Microsoft Power Automate and Power Apps governance best practices
Coding and programming are all the rage these days and any tech-savvy business worth its salt can’t hope to stay updated with current trappings without incorporating coding and programming into their structure.
Even if they have a preference for the archaic, modern coding and technological tools offer benefits that are just far too convenient and efficient to look over.
Enter Microsoft Power Apps.
What is that you say?
Power Apps is an entire suite, ecosystem, environment, and family of a range of applications, services, and connectors that allow an infrastructure that enables rapid development to design customized applications for varying business purposes.
A bit of a mouthful, right? But the concept couldn’t be simpler.
The specifics of Power Apps and their advantages aren’t the subjects of today’s post but in a nutshell:
- Rich business logic.
- Workflow capabilities to transform manual business operations into digital, automated processes.
- Responsive design.
- Seamless operations on browsers and mobile devices.
- Democratizing the business-app-building experience.
- An extensible platform that lets pro developers programmatically interact with data and metadata, apply business logic, create custom connectors, and integrate with external data.
All that aside, today’s blog is about Power Apps governance or how to manage your myriad of apps and services in the Power App ecosystem.
How do you do that?
Through Microsoft Power Automate.
What is Microsoft Power Automate?
As versatile and diverse that Power Apps can be, you need something to manage and keep track of them or can easily lose your way and have it all tumbling down like a house of cards – especially for beginners.
Microsoft Power Automate is exactly that kind of binding service that helps to bring it all together and ensure organized and effective Power Apps governance.
Going by Microsoft’s definition, Power Automate is a service that helps you create automated workflows between your favorite apps and services to synchronize files, get notifications, collect data, and more.
What is particularly convenient about Power Automate is that you don’t even necessarily have to be a coder or a programmer to make use of it, the entire process is designed to be as intuitive and simple as possible.
However, there are some things you or the admin needs to consider when designing a power flow in Power Automate. Some best practices that will help ensure a more coherent and logical experience.
What an admin needs to consider in Power Automate best practices
1. Keeping track of actions
As we already said before, Power Automate is all about automation – of actions.
The actions can be as simple as what to do with an email upon reading it, or how your system handles deleted material to complex multichain scenarios.
What is important for an admin to keep in mind, particularly when it comes to complicated scenarios, is keeping track of them. You need to be able to distinguish and identify them, so you don’t get confused at the time when you require that particular flow.
One way to do it is by assigning names to your automated processes.
2. Enabling automatic notifications
Having a job in a business environment already means you are bombarded by more information than you can keep a track of and sorting through that clutter for vital information can be a difficult task.
That goes double for an admin who is managing Power Automate for any business where there will probably be countless notifications going back and forth between different workflows.
A best practice of Power App governance here would be to automate an action by assigning the importance of your emails, messages, and notifications so communication from senior leadership doesn’t get lost in the clutter or important employee-related notifications like form submissions.
Automation in itself isn’t the end all be all, but you must ensure it works to your benefit instead of detracting.
Enabling automatic notifications for important events will also ensure that information doesn’t seep through the cracks and there aren’t unnecessary delays.
3. Using built-in templates
The entire purpose of Power Automate is to allow non-coders and programmers to intuitively use automated processes for their business purposes.
Therefore, an admin needs to thoroughly consider the preexisting and built-in templates in Power Automate to make their lives easier for themselves.
Not only that, it will allow them to put on training wheels and get their grip on best practices for Power App governance before they are ready to move on to designing and chaining multiple custom processes together.
There are various templates for tasks related to email, productivity, notifications, data collection, social media, and more.
4. Automating social media notifications
Safe to say, practically no modern business can survive today without keeping social media management at its fingertips. Coupled with how heavily linked social media is nowadays with business roles and job requirements, a wise admin would take care to incorporate this aspect in a power flow as well.
Like with automatic notification, social media notifications can work in much the same way whereby you can design and form processes depending on various situations. By setting certain keywords or minimum thresholds, you can keep track of important social media developments and respond to them timely.
Power Apps and Power Automate examples
With a basic introduction of Power Apps and Power Automate out of the way along with elements an admin needs to look out for, let us look at some particular problematic examples and how to solve them.
1. The existing flow owner leaves the business
So, what are you to do when the existing owner of a workflow leaves your business?
Fortunately, in most cases, the flow will continue to work.
In case it doesn’t however, there are several actions you can take to retake control or enable that particular flow to work again under new ownership.
Some of those options are:
- Add another owner to the cloud flow.
- Remove the old owner.
- Modifying the connection of the cloud flow to account for an absent owner.
- Make and share a copy of the cloud flow.
2. Many redundant flows
Since Power Automate is intended for laymen to handle, it stands to reason that not all people may come to quickly grasp it or even truly grasp it.
It may very well happen that your users end up creating new flows every time and don’t use old ones – when Power Automate is intended to solve that particular redundancy itself.
In that case, there are a couple of measures you can take to solve the problem of multiple redundant flows.
- Employee training and familiarization with flows.
- Designing a single flow for common user actions and needs.
- Restricting users from making new flows.
Naturally, with multiple flows being created and seldom used, they can pile up very easily and go unused for long periods. To solve this problem and resolve needless clutter, you can go to the Power Platform admin center which lets you view flow details, connections, and owners, share the flow with others, disable the flow and delete the flow.
- In the navigation pane, select Environments, select an environment with resources, and then select the Power Automate (Flows) resource.
2. Select a flow to manage.
3. Select your desired action.
Need for security as one of best practices for Power Apps and Power Automate
Of course, it can’t go unsaid that part and parcel of best governance practices for Power Apps and Power Automate is having a secure security framework in place.
This is all the more important considering the above two services are for users of every level from beginners to advanced programmers so there is more room for lapses in security.
Tools like Microsoft 365 Groups and Yammer can help you in achieving that along with maintaining a secure M365 environment that allows you to fully optimize and leverage the benefits of a Power Automate workflow.
Partnering with the best security providers
Many IT Leaders use SysKit Point’s customized easy-to-use provisioning templates for Teams, Yammer Communities, Microsoft 365 Groups, and SharePoint Sites, to help solve the challenges of Power Automate workflow clutter and security issues.
Not only just security, SysKit Point can also help in several ways and including templates in setting up your initial workflow and our experience of working with thousands of clients will ensure we design a tailor-made flow that is best for you!