“Change Enterprise” Part 5 – Empower Self-Service

Continuing with my series “Change Enterprise”, the next part of my methodology – “Empower Self -Service”. 

The delegation of access to data, with the use of appropriate tools and governance, to allow self-service for all stakeholders, is how the juggernaut of a large enterprise can adopt a #GSD (get stuff done) culture. Change enterprises understand the importance of speed and trust over silos and ivory towers. 

Simply put, empowered employees need to be able to get on with their work quickly, simply and without roadblocks. Having to call the Marketing team to be emailed the latest version of the company’s PowerPoint template is just too slow, inefficient and relies on people always being present to act upon the request.  

Self service is a methodology that should come first, just like how ‘Cloud-first’ became a mantra in the 2000’s, so must the self-service approach. The IT platforms are now in a place to support this, so when considering organisation development, it should be a given that the solution would facilitate self-service out of the box. 

One change that is considered to be very “modern” is this self-service mantra that has extended beyond the organisational boundary to external & trusted partners. It is now acknowledged that the security boundary of data needs to extend outside of the organisations IT infrastructure to allow input from customers, suppliers, partners etc with the same ease of collaboration as the internal employee experience.  

An example of this point about empowering self-service, comes from Microsoft Teams. The platform has emerged and completely blossomed over the course of just a couple of years, accelerated by the remote working / pandemic challenges of course but also successful due to its perfect fit with the need to allow self-service. 

Intranets – Most organisations have already taken a step towards self-service with various iterations of an Intranet. However, it remains one of the most useful tools for a sense of belonging and the all-important self-service of company policy, form submissions and the availability of information that is needed for all employees. The key deliverable of any Intranet project is to enable self-service.  

Automation  With the arrival of the Power Platform and low code development across data and collection, process automation and information insight, we have an additional layer of self-service branded the “Citizen Developer” evolution. These champions of data availability and process efficiency have deployed workflows, apps, and dashboards across organisations large and small.  

Again, Microsoft Teams has stepped up and taken it to the next level. Through its creation of Apps now available to be created inside a Team, Microsoft Lists with their useful and creative templates and an even better Power BI embedding experience (that was launched this month), the availability of the tools to help employees self-serve is abundant.  However, caution should be exercised so we do not continue to create silos of apps that only one person can edit etc. Again, Microsoft have created an excellent Centre of Excellence tool set to help you manage this exact issue. 

Enterprise tools  Having been involved myself in the creation and provision of an enterprise SaaS platform (Casper365), I can give first-hand assertation that the integration of the security and enterprise apps model is a massive accelerator for software vendors to build on top of the business platforms that are already in use. Leveraging the very platform of the Microsoft 365 cloud as we have done means that developers can focus on adding value with services that allow users to self-serve and self-govern. The ability to create Teams, SharePoint sites, Power platform artefacts from templates based on the pre-approval of your requirements from the IT team or a bespoke approval process saves so much time for employees, IT teams, support professionals etc and encourages that #GSD attitude that the Change Organisation needs. 

All this removes the reliance on IT for standard business needs, creating teams, sites, claiming expenses etc. leaving the IT team free to work on the strategy, security and control of knowledge and data in the business.  

To summarise, the IT team need to spend less time following processes where approval is always given as these areas of business, (where raising a ticket and having IT create something is viewed as a control) are actually roadblocks to progress for the requester. Instead, utilise the tools at hand allowing pre-approval or a bespoke process and see the difference in, not only the IT department, but the whole organisation. It is that much needed #GSD attitude!  

Learn more about my ‘Change Enterprise’ series with the next stage of the methodology ‘Community’. 

Thanks for listening – don’t forget to leave comments below or get in touch with me directly if you’d like to chat about the content posted here or anything to do with the Power Platform – I’m a Business Applications speaker and evangelist with a clear focus on delivering real business value from technology. I speak at least once a month so please find me at an event and #LetsGetCoffee

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