Work automation sounds like an IT or programmer topic. It is not. Anyone – without any programming background can automate repetitive manual processes – using Power Automate (PA) – which is a part of Microsoft 365 (Office 365). Here is the video of the session I conducted on 19th Jun 2021.
The concept is simple. There is a trigger and one or more actions. For example, when someone submits a form, PA will notice it and send automated emails, create tasks for specific people and send notifications. How long does it take to get started? Maximum two hours.
The best part is, PA works with 300+ non-Microsoft products as well. Each one has some triggers and actions. All you have to do is think of a manual process, find the product which triggers the action and look for a template.
Video Table of Contents
- Like Outlook Rules
- Triggers and Actions
- Find Power Automate
- Types of work automation
- Panic Button
- Birthday Wishes Sender
- Mail Merge
- Customer Survey Auto Response
Download this Zip file. It contains five workflow demos which the video demonstrates.
- Resources – Quick Wins and Next Steps.pdf
- Copy the powerplatform folder, along with the attachments subfolder to your OneDrive root folder.
- Five zip files – each containing one demo workflow.
How to upload demo flows
The demos are – Birthday wishes, Mail Merge, Approval, Form submission handler, Panic button.
- Go to Power Automate
- Go to My Flows – choose Import
- Choose one of the zip files
- At the bottom look at Related Resources.
- You may see one or more items with a link – Select during import
- Click on each of those links and login using your Office 365 Id.
- Finally, click the Import button.
Excel file data
Birthdays and Mail merge data are two Excel files included. These contain fictitious email ids and data. Please add your test email ids and your data wherever necessary. For mail merge, we are using three rows which require three pdf files in the attachments folders. In case you change the file and folder names, you will need to change the settings in the Power Automate flow steps.
Configure and customize demos
Click each step of the workflow. Look at all the parameters and check if they need modification. Specifically check three things…
- appropriate email ids
- Correct folder names
- Team names from your environment
If this information is missing or wrong, the flows will not work. Once all parameters are set, click Save and then Test each flow.
Start learning work automation
Now that you have everything needed, start learning work automation. You can see the video and follow along using the sample files. If you have any queries, please post them as comments below this article. If you find this useful, please share it with your colleagues and friends.