This is a quick post we put together to highlight a few pointers that will help you find success with your enterprise PowerApps projects.
Don’t expect any mind blowing technical advice - we’re highlighting processes and valuable project activities in this one.
Watch the Video: If you’d prefer watching a video, we have embedded a YouTube video that covers this content at the bottom of this article too.
Define a Process for PowerApps Projects
Finding the right process for your organization is the end goal. We believe that finding success with PowerApps includes having a repeatable approach to how you evaluate, execute and deliver these projects.
Through our experience, we have identified a few important points that we believe will increase your PowerApps successes and wins.
You can watch this video or read the steps below to explore our tips.
1. Evaluate Opportunities
There are two steps to evaluating your opportunities while building with Power Apps.
Step 1 - Undersand your Skill Set
Every organization possesses a different set of skills, when it comes to their ability to build and deliver applications.
Your team’s skill set will also define your ability to develop PowerApps. This charts out what you can and cannot deliver with Power Apps.
Start with small wins, this will help your team develop skills and the business build confidence.
Step 2 - Assess value or return on investment
The second part of evaluating your opportunities is considering the value your organization will gain from the opportunities that exist.
Assess the return on the time and effort your team will invest in each opportunity.
To ensure high value and return on investment, you can put a process in place to identify, categorize and prioritize the opportunities you wish to pursue with PowerApps.
Creating a process for finding and picking quality opportunities is critical to getting the most value from your available resources.
2. Engage Users
Once you start working on an opportunity, a very important step in creating a successful PowerApp is to get the right people involved - and keeping them involved.
Stakeholder engagement is an important part of all software development projects.
We believe in engaging users in the development process as early as possible, and keeping them engaged along the way.
Building an app in isolation and waiting to make a “big reveal” can have heavy consequences.
Consider your stakeholders as the navigators of your journey. They should help direct the course of the project through their involvement in the requirements, testing and feedback process.
Ensure you are getting adequate involvement at key milestones along the way. Defining user stores, building wireframes, testing releases, etc…
If you aren’t getting the right investment from the stakeholders of the project, consider this as a warning signal
Why aren’t stakeholders involved? Lack of time, interest or resistance to change? Find out and remedy the situation. Left unaddressed, these issues can affect your chances of project success.
3. Create Simple Mockups
Developing mockups should be another important part of your Canvas Apps building process.
Visually represent, in low fidelity designs, the features and functionalities of each screen.
There are a lot of great tools that will assist you in this task. We often use a tool called Balsamiq to create our mockups or wireframes.
Review mockup designs with stakeholders and eventual users of the app, get their feedback and rework if needed. This way, when actual building of the app begins, you’re blueprints are ready to go.
Simple mockups are quick to create and can save a lot of time and effort down the road - avoiding expensive rework.
4. Build and Iterate
We recommend taking an iterative process in your PowerApps development. An iterative build process will help ensure you stay on track and well aligned with the users expectations and requirements.
We recommend having scheduled review sessions weekly - at the least. Ensure that users see features as they are completed and correct course or adjust as needed.
An iterative process of integrating feedback into the solution you’re building will help you stay close to the target, keep your stakeholders involved and increase your overall probability of success.
5. Check-In and Follow-Up
As you build an app, you connect with people to ensure that what you are building is correct. Follow-ups and Check-Ins are extremely important to keep stakeholders invested and engaged from kickoff to post deployment.
We can’t stress the importance of this enough - Check-Ins along the way help you and the stakeholders stay connected - this is critical for the overall success of the project.
Check-Ins also provide an opportunity to determine and understand what’s working, what’s not working and what other opportunities exist.
After deployment of the app, it’s more important to stay connected with the app’s stakeholders via follow-ups
Schedule follow-ups with stakeholders on a time frame that is right for your business.
Post deployment feedback may improve your processes going forward or reveal simple opportunities and additions that could have a great impact on the solution.
As the amount of data, usage and feedback within a solution increases over time, you may find the results to be valuable for future releases, projects or to affect your project deliver process.
You can also learn a lot about an app after it has been deployed and is being used via PowerApps App Usage Analyitics. Here’s an article from Microsoft with more details on PowerApps app analytics
Leverage the out of the box analytics to increase your knowledge of the actual usage of each PowerApp - you’ll be better prepared for your stakeholder follow-up conversations.
We hope that you find these tips useful in creating great solutions with PowerApps.
We’d love to hear your feedback on these points. You can leave comments about this blog or about anything else you’d like us to cover in the future.
Good luck with your app building!
Watch the Video
Here is a 5 minute video that also covers these points.