Case Study: How a Government App Improved Email Workflow for Employee Training
Looking at ways to improve email workflow for employee training was a top priority for the City of White Rock. This small to mid-size organization needed to find a way to automate and simplify daily business processes. The City of White Rock turned to Gravity Union to develop an app within the Office 365 ecosystem.
One of the biggest problems with managing training for employees was that it was a time-consuming process that resulted in many errors. These specific challenges included:
Automation and tracking provided an excellent opportunity for the City of White Rock. Using this technology to improve upon their existing system can reduce the number of errors to improve efficiency and lessen the dependence of relying on one person to manage the entire HR training process.
Main Benefits of Using Power Apps
Gaining access to a suite of tools, such as Power Automate and Power Apps makes it easy for non-developers to create web and mobile apps.
These tools are especially beneficial for increasing email workflow for HR departments.
Cost and Time Benefit
One of the benefits of using Power Apps and Automate is that it's much faster and easier to use various data sources for applications. You can often create an automated workflow in less than a day, while complex apps may only take a few weeks.
You also have a greater chance of success by working with familiar tools. A Power App provides an interface to the information. At the same time, all of this data resides in SharePoint lists, which requires minimal training due to the city employees being familiar with this technology.
Easier to Test
Custom applications often require additional testing. However, the testing process for Power Apps is much easier, as you don't have to worry about testing separate components. Ultimately, this greatly reduces the amount of time for debugging.
An added benefit of using Office 365 is that it's already designed with built-in security. You can use PowerApps at any time while having peace of mind that your application is much safer and secure compared to creating a custom application.
Power Automate and Power Apps are designed for the non-developer, making it much easier for non-technical people to make updates in the future. You will never have to depend on one person to manage everything. On the other hand, supporting a legacy custom application is a much more time-consuming process that often requires the original developer.
While Power Automate and Power Apps offer many benefits, there are also a few things to keep in mind.
It's always important to remember the cost of using an app. Not all Office 365 licenses are the same, as some licenses don't allow each employee to use Power Apps, as the licensing may add significant costs. Licensing also changes frequently, and keeping up to date with these changes is important before you invest.
Understand Data Source
Not all SharePoint lists are appropriate for use as a data source, especially if you use complex relational data. You may want to consider using a source that enables the admin to edit data, which automatically creates a more straightforward process.
Proposed features can often get much bigger without prioritizing essential elements of your application. Creating a priority list is important in reducing the chance of scope creep that often occurs in any software project. Building a manageable app gives you the flexibility to enhance it over time without any limitations.
Team Member Roles
Creating roles for each team member is important to ensure everything runs smoothly. Typically, you will want a person with software development experience to work on the logic of the app while using a licensing person to make sure it is accessible for your employees. You may also consider using a designer for simple branding purposes.
How It All Works
The new employee training app for the City of White Rock is built by using Power Automate, Microsoft Power Apps, and SharePoint lists.
Users can access these apps from a mobile device or computer.
Final Launch Stages
The City of White Rock is currently using a pilot phase to test the app's functionality, while the HR team is using SharePoint to manage each training course. If all goes according to plan, the City of White Rock is expected to have a new app in the near future.
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