Thursday, July 15, 2021

How Does Power Platform Help Me to Reduce Manual Routines?

Power Platform is a powerful set of Microsoft products, it comprises Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents. Recently I'm a little bit obsessed with exploring this application set to help me on my daily routines. And a couple months ago I decided to take self-learning study on fundamental material and prepare myself for certification of it. Refer to this Microsoft learning material for the Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals that will be really useful before taking the PL-900 exam.

Basically I'm a lazy person, I need to find the easiest way to do something. I can't stand to do laborious activities over and over. I'm so glad that I found Power Platforms that can help me to reduce manual routines by creating automation and give me solutions for some of my problems.

Let me list out and share some of what I did to solve my problems by using Power Platforms (mostly are using Power Automate and Power BI). 

1. Automating Email Notification to Backlog Owners for Open Work Items/Backlogs

Problem Statement: 
  • When the new iteration starts, there are some non-closed work items (user stories, tasks) that are left open from past iteration. 
  • I don't want to perform manual activities by extracting the open items and sending emails to respective scrum masters/product owners. It's taking more time, especially when the team is growing and we have more squads.

Design Solution:
Benefit and Business Value:
  • Product owner as the backlog owner is regularly notified for any unattended backlogs. So they can perform action with the team members to update. No more manual query in the backlog management system and no more manual email notification to the work item's owners.
  • Scrum master as the facilitator is benefited by having updated work items in every iteration, so it will be reflected properly in the burndown charts. 

2. Send Automated Mail Merge Emails for Food Vouchers to Employees.

Problem Statement: 
  • To send unique GrabFood vouchers to all employees as part of the celebration event.
  • Instead of sending it from a personal email, I need to send it from Outlook's shared mailbox to show it's official from the organizer.

Design Solution:
Benefit and Business Value:
  • Avoid human error of sending incorrect vouchers, because each voucher has unique code that needs to be allocated to the respective employee.
  • Reduce and save so much time by automating the process and sending it via mail merge. 

3. Programme Monitoring with Power BI and Azure DevOps (ADO).

Problem Statement: 
  • I need to have visibility of progress across all teams in our program based on work items in our backlog management system.
  • Azure DevOps (ADO) dashboard is too rigid and less interactive.

Design Solution:
Benefit and Business Value:

  • One stop center for progress monitoring at program level for all teams/squads.
  • Better visualization dashboard to track program deliverables, e.g. PI objectives, features, user stories, tasks, and risks.

4. Monitor Aging Deployment Service Request.

Problem Statement: 
  • I need to ensure all deployment service requests in ADO are addressed within given SLA.
  • There's should be notification email to SR owner if there's aging SR to ensure they take actions immediately.

Design Solution:
Benefit and Business Value:
  • Ensuring that aging deployment SR is avoided and notify the devops lead so it will be handled.
  • Reducing manual actions by querying the open SR and reminding the owners. It does save time and effort.

5. Tracking and Monitoring Audit Action Items with Power BI and Power Automate.

Problem Statement: 
  • I need to monitor and track all audit action items are consolidated, has ownership, and complete before target date.
  • I don't want to send manual update to audit team for every completion status. 

Design Solution:
Benefit and Business Value:
  • Single source of truth of consolidated action items so everyone can update the progress status, and it will be visualized nicely in the dashboard.
  • Avoid manual update email to the audit team for every completion status. 


That's all that I can share today. Moving next, I want to use more Power Apps and Virtual Agents to solve my other problems. 

I hope the above post can give you an idea and be able to solve the same problems in your working place.

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