How Microsoft’s Digital Transformation Group is conducting Monthly Business Reviews using Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365

Every organization, large or small, has the need to keep a pulse on its service health. Microsoft’s Digital Transformation Platform (DTP) Group uses Dynamics 365, Power Apps Portals and Power BI to track and review key metrics for all products across the organization as part of their monthly business reviews.

BUSINESS SCENARIO

Digital Transformation Platform (DTP) group has several key metrics as part of its monthly business review, focused on Product, Partner and Support Health across all of its services. Given the breadth of products and services in the DTP portfolio, the prepping and presentation of the data is a non-trivial task. Typically several stakeholders are involved in putting together the data for these reviews. Additionally they are also required to enter their commentary to highlight progress made since last month as well as next steps. Each area or even metric may have a different owner and stakeholder, which adds another layer of complexity to the coordination and management of it all.

BEFORE POWER PLATFORM/DYNAMICS 365 

Prior to the Power Platform solution, the planning and preparation for the business review as well presentation to the leadership team happened via a PowerPoint deck. Key information and executive summary from the business review was then manually consolidated into a multi-page Word document, which was reviewed and approved over email prior to sharing it to Senior Leadership and executives across the company as well as the field.

Key challenges to the existing solution were:

  • Manual and time consuming – It took several people from different parts of the organization, several days/weeks to gather and put together all the content required for the business review.
  • No access to historic data – Each month, since the content preparation was done in a PowerPoint deck, it was not easy to have historic data from previous review periods handy.
  • Management of timelines and content deadlines – The admins were tasked with manually managing timelines and coordinating efforts to get the content ready in time.

Opportunities:

  • Digitization of end-to-end process for Business Review – The Power Platform solution helped digitize the end-to-end process, from collection of the data to curation and presentation, thus eliminating the need to use PowerPoint and Word.
  • Historic data retrieval – Since all the content prepared and presented was in Dataverse, it was easy to provide users access to historical data in the Portal.
  • Alerts and Notifications –The solution helps manage content deadlines by utilizing Power Automate to send alerts and notifications to stakeholders.

POWER PLATFORM SOLUTION

The Power Platform solution built using Power Apps Portals and embedded Power BI dashboards, enabled us to address the key challenges and move the content and prep work out of PowerPoint. We also used the solution for presentation instead of the deck during the Business Review. Additionally, the same content was then digitally curated and made available in a separate Power Apps Portal that was shared with Senior Leadership team as well as the field. This helped us move away from both the PowerPoint deck and the multi-page Word document.

Some of the key capabilities of this solution are as follows:

Admin Experience

  • Most of the key data used during the reviews is hosted in Dataverse and Azure SQL DB. At the beginning of each month, a snapshot of data is taken using Logic Apps. This data is then pushed back into Dataverse, from where curated data is made available to be consumed in the Portal.
  • There is an Admin Center in the Portal where admins can manage the dates for the snapshot as well as the dates for content deadlines.
  • The Portal also allows admins to identify data stakeholders for various sections. This helps admins coordinate the content preparation in an efficient and timely manner.

End User Experience

  • Each month identified stakeholders receive automated email – sent using Power Automate – notifying them of when data for the reporting month is available.
  • The key responsibility of the stakeholders is to launch the Portal, verify the data that was generated, and provide commentary and key updates for their sections in the Portal.
  • Users can very easily load data from previous reviews, which helps them provide more accurate analysis of progress and next steps.
  • The Portal renders all the service health metrics data in a Power BI dashboard, which is embedded into the Portal page. Using Power BI visuals helps users to visualize their data and easily identify trends.

Business Review portal – used for content preparation and presentation during business review

Executive Summary Report portal – used for presentation of business review data to senior leadership and field

SOLUTION ARCHITECTURE

IMPACT AND BENEFITS

Some of the key benefits and impact of the Power Platform solution are as follows:

  • The solution has helped the organization streamline the entire process, thus saving hours of time that the manual effort took.
  • Ease of preparing content for the monthly reviews without the overhead of manual coordination.
  • Automated alerts and notifications help keep the process on track to have the content ready on time.
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