So, your organization has made a decision to leverage the Power Platform, but the first question you need to ask is: “How will it be managed by the organization?” Microsoft has touted the platform as a way for business users to create low-code option for their organization, but this simplistic marketing pitch shouldn’t be the first consideration yo have before deploying it. There are issues to consider around governance and support that should be addressed before you push it out to a broad audience. In this post, I am going to identify a few high level governance models I have seen, and touch on some of the considerations that should be made before deciding on which to leverage. Also, these are necessarily monolithic, you may find aspects of different ones that appeal to your specific organization and culture.
Essentially, this places the governance, management, design, development, and support activities in the hands of a specific group in your organization (typically IT). This group is responsible for every aspect of the platform, and end-users are only consumers of the finished products. This tends to be the typical deployment is larger organizations, that have the resources to dedicate a team to the platform, and are not interested in allowing end users to spend significant time outside of their defined duties. This type of model certainly has it benefits, as a centrally managed model can reduce the amount of resources devoted to end user training, as well as streamlining the Development lifecycle.
Citizen Development with Center of Excellence
This governance model places the design, development, and support of the products in the hands of your well-trained end users, and empowers them to become owners of their creations. A centralized center of excellence provides resources such as Platform Governance, Design Patterns and Practices, and Advanced End-User training. This is the type of model Microsoft envisioned when they released these tools, with more emphasis on empowering Citizen Developers to automate their own business process to improve efficiencies across the organization. In this type of model, the resources around training are substantially greater, and the time to ramp up a program of this magnitude can be longer than a centralized model. However, the rewards are greater as well, as the efficiencies that can be gained from having many individual users deploying and managing solutions across the organization could pay off in much increased productivity.
Third Party Management
While some organization see the benefits of the Power platform, they may not have the in-house resources and knowledge to properly deploy and manage the platform. In this case an outside consulting company may be leveraged to essential outsource all of the activates you would see in both a Centrally Managed model, as well as a CD with COE model. With a third party managing in a CD with COE model, we typically see the initial heavy focus on end user training, and it eventually moving into the consulting company managing the Center of Excellence until a time that the organization is interested in shifting in-house resources to that role.
The Wild West
Look, I don’t advocate for this in any way, shape or, form, but this is an approach that some organizations take. You will typically see this in very small organization, or organizations that like the idea of the Power Platform, but haven’t had any exposure to it. This model consists of: Turning on all the licensing and letting your end users do whatever they please. Once again: Don’t do this. You’re just setting yourself up for failure, confusion, and poorly developed apps, flows, and reports. I know this model is extremely easy, but you will save yourself and your organization sooooo much heartache with even just a little planning and governance.
These models are just a glimpse of what I have seen in the field, as well as my own personal thoughts on how to looking at the platform at a very high level. Don’t be afraid to tailor the governance and development of the platform to conform to your organization and culture. and if you get into a bind, feel free to reach out me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and find out how Centric Consulting can assist you with your Power Platform journey!