Turn your vision into value with Microsoft Power Platform
- Posted on April 12, 2022
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Author Michael Scott famously wrote: “Every story starts with an idea, but it is the characters that move this idea forward.” This sentiment rings true for today’s businesses, where the story is the quest for process improvement and the characters are the employees who seek practical ways to drive workplace innovation. Thanks to this era of accelerated technological change, everyone has the digital tools and information resources needed to create their own solutions. With or without a technical background, if you can dream it, you can do it.
Technology as an enabler of innovation
The intuitive, user-friendly components of Microsoft’s Power Platform help non-technical business users, or “citizen developers” as they are more commonly known, uncover new ways of doing things to improve the business. And who better than employees to rethink how work is done? With little to no IT intervention, they can produce solutions that transform their workflows and make daily work easier and faster.
Take Loyens & Loeff, a multinational law firm currently taking its modern workplace transformation to the next level. Committed to offering clients smart, effective and practical solutions, it encourages its employees to envisage and build agility through collaboration. In this spirit, it recently held its first-ever innovation challenge, encouraging employees to come up with new ideas to solve challenges that affect clients or the firm’s way of working. Teams competed by presenting their most compelling innovations to a jury of external and internal innovation experts. Six finalists were chosen from 42 entries submitted by 188 employees from across the firm.
The winning concept focused on client contract management. The team envisioned a tool that would support the firm’s real estate practice, which involves managing various permit applications and filing dates to satisfy specific contract provisions. Manually tracking this process in spreadsheets is onerous and a missed deadline could impact the execution of the contract.
By pushing automated reminders and due date alerts, the contract management tool avoids contract performance risks. It also provides lawyers with an effective and proactive communication tool to keep clients informed of the contract execution process. The Power Platform bypasses traditional IT administration and accelerates the development and management of such an app in a fraction of the time and cost.
From innovation to action
It’s one thing to empower citizen developers to build apps and automate processes, but it’s another to ensure these apps add value. Loyens & Loeff knew that with the right guidance and adaptive governance, it could ensure that the vision became a concrete solution that delivers tangible outcomes.
That’s why the firm engaged Avanade. Our Digital Innovation Studio and local team of dedicated Power Platform experts helped turn this winning idea into an intelligent, secure, and consistent advantage on Microsoft technology. Starting with a design-led workshop in which we helped the firm map out the processes and systems needed to address specific challenges and requirements, we then co-designed a Microsoft Power Platform to take over the tedious task of contract status monitoring, freeing employees to focus on value-added work for the firm.
The low-code/no-code nature of the Microsoft Power Platform technology also allows Loyens & Loeff to recap quicker and realise value faster. Users don’t have to wait until the tool is fully complete before seeing results. They get regular updates. This development approach is particularly important to an organisation with a multi-generational workforce. When employees can see incremental value, it’s easier for them to adopt the technology.
A foundation for future success
Microsoft Power Platform solutions like Loyens & Loeff’s client contract management app are not meant to be one-size-fits-all solutions. Neither are they a one-and-done effort. They are designed to complement your business’s competitive advantages with employee-designed, task-based tools. With the right technology and guidance, employees can turn a promising idea into an impactful, workable solution that addresses a real need.
If you have a great idea for improving your business processes, visit our Power Platform site to learn how we can help guide and grow your low code momentum with innovation governance.