Power Automate – Tips & Tricks for you
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could automate the repetitive tasks that are time-consuming to you? If you were to eliminate your sources of error? If it could help you increase data quality and productivity and improve internal communication? Forget “would be,” “would be,” and “could be” – this idea is closer than you might think. In this blog, we’ll show you how to achieve your goal with Power Automate using a variety of tips and tricks. Let’s start with a short introduction.
What is Power Automate?
Microsoft’s Power Platform is a collection of tools to analyze data and create apps and chatbots, among other things. Power Automate is a part of this and offers a variety of options and solutions to automate processes.
Power Automate offers over 300 so-called connectors – interfaces or connections to other systems. This means that Microsoft systems such as Outlook, Teams or SharePoint can be linked together. However, there are also numerous third-party systems to choose from, such as Salesforce or Twitter.
The most noticeable difference to other process automation solutions is the graphical user interface. No programming skills are required to create many flows. The individual steps are strung together using graphical building blocks to perform the desired tasks.
How do I create a flow in Power Automate?
Before you can start creating the flow, you need to be clear about some important points. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Goal: What is the goal of the flow?
- Scenarios: Which scenarios mainly occur? Are there any exceptions? Is it worth automating?
- Flow type: What triggers the flow?
- Connectors: Which connectors are needed? (Licenses available?)
The scenarios addressed are particularly important. You can quickly waste a lot of time trying to design the flow to also cover that one exception that occurs every four years on February 29. Think carefully about whether it’s really worth it.
Now you have created a rough concept of what the flow should look like. So we are ready to go.
Tip Nr. 1: Rename actions
Power Automate assigns a default name for the trigger and each action. Use the option to rename them and assign self-explanatory names. You and your teammates will be grateful later when testing and troubleshooting.
Tip Nr. 2: Document
Add a short note in each step describing what is happening in that action. This can be especially helpful when you use expressions or trigger conditions that are not visible at first glance.
Tip Nr. 3: Error handling in Power Automate
Think about where in the flow an error could happen – for example, because data is incomplete or processed in the wrong format. How should the flow respond to this? By default, it will abort at this point and not perform any subsequent actions. Maybe it makes sense for you to catch this by having the flow automatically send an email to you or the support team? Or at best, can the error be ignored and the flow continue at the next step? The “Run by configure” setting allows you to control this behavior.
Tip Nr. 4: Create order and overview
A flow with a few actions can quickly become confusing. Put together what belongs together – with the help of the Scope action. A scope (or area) is an empty container with no logic that exists solely to provide order.
Tip Nr. 5. Get help
Of course, no Power Automate master has ever fallen from the sky. It takes some practice to find your way around the plethora of actions, expressions, triggers and connectors. Prefer not to wade through Microsoft documentation, hundreds of videos, and blog posts on your own?
We will be happy to help you and share our knowledge as well as our experience with you!
Contact us for a no-obligation, complimentary Assessment Hour, where we’ll work together in an interactive meeting to identify your needs and define how we can support you on your journey to becoming a Power Automate Master.