Learning new technologies can often feel like a monotonous task, especially when you’re stuck in the world of theory, textbooks, and online courses. Many people find theoretical learning dull and uninspiring, making staying motivated and engaged challenging. However, there’s a better way to learn the Power Platform that keeps you focused and allows you to witness the real impact of your new skills—building practical, real-world solutions.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can make your Power Platform learning journey more exciting and rewarding by focusing on creating real-world applications that solve problems or add value to your life. By working on projects like these, you’ll stay engaged, build a deeper understanding of the concepts, and see firsthand how the Power Platform can transform businesses, personal projects, and even your family’s daily activities. Say goodbye to the boredom of pure theory, and let’s dive into the world of practical Power Platform learning!
I. Setting your goals
The first step in your Power Platform learning journey is to set clear, achievable goals. This will help you stay focused, track progress, and celebrate milestones. One effective goal-setting approach is building a real-world application that aligns with your interests or solves a specific problem.
A. Identifying skills to develop
Start by listing the specific skills you want to acquire or improve within the Power Platform ecosystem. This might include Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, or Power Virtual Agents. Then, think about a real-world application that can utilize these skills, such as a project management tool, a customer feedback system, or a data visualization dashboard.
B. Creating a timeline
Once you have a clear idea of the skills you want to develop and a real-world application in mind, create a timeline for achieving your goals. Set both short-term and long-term goals, remembering that learning is an ongoing process. Break down the project into smaller milestones, like building a prototype, adding specific features, or integrating data sources. You might set weekly or monthly goals and milestones for the next 3, 6, or 12 months.
C. Importance of setting realistic goals
It’s crucial to set goals that are ambitious yet achievable. Unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and burnout, while goals that are too easy won’t provide the challenge and motivation you need to keep learning. Strike a balance by considering your current skill level, available time, and other commitments. Remember, you can always adjust your goals as you progress and gain a better understanding of your capabilities.
Unsure what “real-world” solution you could build to practice on?
Here’s a list of real-world sample apps you could build using the Power Platform, ordered from the easiest to more complex:
Employee Directory App:
Skills: Basic app design, data source integration, and search functionality.
Description: Create a simple app that displays employee information like names, job titles, departments, and contact details. This app can help users easily find and connect with their colleagues.
Expense Tracker App:
Skills: User input handling, data manipulation, and report generation.
Description: Develop an app to track and manage personal or work-related expenses. Users can input expense details, categorize them, and view summaries or reports for better financial management.
Time-off Request App:
Skills: Workflow automation, conditional formatting, and user role management.
Description: Build an app that allows employees to submit time-off requests and managers to approve or decline them. This app streamlines the time-off request process and ensures clear communication between employees and managers.
Event Management App:
Skills: Calendar integration, data visualization, and notifications.
Description: Design an app that helps users plan, manage, and track events or meetings. This includes scheduling, attendee management, venue booking, and reminders.
Customer Feedback System:
Skills: Form creation, sentiment analysis, and data analysis.
Description: Create an app that allows businesses to collect and manage customer feedback. This can include features like feedback forms, sentiment analysis, and reporting tools to identify trends and areas for improvement.
Inventory Management App:
Skills: Barcode scanning, inventory tracking, and alert system setup.
Description: Develop an app that helps businesses track and manage their inventory, including stock levels, product details, and alerts for low-stock or expiring items.
Skills: Data visualization, Power BI integration, and custom report creation.
Description: Build a Power BI dashboard that visualizes sales data and provides insights into key performance indicators like revenue, profit margins, and customer acquisition.
Helpdesk Ticketing System:
Skills: Ticket management, SLA tracking, and performance metrics.
Description: Design an app streamlining submitting, tracking, and resolving IT support tickets. This can include features like ticket assignment, prioritization, and performance metrics.
Project Management Tool:
Skills: Task management, progress tracking, and resource allocation.
Description: Create a comprehensive app that assists teams in managing projects, tasks, and deadlines. This app can include features like task assignment, progress tracking, and resource allocation.
