Book Image

Workflow Automation with Microsoft Power Automate

By : Aaron Guilmette
Book Image

Workflow Automation with Microsoft Power Automate

By: Aaron Guilmette

Overview of this book

Microsoft Power Automate is a workflow automation solution included in Microsoft 365. This book explores the core concepts of workflow automation, such as working with connectors, triggers, and actions, along with their practical implementation in automating business tasks and simplifying digital processes to boost enterprise productivity.
Table of Contents (22 chapters)
Section 1 - What is Power Automate?
Section 2 - Basic Flow Concepts
Section 3 - Intermediate Flow Concepts
Section 4 - Administering the Power Automate Environment

Choosing what to automate

Frequently, people do work that they don't need to do. It's important to differentiate between "work that doesn't need to be done at all" and "work that doesn't require you to do it."

From both the administrative and end user perspectives, there are a number of activities, processes, and tasks in Office 365 and other line-of-business applications that can be automated through the use of Power Automate.

Automation is a key business technology to reduce the impact of repetitive, low-skill tasks on the workforce. Consider the following diagram:

When looking at business processes, they can generally be divided into one of the four quadrants:

  • High value, low skill: Requires minimal specialist skill, but is critical or produces high-value output
  • High value, high skill: Requires human intelligence or processing to determine value, skills, and relationships
  • Low value, low skill: Requires minimal specialist skill and also produces an output of small value
  • Low value, high skill: Requires a high degree of focus or skill but produces an output of small value.

As you examine tasks in your daily routine, you can evaluate them against the preceding matrix to help understand whether it is something that can or should be automated. Items that fall into the "low skill" quadrants are very good candidates for automation.

Look at the following examples:

  • Running a report of the previous day's sales totals is a repetitive task that requires low specialist skill. If possible, you should seek to automate this task.
  • Calling a customer for follow-up on a demo unit that was sent. This is a high-touch, high-value activity, but requires the personalization and complexity of human relationship management to execute effectively. This task is not a good candidate for automation.

In the upcoming sections and chapters, we're going to get familiar with the terminology and interface of Power Automate, and then learn how to connect to common applications to solve business problems.