.

The COE Team will work to define and implement standards, practices, policies and procedures that are necessary to own, operate, and administer the Power Platform. MNP Digital offers a COE Framework service that helps clients create and activate an effective Power Platform COE.

What is the Center of Excellence Starter Kit?

The Microsoft Power Platform COE Starter Kit is a free tool for nurturing, administering, and monitoring the Power Platform. The Starter Kit solution contains apps, automations, and dashboards that support the ownership, operation and management of the platform.

The Center of Excellence Starter Kit comes with robust out-of-the-box capabilities to help you streamline your app-building processes, as well as tools to help you strengthen your governance practices. It consolidates important information all in one place thereby empowering your COE team to take risks, investigate new opportunities, and analyze existing behaviour.

Take the next steps

Our team can assist with selecting the proper platform for large language models, determining which ones to use, and how to implement, secure, and optimize your data and AI cloud services.

If you’re ready to put generative AI to work for you, contact MNP’s knowledgeable and experienced AI team to learn how to get started.