Virtual Agent for Customer Support:
Skills: Chatbot creation, natural language processing, and AI-driven support.
Description: Develop a Power Virtual Agent that helps businesses provide automated customer support through chatbots. This can include features like natural language processing, knowledge base integration, and escalation to human support when needed.
II. Embrace a real-world, modular learning approach
To make your Power Platform learning journey more engaging, adopting a modular learning approach that focuses on real-world applications is essential. This method allows you to break down your learning into smaller, manageable pieces and concentrate on practical projects that demonstrate the value of the skills you’re acquiring.
A. Selecting specific topics or features
Start by identifying specific topics or features within the Power Platform that you want to learn or improve. Instead of tackling everything, concentrate on mastering one area at a time. This targeted approach will help you stay focused and thoroughly understand each topic before moving on to the next.
B. Applying new skills to real-world projects
Once you’ve chosen a topic or feature to focus on, find a real-world project that can benefit from your newly acquired skills. By working on practical applications, you’ll reinforce your learning and maintain motivation and interest in the subject matter. Real-world projects allow you to see the tangible impact of your new skills, which can be highly rewarding and inspiring.
C. Iterative learning and improvement
As you work on real-world projects, you’ll likely encounter new challenges and uncover areas where your knowledge could be improved. Embrace these learning opportunities and iterate on your projects to continuously refine your skills. This process of constant improvement will ensure that you stay engaged and committed to your learning journey.
By incorporating a real-world, modular learning approach, you’ll be able to maintain focus, enhance your understanding of the Power Platform, and experience the satisfaction of applying your skills to meaningful projects that make a difference.
III. Develop a routine
Consistency is critical in micro-learning, just as with a gym workout. Developing a routine ensures that you consistently dedicate time and effort towards your learning goals.
A. Consistency in learning
Establish a regular learning schedule that suits your lifestyle and commitments. Whether daily, every other day, or a few times a week, the important thing is to create a routine that you can stick to in the long run.
B. Comparing it to a gym workout schedule
As you would plan your gym workouts, plan your Power Platform learning sessions. Allocate specific times for each session and treat them equally like any other appointment or commitment. Doing so makes you more likely to stay on track and remain consistent with your learning.
C. Setting aside dedicated time
Life can get busy, but setting aside dedicated time for your learning is crucial. It doesn’t have to be long sessions; even 20-30 minutes daily can yield significant results. Find the time that works best for you, whether early morning, during lunch breaks, or in the evening, and make it a non-negotiable part of your routine.
IV. Tracking progress and celebrating milestones
To stay motivated and encouraged throughout your learning journey, it’s essential to track your progress and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem.
A. Measuring improvement
Keep a log of your learning sessions and completed tasks, and periodically review your progress. By doing this, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come and make any necessary adjustments to your goals or learning approach.
One huge tip is to create a YouTube Channel or a blog and commit to sharing what you’ve learned in the last week. The video or post doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. It will just hold you accountable and might even bring in some ad revenue!
Here’s guidance on how to do that:
- How to Start a YouTube Channel for Power Platform Tutorials
- How to Create a Successful TikTok Channel as a Power Platform Developer
- How to Create and Setup a Power Platform Blog Website from Scratch using WordPress and Thrive Themes
B. Enjoying endorphin hits from achievements.
Each time you reach a milestone or achieve a goal, take a moment to savour the accomplishment. These endorphin hits will help keep you motivated and excited about your progress. Share your achievements with friends, family, or your learning community to amplify your sense of accomplishment further.
Need inspiration? Build a family shopping list:
If you think sharing your progress with your family will keep you motivated, why not build an app they can all use?
Here’s what you could build:
Develop a feature within the Family Organizer app that allows family members to create, share, and manage shopping lists. This shared shopping list will enable everyone to contribute to and view the items needed, making grocery shopping more efficient and ensuring nothing is forgotten.
- Collaborative lists: Create a shopping list that allows multiple family members to add, edit, and remove items in real-time. This ensures that everyone’s needs are considered and helps avoid duplicate purchases.
