Microsoft Power Platform’s low code approach to solution delivery has enabled thousands of organizations around the world to use technology to transform their business. It does this by enabling more people than ever before to create applications, and to leverage mobile platforms and artificial technology to transform organisations with new ways of working.
This transformation is more critical now than ever. Technology is disrupting every industry but is also the key to those that are thriving. The events of the past year have shown that traditional IT risk planning approaches are no match for the benefits of the agility provided by digital transformation. Hence, it’s important to start the digital transformation journey incrementally but with urgency. Of course, adopting a new technology with such broad applicability as Microsoft Power Platform is a transition for any organization.
The Power CAT team (Customer Advisory Team) is a team of solution architects within Microsoft Power Platform engineering focused on helping customers accelerate their Microsoft Power Platform adoption. In collaboration with some of our most successful customers, we have identified consistent themes, patterns, practices and behaviours that underpin the progress of successful organizations as they implement comprehensive digital transformation with Power Platform. The result of this work is the Power CAT Adoption Maturity Model.
Each stage describes the states of individual disciplines such as Strategy & Vision, Administration, Governance, etc. The purpose of the model is to help organizations understand their capabilities along multiple dimensions on a clearly defined scale, decide which level they would like to achieve for each dimension and in what time frame, and improve their capabilities in tangible ways by progressing to the next level. These stages are not a checklist, nor do these stages need to progress at the same pace along all disciplines, but can be used to sense-check the organisation’s progress and help to inform where it needs to focus in order to advance further.
Goals and Opportunities:
The goal of the Power CAT Adoption Maturity Model is to help organizations and their partners to think through how they can improve their capabilities and decide which capabilities matter most to them. These decisions should be based not just on the technology capabilities but the digital transformation strategy of the organization.
Let’s now look at the stages and opportunities in each stage in detail:
Level 100 – Initial
(organic, chaotic, ad hoc, individual heroics): This phase describes the starting point for use of a new or undocumented process. In the Initial phase the organization has pockets of success or experimentation with Power Platform, but without any visibility into organization-wide adoption and use. There is no overall strategy or governance approach, apps are largely in the Default environment and no DLP policies have been put in place. Apps are mostly used by a single team and supported by the makers. Apps primarily use Excel and SharePoint as their data sources. The organisation sees the potential of a strategic investment in the Power Platform, but there is no clear path forward for organisation-wide execution.
Level 200 – Repeatable
This phase describes a process that is at least documented sufficiently such that repeating the same steps may be attempted. In the context of the Power Platform, organizations in the repeatable stage are taking what they’ve learned in the Initial stage to put structure around the deployment of Power Platform, often through controls implemented by a central IT team or other team focused on Power Platform. The CoE Starter Kit is deployed to provide tenant-wide visibility into the use of Power Platform and begin to identify, if not control, applications that are beginning to become broadly used in the organization. Environments are used as needed, but in an ad hoc manner – for example, various Production environments and different DLP policies might be created without a consistent strategy. These organizations sometimes believe that the use of the Power Platform is running “out of control” until they shape their use of the administrative and governance controls available for Power Platform, transitioning to the Defined Stage.
Level 300 – Defined
This phase describes a process that is defined/confirmed as a standard business process. The Defined organization is standardizing the repeatable practices that evolved in the Repeatable phase – for example, Environment and DLP requests are automated, solutions are used to move apps and flows between environments, and makers are starting to share common components. The organization is achieving measurable success with Power Platform to digitally transform and has a defined Power Platform Center of Excellence team. Much of this transformation may still reflect the organic growth that got the organization to this point, but the Center of Excellence team is working to automate those processes and define standard approaches that will move the organization to the Capable stage.
|Develop an environment strategy and configure layers of security in a way that supports productive development in your organization, while securing and organizing resources.||Define tiers of application support – taking into account the level of complexity, how critical the app is, and users impacted by the application||Celebrate your makers and champions by sharing their success stories, and focus on the business value and impact they have on the organization.|
Level 400 – Capable
This phrase describes a process that is quantitatively managed in accordance with agreed-upon metrics. The Capable organization has standard processes for managing and monitoring Power Platform. These processes, described during the Defined stage, are now largely automated and are well understood by makers. Power Platform capabilities are being used to transform the business broadly and used for enterprise-critical apps and integrations. Platform Champions have established channels for sharing best practices, training new makers and conducting regular hackathons. Standard, branded app templates and components are available to all makers. Business Value assessments are carried out to measure and understand the impact of the Power Platform.
|Create an app catalog to make apps more discoverable and avoid duplication.|
Create shared component libraries with common design patterns, such as headers and navigation to ensure consistency across apps.
|Automate the communication between CoE, IT and Admins through approvals and Microsoft Teams messages.||Define key responsibilities for your CoE, Admins and Makers and ensure they are understood and agreed to by everyone.|
Level 500 – Efficient
This phrase describes a process that is quantitatively managed in accordance with agreed-upon metrics. In the context of the Power Platform, in the Efficient stage the organization has proven the capabilities of Power Platform to rapidly transform mission critical capabilities. Standardized, automated processes and an established community of experts allow new digitization opportunities to be implemented rapidly, allowing the organization to recognize value quickly and begin to integrate more advanced capabilities, such as artificial intelligence (AI). Fusion Teams enable legacy capabilities and modern cloud architecture to be used easily within Power Platform unlocking broad use of existing data and automation. In Organizations at the Leading Stage, the Power Platform is key part of the digital transformation strategy and Enterprise Architecture in the organization. Organizations at this stage have exec sponsorship for the Power Platform. Organizations at the Leading stage influence best practices in the community and drive new uses of Power Platform.
|Enable everyone to submit ideas, describe pain points and pick the most valuable ideas for development. Build a portfolio for your career development opportunities. Provide “big picture” dashboards emphasizing the impact of the platform.||Simplify Application Lifecycle Management. Make it easier for makers to manage their solutions and deployment.||Tell your story. Influence our best practices and inspire other leaders to go on the same journey.|
For reference, please find below detailed characteristics and capabilities of an organization in each stage:
|Strategy and Vision|
|Admin and Governance|
|Nurture and Citizen Makers|