Microsoft Power Platform

Power Platform: Data Distribution with Power Automate

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Peter Sprague

Putting apprehensions about ERP projects at ease

End of year is coming up and you know what that means? Employee performance evaluations.

Blue Horseshoe’s semi-annual performance reviews include self-evaluations. We believe this step is key to understanding an individual’s point of view and maintaining our collaborative culture.

The value these evaluations provide is tremendous but getting this feedback can be a bit of a pain. There are surveys, notifications, and a fair amount of back and forth with various team members involved. And then, the data needs to be shared with the right people, to help move the process forward. 

If a manager has multiple direct reports, or there's a hierarchy to the review process, you can see how getting notified of an action can really keep the process moving forward. 

We wanted to take away the hassle from this important part of our evaluation process and the Microsoft Power Platform helped us do just that.

What’s the Microsoft Power Platform?

The Power Platform is a group of low code, no code tools that help you work smarter. The Power Platform centers on your data to help you:

  • Capture data without disrupting basic processes
  • Share or distribute the data/information to the right people and in the right way
  • Consume and evaluate the data in a meaningful way

The Power Platform includes:

  • Power Automate, formerly known as Microsoft Flow, helps you automate processes
  • Power BI which helps you analyze data
  • Power Apps which helps you build solutions

Power Automate drives processes

For Blue Horseshoe’s internal evaluations, we used Power Automate to share the performance data. To collect the data, we chose to use Microsoft Forms. Forms is a straightforward way to collect surveys, like a self-evaluation.

Microsoft Forms

Microsoft FormsThe design/build in Microsoft Forms was simple and took less than 5 minutes. Based on our existing performance evaluation, you’ll see in the example below our questions included rating system plus text-based response. As follows is an example of a couple questions in Microsoft Forms.

Microsoft Power Automate

Next up, we used Power Automate to share and distribute the self-evaluation results. Here's how we did it:

1. Create a new Power Automate process using a response. We used the Forms object as our trigger.

Power Automate Response Submitted 

2. Add a condition to establish that someone has completed the Forms object that is part of our tenant. In this case, we did not want to assume that this Forms object would only be submitted by members of our organization. Adding this condition stops unwanted information from being emailed to managers.

Power Automate Condition

 

3. If the condition is true, the process continues down the YES path. Otherwise, the process will end with no action.

Power Automate Yes No

 

4. Continuing the YES path, add an action. In this case, the action will send an email to the person that completed the form (the respondent). Our email message includes a copy of the submitted data, date of submission, and a note that the manager is receiving the data. 

Power Automate Send Email

The next two steps are managed from Office 365. These actions allow us to access the respondent's and the manager's user profile information/email. 

5. In Office 365, add an action to get the respondent's user profile information. 

Power Automate Get User Profile

6. In Office 365, and using the respondent's email, add an action to get his manager. 

Power Automate Get Manager

7. Back in Power Automate, add an action to email the manager with the respondent's data. We referenced the respondent's display name in the body of the message.

Power Automate Send Email 2

Power Automate keeps it moving

Power Automate helps us simplify a repetitive task and keeps performance reviews top of mind for everyone involved in the process. It's just one of the many things you can do with the Microsoft Power Platform

Here are two possibilities:

  • Master data creation. Power Automate allows you to put in place approval flows tied to master data creation in D365 for Finance and Operations.
  • Decrease approval lead times. If tiered approval are needed in any of your processes, Power Automate can shorten the overall time to approve. 

Just think of the manual processes you perform. What can you automate to save you time or keep a process moving forward? 

Have Questions? We are here to help.

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