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Power Platform Governance – ensure control with the Centre of Excellence

Microsoft’s Power Platform consisting of Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate and Virtual Agents, is an intuitive set of tools that enable individuals with no experience of coding and programming to build apps and flows.  

 

The Power Platform is so easy to use that anyone can start generating reports, building and automating processes and apps or even building chatbots. While this is great news for organisations, it’s important to note that with great power comes great responsibility.  

 

It is easy to find yourself in a situation where there are hundreds of apps, reports and automated processes across your organisationbut are they working the way they are supposed to? 

 

As a business you need to understand the capabilities of those building with the Power Platform as well as regulating the power they have. There is sensitive information out there and to build a foundation for success we suggest you implement a governance structure. This will ensure no boundaries are crossed and all tools are used in compliance with our organisations values. Let’s get you started with some best practices for formulating a Power Platform governance strategy. 

 

Getting started with Power Platform governance

Typically, when starting their governance journeyorganisations will adopt the Power Platform similar to the model shown below.

 

Governance 1.png

 

  1. A citizen developer (a user creating new business applications for consumption by others)starts building with no support. 
  2. These users then become champions and begin to support each other and new users to create applications. 
  3. IT are then asked questions regarding the applications and offer basic support. 
  4. The Centre of Excellence (CoE) model is eventually adopted. 

While this approach worksit effectively creates problems across your organisation and then looks to create governance to control thisA better approach would be to start with the governance model.  

 

We would advise that creation of a Power Platform CoE should be carried out at the first stage. This model, if adopted at the beginning of the process, can be a powerful way for an organisation to align around business goals rather than individual department metrics.  

 

What exactly is a Power Platform Centre of Excellence (CoE 

A Microsoft Power Platform Centre of Excellence (CoE), is a team, or governance program that is responsible for nurturing the growth of the platform in their organisation, while applying the right administrative boundaries and governance.

 

When designing a Power Platform Centre of Excellence it is important to capture the governance principles that are important to your organisation to create a reference framework to then base all decisions on. 

 

The Power Platform Centre of Excellence should be responsible for managing a range of things including: 

  • Application audit process 
  • Managing application ownership 
  • Provide best practice and training 
  • Manage the connectors and data available to users

 

The CoE starter kit 

While this all can seem like a minefield you don’t have to start from scratch. You could consider downloading the Power Platform Centre of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit, which is a collection of free templated best practices, designed with administration and governance in mind. 

 

Providing an overview

 

Governance 2.png

 

Included in the kit is a set of dashboards and reports that provide oversight. Allowing you to easily see what apps are in use, what apps are orphaned, who is creating apps and what environments are these apps created in. 

 

Improving Power Platform solution quality 

While the CoE can take some time there are easy solutions that you can begin with. The Power Platform environment offers a solution checker and an app checker as part of its built-in development environment. 

 

Governance 3.png

 

Solution checker – For rich static analysis of Power Apps solutions that improve quality by flagging specific performance and stability risks. 

App checker – To find and resolve errors and performance issues faster in apps. 

 

Making use of these will ensure that the quality of the apps is kept high and in line with best practice and errors and performance issues are spotted earlier and can be resolved. 

 

For more information about the Microsoft Power Platform and how to ensure good data governance among Power Platform users, contact us and talk to one of our Power Platform specialists. 

Meet Our Blog Authors
  • PowerApps Community Mentor 2018, Practicing surgeon and former Professor of Surgery, University of Illinois, Chicago.
  • Jill of All Trades (Power Apps, SharePoint, PowerShell, Exchange, Power Automate and odds & ends of assorted other things)
  • I am the Owner/Principal Architect at Don't Pa..Panic Consulting. I've been working in the information technology industry for over 30 years, and have played key roles in several enterprise SharePoint architectural design review, Intranet deployment, application development, and migration projects. I've been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) 12 consecutive years and am also a Microsoft Certified SharePoint Masters (MCSM) since 2013.
  • I'm Tim Leung - a PowerApps builder. In addition to PowerApps, my main interests include building software with SQL Server and Microsoft .NET. I'm the author of 'Beginning PowerApps' - the first published book on PowerApps. You can buy this from Amazon and other leading bookstores.
  • Systems developer
  • My name is Timothy Shaw and I create digital solutions using the Power Platform, Office 365, and Azure SQL and handle the IT for a small company in the energy sector. When not building the future :), I enjoy playing guitar, good (or really bad!) sci-fi, Xbox therapy, and hanging with my wife and son. Twitter: @ShortForTim