Power Apps: Planning phase

Would you like to create your first business application in PowerApps, but don’t know where to start? Whether you’re a businessperson who has never participated in a software project before, or you’re a professional developer who wants to use Power Apps to simplify solutions – in our collection of articles you will find information about few basic steps of making apps with Power Apps.

 

Planning phase

The first and one of the most important steps to start with is the planning phase. This section focuses on gathering important pieces of information, getting requirements for the business process you want to automate, and planning a software project.

 

Step 1. Identifying the business problem

Ask yourself, „what’s the business problem I’m trying to solve?” When you define the problem, break it down into a problem statement and the result that you’d like to achieve. The most common problem to solve is too much manual work. These will be all the processes that require paper, tons of excel files, e-mail or manual rewriting of data from one place to another. Remember not to pick a problem that is very extensive at once or you can get stuck. Try to break down the planned automation into smaller elements that will be easier to manage. Every time you start a project, think about whether optimization is really profitable. Also, remember that not all projects save you time and money. Sometimes the optimization implemented will result in cleaner and more up-to-date data and avoid additional costs.

 

Step 2. Understanding the business process

If you have decided that it is worth implementing the project, the next step is to understand the process and look for possible optimization.

  • Include everyone who takes part in the process and find out what they are doing in the context of the business problem being solved. When you start writing the process, these people will help you understand the steps of the process at various stages.
  • Describe the process in the form of sequential tasks. This should be the big picture, not the individual activities done to complete the task.
  • Write down who is doing the task and what their role is in the entire process.
  • Write down the activities that the user does to complete the tasks in this step of the business process. Get into the details of the activities.
  • Identify the data that is used in the process. Ask yourself
    • Did this data come from a previous step?
    • Did this data come from an existing system?
    • Is data being pulled from an external system?
  • Ask yourself: What data is created? Understanding the tasks in this step will help you answer the question, does the solution need to capture any data? If so, what data needs to be captured?
  • What are the business rules in the process that must be followed and check if they are optimal?
  • Draw the use case business process you are trying to solve. You can draw your map on paper or by using a tool such as Visio or PowerPoint.

 

Step 3. Optimizing

Now that you have verified the entire business process, try to optimize it. Here are some helpful ways to approach optimizing the process:

  • Identify the goals you want to achieve through the process
  • Consider whether something can be done more efficiently, cheaper or of better quality
  • Step back and get feedback by sharing your process document with your team
  • Share the process document with management for a higher perspective
  • Look for KPIs to identify what is working well and what needs improvement.
  • View your process from the user’s or client’s point of view

 

Step 4. Project plan

Now it’s time to plan our project. Having a project plan ensures that you have the right resources and follow a consistent approach to ensure a good level of quality for the apps you make.

  • First, define the scope of the project. To define the project scope, you should consider the following constraints: time, people, budget, Feasibility
  • Set a priority for each function that you implement in the solution.
  • Identify team members. Anyone who is involved in designing, making, and testing apps will be a project team member.
  • List all project tasks and owners.
  • Create a project schedule that will allow you to control the progress of the implementation.
  • Identify project risks that you may face during implementation.

For more information visit:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/guidance/planning/planning-phase

That’s all for the planning phase, in our next article we will introduce the Designing phase. And if still wondering what you can get with PowerApps, get inspired by customer stories from around the world.

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