Introducing the Automation Kit for Power Platform
To establish a successful automation culture, you typically need to build an Automation Center of Excellence (CoE) to maximize your organization’s investments and define guardrails to develop RPA and other hyperautomation scenarios for digital transformation in a controlled manner. Back in December 2021, we blogged about HEAT (Holistic Enterprise Automation Techniques) and automation adoption best practices.
We also released a private preview version of Automation Kit (previously Automation CoE Starter Kit), which has been implemented by many customers across the globe at early stages of the development.
Today, we are happy to introduce the Automation Kit for Power Platform, now available to the public as an open source GitHub project.
What is the Automation Kit?
The Automation Kit for Power Platform is designed to help organizations manage, govern, and scale automation platform adoption based on industry best practices. The toolkit is a collection of components and tools based on HEAT concepts and built using Power Apps and Power Automate, so you can easily extend and customize the kit to your needs.
The Automation Kit for Power Platform helps you accelerate your organization’s automation CoE. It includes a set of Power Apps applications and Power Automate flows that provide ready-made solutions to manage your automation projects, capture near-real-time value tracking, and gain insights to your automation initiatives. The kit was built based on feedback from customers across the globe using Power Automate as their choice of hyperautomation and RPA platform.
Case study: Cineplex accelerates establishing their Automation Center of Excellence with Automation Kit
Cineplex Inc. is a leading media and entertainment company that welcomes millions of guests through its 170+ cinemas and entertainment venues.
Bo Wang, Vice President of Taxation & Treasury, started using Power Automate desktop flows back in September 2020 to automate business processes within his team. After realizing the benefits in process efficiencies and time savings, he decided to set up the Automation Center of Excellence so that he could further scale the use of Power Automate across the entire organization. To do so, Bo and his team adopted the Automation Kit to manage and have visibility across the automation development lifecycle. The Automation Kit helped Cineplex:
- Accelerate the development of their Automation Center of Excellence
- Centrally manage the automation lifecycle from ideation to production
- Get insights for both leadership and operations team about return on investment (ROI) in automation
What’s included in the Automation Kit?
Automation Project Management
Use this app to manage the automation initiatives in your organization and define the metrics to calculate ROI.
Projects are managed in the Automation Center
The kit offers capabilities to link Automation Project definitions with their Power Automate cloud flows, desktop flows and other artifacts in order to automatically capture and calculate the contributions of an automation.
Artifacts are attached to solution metering for automatic metric captures
Automation CoE Dashboard
The dashboard provides a holistic view of your automation projects, ROI, and goals. It includes multiple views and metrics that are automatically calculated and refreshed based on what you have defined in the Automation Projects.
Your organization can identify which automation projects to work on using the complexity score and estimated savings to ensure correct prioritization is being made on the automation investments.
Once the automations are established, the organization can then track the savings and track them against goals.
Dashboard showing the complexity score and list of projects
Where to start
Now that you do have a sneak peek of all the cool features the Automation Kit has to offer, here are resources that can get you started.
- GitHub repository to Automation kit
- Automation kit documentation
- Automation CoE Strategy
- HEAT video series
- Automation Admin & Governance whitepaper
We’re continuing to evolve and expand Automation Kit features based on customer feedback to support your ability to grow your organization’s automation maturity to enterprise scale.
We will regularly publish a prioritized list of features from our open-source backlog that we will work on and release in our next monthly update.
As part of our upcoming planned regular office hours that start Tuesday 11th October 7:00AM – 8:00AM PDT with you can register at https://aka.ms/ak4ppofficehours. We will showcase new and planned features and hold an “ask me anything”-style conversation to get feedback about your use of the Automation Kit and prioritize areas that we should work on to provide the most impact for you.
Although the underlying features and components used to build the Automation Kit (such as Microsoft Dataverse, admin APIs, and connectors) are fully supported, the kit itself represents sample implementations of these features. Our customers and community can use and customize these features to implement admin and governance capabilities in their organizations.
If you face issues with:
- Using the kit: Report your issue here: aka.ms/automation-kit-issues. Microsoft Support will not help you with issues related to this kit, but they will help with related, underlying platform and feature issues.
- The core features in Power Platform: Use your standard channel to contact Support.