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How to Develop a Winning Power Platform Strategy

Updated: May 2

In today's fast-paced business environment, organisations need to continuously innovate and optimize their processes to stay ahead of the competition. The Power Platform, a suite of low-code tools from Microsoft, offers a powerful solution for organisations looking to digitise and automate their operations.


In this blog post, we'll explore the use of the Strategy Choice Cascade, a framework from A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin's book Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works, to help organisations define their Power Platform strategy. By using this framework, businesses can align their goals, identify areas of opportunity, and set a clear roadmap for successful adoption. So, let's dive in and discover the power of the Strategy Choice Cascade to frame your Power Platform adoption!


If you would rather watch a video, here is a recording of a presentation to the Scottish Power Platform User Group. Read on for more details 👇





Why should you have a Power Platform Strategy?


Gartner predicts that...

By 2025, 70% of new applications developed by enterprise will use low-code or no-code technologies.

By 2026, developers outside formal IT departments will account for at least 80% of the user base for low-code development tools, up from 60% in 2021.

And the opportunity is huge...

140 percent ROI over three years
$8.32M in net present value

Are you prepared to ramp up your low-code / Power Platform adoption and take advantage of this huge opportunity?


A Power Platform strategy is not just a nice-to-have but an essential part of successful platform adoption and management. It ensures that the Power Platform is implemented in a way that is aligned with your business goals, leverages your organisational strengths, mitigates risks, and sets you up for sustained success.


What is a Power Platform Strategy?

A Power Platform strategy is a set of integrated choices that positions a business to achieve sustainable value from the Power Platform, inline with your organisations overall IT strategy. It involves making clear and purposeful choices about where and how to use the Power Platform in order to create unique value for customers and stakeholders.


The Strategy Choice Cascade and Power Platform

The Strategy Choice Cascade, as introduced in A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin's book Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works consists of five interconnected elements designed to guide organisations through the decision-making process. By applying this framework to the Power Platform, businesses can create a cohesive and effective strategy for adoption, implementation, and long-term success.


Strategy Choice Cascade

  1. Winning aspiration: The first step in defining your Power Platform strategy is to establish your organisation's desired outcomes and goals. This provides a clear vision that aligns stakeholders and sets the stage for focused decision-making.

  2. Where to play: Next, you'll identify the business areas where the Power Platform can provide the most value. This involves considering factors such as existing processes, pain points, and opportunities for innovation, and helps prioritise the areas to target first.

  3. How to win: In this stage, you'll determine the unique approach and tactics for successful Power Platform implementation. This may involve choosing which components (e.g., Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI) to focus on first and defining your approach to the four main pillars of Power Platform adoption: Strategy, Nurture, Administration, and Support.

  4. Core capabilities: Identifying the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources is essential for success. By assessing your organisation's current capabilities under the headings of Strategy, Nurture, Administration, and Support, you can uncover gaps, challenges, and areas for improvement.

  5. Management systems: Finally, you'll establish governance, monitoring, and reporting systems to ensure long-term success. This includes defining your environment strategy, cost model, data access and security policies, compliance policies, and various other factors related to managing and maintaining the Power Platform ecosystem.

By using the Strategy Choice Cascade as a roadmap for your Power Platform strategy, you can create a comprehensive plan that addresses every aspect of adoption, implementation, and ongoing management. This strategic approach ensures that your organisation is well-prepared for the challenges ahead and is ready to make the most of the Power Platform's incredible potential.


How to define a Power Platform Strategy

Using the Strategy Choice Cascade as a base, we have developed a template that helps organisations make choices and define their Power Platform strategy. The template lists common choice options for the Power Platform through the lense of the Strategy Choice Cascade. As an organisation, you simply need to review those options (in white) and make choices (highlighted in blue).


Power Platform Strategy Choice Making Guide
Power Platform Strategy Choice Making Guide

It starts off with making choices around your winning aspiration, where to play and how to win. Once these choices have been made, we then look at your organisations capabilities and management system to determine if the strategy is realistic. We ask the questions:

  • Do we have the skills and capabilities to achieve your winning aspiration?

  • What are the major barriers that stand in our way?

  • Are we being realistic, do we need to go back and adjust our winning aspiration, where to play or how to win?


Let's break this down with an example...


Winning Aspiration

This organisation has determined that the purpose of adopting the Power Platform is to improve process efficiencies by enabling employees to use the tools provided by the Power Platform.


Power Platform Winning Aspiration Choices
Choose a Winning Aspiration

Where to Play

In order to achieve their Winning Aspiration, the organisation has chosen to focus on certain Where to Play choices that align with the Winning Aspiration. There is so much to the Power Platform that organisations struggle for clarity and direction if they take on too much. Start small and incrementally iterate to work towards a more ambitious Winning Aspiration.


Power Platform Where to Play Choices
Choose Where to Play

How to Win

Additionally, the organisation has been selective about how they will achieve their Winning Aspiration.


Power Platform How to Win Choices
Choose How to Win

Capabilities

Comparing the current capabilities of the organisation with what is required to implement the Where to Play and How to Win choices, it becomes clear which roles/skills they have (green), they will have / easy to obtain (yellow) and it will be challenging to have / a barrier (pink). This gives a clear visual on where the gaps lie in implementing the choices of this strategy. It brings us to the question, are we being realistic, do we need to go back and adjust our winning aspiration, where to play or how to win?


Power Platform Capability Assessment
Assess Capabilities

Management Systems

Finally, the current management systems of the organisation are compared with what is required to implement the Where to Play and How to Win choices for the Power Platform. Things that the organisation needs, but does not yet have (yellow) visualises the amount of work that is needed to be done to implement the strategy.


Power Platform Management Systems Assessment
Assess Management Systems

Conclusion: Solidifying Your Power Platform Success


In the end, adopting the Power Platform is about more than just introducing a new set of tools into your organisation. It's about enabling and empowering your team to streamline processes, increase productivity, and drive innovation. By leveraging the Strategy Choice Cascade as outlined in this post, your organisation can build a solid foundation for the successful adoption and usage of the Power Platform.


The Power Platform and low-code is the future, and with a solid strategy in place, you'll be well-equipped to harness its power effectively. As you embark on your Power Platform journey, keep the insights from this post in mind and remember that the journey is continuous. Adapt, learn, and refine your strategy as you move forward. With this approach, you can ensure the Power Platform becomes a transformative force in your organisation.

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