As more organizations deploy Power Platform resources, governance is a key aspect administrators need to plan for before it becomes unmanageable. Learn the different governance models you can use to ensure the platform serves its purpose of alleviating IT headaches—and doesn’t become the source of new ones.
Microsoft has touted Power Platform as a way for business users to create low-code solutions for their immediate needs, but this marketing pitch shouldn’t be the first consideration you have before deploying it. Instead, you need to determine how your organization will manage it.
You should think through potential issues stemming from governance and support before pushing Power Platform out to a broad audience. But what governance model should you use? Below are a few high-level governance models I’ve seen, including some of the considerations you need to make before deciding which to leverage.
A centrally managed governance model essentially 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. Centrally managed models are the typical deployment method for larger organizations, which 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 its benefits as it can reduce the amount of resources devoted to end-user training and streamline the development lifecycle.
The 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 (COE) provides resources such as platform governance, design patterns and practices, and advanced end-user training. This is the type of model Microsoft envisioned when it released these tools, with more emphasis on empowering citizen developers to automate their own business process to improve efficiencies across the organization.
IT still participates in the COE model, but their dedication diminishes over time. Ongoing, IT provides administration, tenant-wide configuration and reporting, and serves as escalation-level support for citizen developers.
In a COE 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 you can gain from having many individual users deploying and managing solutions across the organization could pay off in increased productivity.
While some organizations see the benefits of the Power Platform, they may not have enough in-house resources or knowledge to deploy and manage it properly. In this case, you may leverage an outside company to essentially outsource some or all the activities you would see in both a centrally managed model and a citizen development with the COE model.
With a third party managing a citizen development with the COE model, we typically see the initial heavy focus on end-user training. It eventually moves into the third-party company managing the COE until the organization is interested in shifting in-house resources to that role.
The Wild West
I don’t advocate for a “wild west” model in any way, shape or form, but this is an approach that some organizations take. You will typically see this in very small organizations or companies 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. Don’t do this — you’re setting yourself up for failure, confusion, and poorly developed apps, flows, and reports—or worse! I know this model is extremely easy, but you will save yourself and your organization so much heartache with even a little planning and governance.
Governance with Power Platform
These models aren’t necessarily monolithic, so you may find aspects of different ones that appeal to your specific organization and culture. Don’t be afraid to tailor the governance and development of the platform to conform to your needs. The most important thing to remember is however you deploy and manage Power Platform in your organization, you’re already one step closer to the future of IT.