HEAT – Holistic Enterprise Automation Techniques for RPA and more

We are excited to share our learnings from customers for building robust automation solutions on Power Automate. This blog post captures the lifecycle of an automation project and best practices in each of the stages.

Whether you are an automation or RPA or professional developer looking to develop automation solutions or Automation COE (Center of Excellence) looking to enable and govern automation/ RPA adoption at scale, these resources are for you.

We have recorded a special series on our video channel “Automate Ithttps://aka.ms/rpapnp where we go into each of these stages in more details.

Watch video, “Introducing HEAT

 

 

Empower

The start of any successful automation project it to ensure that the key stakeholders understand the automation capabilities of the platform. In this stage, users new to Power Automate can learn about the automation capabilities in Power Automate.

Watch the video, “Power Automate & Power Platform

Here are some resources for getting started with RPA in Power Automate.

Discover & Plan

In this stage, COE’s/ Business collaborate on what processes to automate based on the ROI, setup the development team & the Power Automate environment.

While automation enables organizations to become more efficient, the decision on which processes to automate is still often a challenge. It is impossible to automate every process, so COE’s can use the Innovation Backlog app to manage the backlog and pick an automation based on ROI. Process Advisor enables organizations to gain deep insight on a variety of tasks.

Power Automate provides environments of different types (production, sandbox, trial) that can be created.  Each environment has a defined set of users who are role-based. Admins can bring their own compute infrastructure to install Power Automate Desktop and the necessary software.

Watch the video, “Empower, Discover & Plan

Resources on ROI, process discovery and setting up Power Automate environment:

Design

Building robust automation solutions require well-defined design principles that will build the foundation for scale, security, and compliance!

Watch the video, “Design Phase

Some other design principles (not a comprehensive list) to consider are:

Build & Test

This is the heart of the automation lifecycle where a developer would build the automation. As part of this stage, we build and enterprise grade Invoice Processing automation solution. This intelligent automation solution processes invoices in SAP and showcases some of the key enterprise concerns around logging, auditing, tracking each invoice processing, human in the loop, calculate ROI and more.

Watch the video, “Build & Test

Some key concepts covered in this video are:

Deploy, Monitor & Manage

Power Automate provides a rich set of capabilities enabling admins and developers throughout the deployment cycle for a given automation, detailed information on the success/failure of each individual run, and the ability to schedule, queue and prioritize an automation.

Developers can setup CI/ CD with test integration to deploy automation and prevent against accidental changes which would break the automation in production.

Power Automate also helps users manage their automations. All execution data is available in Dataverse, with out of the box reports and views that visualize this data. Power Automate provides real-time information on individual bots and the machines/clusters these run on. This allows more detailed visibility into the full automation health, bot health, and the infrastructure health.

Watch the video, “Deploy & Manage

Some resources around this area:

Secure, Govern & Nurture

In this stage, the RPA COE’s can leverage the in-built security controls to establish guard rails to scale RPA across their organization. They can leverage Azure Active Directory a key foundation which allows admins to create and manage access controls on users/ resources centrally. Power Automate provides rich governance and security controls to ensure you can run your business-critical processes in a trusted & compliant manner.

The platform provides a rich set of auditing logs which lets admins keep track of what happened in the system. The deep integration with Azure, Microsoft 365 allows IT admins to define reactive and proactive policies and procedures to track the users / automation activity.

COE’s can establish their Center of Excellence strategy to nurture and upskill their employees. They can create a community of champions, train them, run hackathons and evangelize their success stories. Power Automate providers a rich set of free learnings resources (documentation, videos, tutorials, labs, courses, certifications, whitepapers, etc.). The COE Starter toolkit provides welcome event templates, hackathon management app, newsletters, training content, ROI calculator to accelerate adoption within your enterprise.

Watch the video, “Secure, Govern & Nurture

Some helpful resources on around this topic:

Start automating today!

We are excited to hear what your automation journey looks like and what you will be automating with Power Automate!
– Your friends at Power Automate