Improve the governance on Power Platform environments – ALM and Backlog

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Keeping on the sequence about the CoE Starter Kit (you can check out the last post here), I would like to show you two more exciting solutions to improve the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and Innovation Backlog administration.

ALM Accelerator for Makers

Remember, we have two questions that need to be answered?

  • Where is the source code?
  • How will be deployed on production and what objects will be created?

With this additional solution, we can cover them. It provides a great solution to follow the ALM patterns and practices for code control, solution deployment between dev, test, and production environments.

The background process uses GitHub to automate builds and deployment solutions to their environments without manual interventions.

On the ALM Accelerator for Makers App, the Makers can see their created projects or start to create new ones.

CoE - ALM Accelerator for Makers
Figure 1 – ALM Accelerator for Makers App

Once the project is created, the CoE administrator will get an e-mail to approve the new project, and once approved, the environment will be created automatically.

CoE - Requested message to approve new environment
Figure 2 – Message requesting to approve new environment

Since the new project has been created and approved, makers can build your solution by creating new apps, flows, and tables.

Also, this App has an exciting process to deploy the solution on production. By default, we have the steps:

  1. The Makers needs to publish the solution from dev to the test environment
  2. The Makers request the approval to the admin to publish the solution on the production environment

Once approved, GitHub will orchestrate all the deployment process to the target environment. Furthermore, it will control the source code merging the changes into the main branch. This App will cover all the concerns with deployment and source code versioning. Fantastic!

CoE - Build History from project
Figure 3 – Build History from project
CoE - Log detail project on GitHub
Figure 4 – Deploy’s log on GitHub

In my vision, this solution is really recommended to be used by your Makers, Admins, and organizations. The lifecycle and deployment become traceable, fast, secure. Try it out, engage your team, and you will be great results.

Of course, there are some new features that we can wait for Microsoft release, or we can implement it, like:

  • Support for PackageDeployer
  • Flexibility to support more environments. We can have more than dev, test, and prod environments
  • Clone specific environment without data on environment creation. Sometimes we need the current production structure to create new features.

Innovation Backlog App

It’s a great additional solution to manage the ideas of the organization. Instead of users requesting the Makers by e-mail or chat, you can manage all requests in an App. You’ll have all the information needed to decide what idea will be developed.

CoE - Innovation Backlog App
Figure 5 – Innovation Backlog App

Here, you’ll be able to:

  • Send e-mail to voters and creators.
  • Identify what idea was most voted by users.
  • Assign the developer owner and development team.
  • Manage the status.
  • Send the idea to be tested once the development is finished.
  • Get feedback on the solution.

Let’s imagine the following flow:

1. The user added a new idea to be evaluated.

CoE - List of ideas submitted

2. You’ll send the idea to be voted.

CoE - Email notification requesting votes on the new idea

3. In this case, we have 2 likes on this idea, that on our sample, is enough to start with 🙂

CoE - Number of like of the idea

4. So now, let’s send the e-mail to creators.

CoE - Send email to creators

5. After that, we’ll update the status and developer owner.

CoE - Updating Status and Assigning an owner

6. When the solution is finished, we going to send the e-mail to the tester.

CoE - Email Notification - App Ready for testing

7. Once finished and running, we can start to collect feedback from users.

CoE - Requesting feedback of user

8. Here, we have the feedback sent by the user.

CoE - Feedback sent by user

Note: these measures are entirely customized in the admin app.

The process above it’s only a sample of how you can handle the App. All organizations have different needs and ways to manage the new ideas requested by users. The good news is you can customize the App by removing or adding required information to meet the organization process.

So:

  • Install the App, explore it against your need, and make changes.
  • Make your innovation backlog app as simple as you can. The more complex process is less it will be the engagement.
  • Invite the users to add ideas, to vote, test, and send/request feedbacks.
  • Create recurrences appointments to approve the ideas.

Conclusion

This is my last post from the sequence, and overall, it’s an excellent Starter kit that should be considered in our organizations. It gives us a vision of:

  • How could be a Center of Excellence to Power Platform
  • Create a centralized local to Admins and Makers have all the information about your organization
  • Manage permissions.
  • Implement the Compliance Center.
  • Build a new ALM process to control the development lifecycle.
  • Create an innovation backlog center.

I like this Kit because we can customize everything according to the organization’s needs. So, I highlight my suggestions to you:

  • Create a new organization and install the core components.
  • Understand the CoE Core and start to share with the team.
  • Start the use with small group and grow the team gradually.
  • Create recurrence appointments with new Makers to make sure the adoption is happens.
  • Collect the feedbacks, so you can find out points where you can customize and do improvements on the CoE.

Once you have the CoE core process working fine, you can add new solutions from the CoE Starter kit such as ALM Accelerator for Makers and Innovation Backlog App.

I hope you enjoyed it.

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