- Categorization: Organize items by category or store section (e.g., produce, dairy, bakery) to make shopping more efficient. Family members can easily find the items they need and navigate the store.
- Priority setting: Enable family members to prioritise items on the list, such as “urgent” or “optional.” This helps in case of budget constraints or when some items are out of stock, allowing family members to decide what to purchase first.
- Cross-platform access: Ensure the shopping list is accessible across various devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. This way, family members can access and update the list from anywhere and anytime.
- Power Apps: Use Power Apps to build the user interface for the shared shopping list, including the ability to add, edit, and remove items, set priorities and categorize them.
- Data source integration: Connect the shopping list to a data source, such as SharePoint or Common Data Service, to store and manage the list data. This allows real-time collaboration and ensures that the data is always up to date.
- Power Automate: Utilize Power Automate to create automated workflows, such as sending notifications to family members when new items are added to the list or priorities change. This helps keep everyone informed and engaged.
- Responsive design: Implement a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and devices, ensuring the shopping list is user-friendly and accessible across various platforms.
By incorporating these features and technologies, you can create a shared family shopping list that streamlines grocery shopping and encourages collaboration among family members.
C. Adjusting goals as necessary
As you progress, you may find that your goals need to be updated or fine-tuned. Be flexible and willing to reassess your goals based on your progress, newly acquired knowledge, and changes in your personal or professional circumstances. This will help ensure your learning journey remains relevant, challenging, and rewarding.
V. Engage with the community
Connecting with fellow Power Platform learners and enthusiasts can be a valuable source of support, inspiration, and knowledge. By engaging with the community, you can enhance your learning experience and further your progress.
A. Joining Power Platform forums or groups
Participate in online discussions, groups, or social media platforms dedicated to the Power Platform. These communities can answer your questions, provide insights into best practices, and even provide opportunities to collaborate on projects. The Collab365 Academy has over 6000 members and is also a friendly learning community.
B. Collaborating on projects
Working with others on Power Platform projects can be a great way to apply your skills, learn from others, and build your portfolio. Seek opportunities to partner with your peers or join existing projects within the community.
C. Sharing experiences and learning from others
As you progress in your learning journey, don’t hesitate to share your experiences, successes, and challenges. By doing so, you can gain valuable feedback and learn from the experiences of fellow learners. You’ll also contribute to the community and help others facing similar challenges.
VI. Collab365 challenges
If you’re short on time or struggling to maintain consistency, Collab365 challenges offer a fantastic alternative. These challenges allow you to rapidly advance your Power Platform skills in just a few hours over the weekend.
A. Alternative for those that are short-on-time
Collab365 challenges are designed to be time-efficient and highly focused, making them perfect for busy individuals who want to continue learning and growing.
B. Accelerating skills over a weekend
Participating in a Collab365 challenge can quickly expand your knowledge in specific areas of the Power Platform, giving you a sense of accomplishment and boosting your confidence.
C. Exploring diverse challenges to expand knowledge
Collab365 offers various challenges covering different aspects of the Power Platform. This diversity allows you to explore new topics and develop your skill set in a fun and engaging way.
In conclusion, learning the Power Platform through micro-learning and applying your skills to real-world projects can be an advantageous and practical approach. By setting clear goals, breaking them into achievable milestones, and building usable applications, such as a Family Organizer app with a shared shopping list, you’ll improve your Power Platform expertise and create valuable solutions that will impress the heck out of your family members!
Remember to stay consistent with your learning, track your progress, and celebrate your achievements. Engage with the Power Platform community to further enhance your learning experience and explore diverse challenges, as we offer at Collab365, to expand your skill set rapidly.
By following these steps, you’ll experience the satisfaction of making tangible progress, witness the impact of your newfound skills, and enjoy the endorphin hits that come from overcoming challenges and reaching your goals. Happy learning!
If you want to get started, you can either start reading articles on here or go for a faster approach and take a 1 dollar trial in our Collab365 Academy.