Firstly, what is the Power Platform?
The Microsoft Power Platform is made up of several incredibly useful business applications. It provides millions of users the opportunity to create bespoke solutions to their unique problems. It allows regular employees to build low code applications and tools, that help them carry out their day-to-day role, with little to no reliance on IT or their often stretched resources.
It gives every user the opportunity to become an innovator. You can learn more about the Power Platform here, or for a use case, read about how our client CalMac utilised the platform to track and manage defects across their entire fleet.
Since the platform offers unlimited opportunities, adoption rates are usually exceptionally high and at an enterprise level, apps and information can quickly sprawl. This is where the Centre of Excellence becomes exceptionally useful.
What is the Microsoft Power Platform Centre of Excellence?
The Centre of Excellence (CoE) acts as a centralised function to break down organizational and geographical silos. It brings together like-minded individuals with similar goals allowing them to share knowledge. Whilst, also providing a place from which you can set company standards, ensure consistency and governance. At an enterprise level, a CoE can be a powerful way to align functions around business goals, rather than individual team metrics.
What are the benefits of a CoE?
- One single view of all Power Platform components across your organisation
- Consistency of use throughout functions and departments.
- Freedom for users to fully utilise the tools you have invested in
- Knowledge sharing to reduce skillset silos
- In-depth monitoring of usage, with clear oversight of what is being used and where
- Simple, quick, and easy administration of Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Automate
Why do you need a Centre of Excellence for the Power Platform?
The Power Platform was designed to empower creativity across the organisation, providing those without coding knowledge the ability to solve problems and create bespoke solutions. It offers near-limitless possibilities and is helping businesses around the world to meet their digital transformation goals. However, the very agile nature of the platform can present challenges in terms of control and governance. The simplicity of the tool encourages rapid adoption, which if unchecked can lead to challenges around data security and compliance, it can also make it rather difficult to have clear oversights of your organisation’s digital activity.
As mentioned above it provides standards, consistency, governance, knowledge sharing, and training. It aligns your Power Platform with best practices and allows these to be shared easily with users. As it is a centralised function, it is supported by a network of users, champions, and admins who manage control whilst encouraging creativity.
A CoE puts best practice at the heart of your Power Platform, encouraging users to spot opportunities for improvement, share success and streamline workflows. This in turn ensures efforts are aligned with organisational goals, and not siloed within a single department or team.
Getting started with Power Platform Centre of Excellence
The first step towards a successful CoE implementation is to set clear objectives. It’s vital that you understand why you want to set up a CoE and define what you want to accomplish by doing so. This ensures the correct processes and tools are in place.
To get started Mircosoft has pulled together a collection of tools and components in its CoE Starter Kit. This is a great tool, as it acts as a basic template from which you can build your Centre of Excellence. As the name suggests, this is only a starting point and there is a lot of work required to extend the solution and adapt to your unique business processes.
Outlining the goals and objectives of your CoE and setting up the required internal CoE structures can be time-consuming if you are just beginning your journey with the Power Platform and CoE philosophy. That is where we find the value of a Power Platform Partner.
Power Platform Partners
Establishing a CoE with an experienced partner is the best way to embed excellence into Power Platform usage in a lasting, impactful way. At ThinkShare, our expert consultants can help you align your ambitions with a CoE program. Once established, a CoE will allow ongoing management and monitoring of a Power Platform, giving you the ability to independently optimise your Power Platform usage.
You can find out more about the Power Platform here or speak to one of our experts to find out how we can help you on your digital transformation journey.