In this session we had a great introduction to the Microsoft Power Platform. For many of us working in PMOs today we use Microsoft everyday – Excel of course is a firm favourite. With the introduction of Office 365 has come Power BI with many PMOs starting to dabble with it to improve the way they communicate data and information.
Nicole, our lodger in the Tool Shed, got us started with the basics – concentrating on Power BI, Apps, Automate and the Virtual Agents.
You can watch the hour long session to also gain a really great insight to a practical case study from UK Parliament. They demo’ed their work with the Power Apps and how they have used it to replace their project summary template.
As usual there was lots of interaction from the attendees, and the feedback showed that many were fired up to see the possibilities that using these applications could really benefit the organisation.
What is the Power Platform?
You’ll be able to click on the images throughout the article and take up the further reading:
We mention Citizen Developers in our trends for 2022 – one of the early challenge we’re seeing in this area is the relunctance from the IT department to let these citizens dabble too much in case it does harm. We touch on it in the recorded session:
Getting Started with the Power Platform?
If you have a login for Office 365 you’ll be able to see which applications you currently have access to – visit https://www.office.com and login.
Take a look down the left hand side of your screen, the icons will tell you what you have access to. Talk to your IT department about access.
Let’s be honest, the first thing to attract many of us to Power BI is the data visualisations, there is so much you can do to bring dashboard to life! Power BI also enables the ongoing use of Excel spreadsheets – as well as many other sources of data we might have access to.
There are also lots of resources to help you get started with Power BI too, here are the links mentioned in the session:
Why Would the PMO Use Power Apps?
At its very basic Apps can be used to collect data – that’s what you’ll see in the video session with the demo from UK Parliament. They’re using the App like an online form which everyone who needs to access it can, enter their data and submit it.
The data can then be stored in Sharepoint and then used in Power BI.
It tends to be very user friendly and simple to use – making it a good choice when you’re trying to collect data from various Project Managers for example.
The links provided are here:
- Online Documentation
- Guidance Documentation
- Formulas in Power Apps
- Code Samples
- Community App Examples
What About Power Automate?
We have done a previous session about automating PMO processes – we use a BOT called Cyril – in that session we used UIPath but Automate is the same kind of application.
The useful resources for Automate are available here:
- Online Documentation
- Guidance Documentation
- Approvals Workflow
- Business Process Workflow
- Licencing FAQs
Would a PMO Use a Power Virtual Agent?
It might not seem immediately obvious why you might consider something like a Virtual Agent. These are chat bots – a visitor to a website might type in a simple question and the chat bot will respond. PMOs have been known to use them, especially for things like, “Where can I find a template for risk analysis?”
Certainly something to think about if you want to offer different ways to connect and help your customers.
The links for further resources are here:
- Online documentation
- Teams-based guidance
- Teams-based templates
- Sharing bots
- Licencing for use in Teams
What Were the PMO Attendees Chatting About?
As ever with the House of PMO sessions we had plenty of chat happening along with the session. Here’s what they commented about:
I have tinkered with PowerBI, but the organisations I have wortked in have lacked the licences to allow them to access interactive reports (as Nicole described), and seemed to have little appetite to implement them
Tinkering, dabbling, playing about with – these applications certainly fired the imaginations of many of the attendees on the session – and it sounds like the next action will be to go away and have a look at them, play about with them and take a look at the resources and training. “There are lots of online course that can get you started. It’s not too hard but you do need to invest some time.”
We have used PowerApps to create a guide to the projects in our ’22 Portfolio. It used to be in PowerPoint and was a nightmare to update. With PowerApps it is so much easier to make changes, keep it up to date and our users love it! We are now thinking of other ways we can use it as we are hooked!
No doubt this is just the beginning of the PMO exploring the uses of the Power Platform and if you’re interested in the tool side of PMO, make sure you visit the Tool Shed too.
Want to watch something else on the same subject?