Amazing Apps - learn how to build agile Dynamics 365 and Power Platform business apps using Scrum

Neil Benson

Amazing Apps is for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform builders who want to use the Scrum framework to build amazing business apps that everyone will love.  The podcast is hosted by Microsoft MVP, Neil Benson, and produced by Customery. [Dynamics365, D365, Power Apps, PowerApps, Power Pages, Power Apps Portals, Power Automate, Flow, Power Virtual Agents, PVA, PowerBI] read less
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Episodes

Should .NET Developers Stick or Switch to Power Platform?
08-01-2024
Should .NET Developers Stick or Switch to Power Platform?
#153.  Neil Benson is joined by Keith Atherton, a proper pro developer. Keith shares his journey from developing custom apps using .NET, C# and SQL Server to embracing and mastering the development of enterprise business applications using the Power Platform.What do developers lose and gain using Power Platform compared to developing an app from scratch with .NET and SQL Server.The power of rapidly prototyping applications in Power Apps even compared to wireframing tools, like Basalmiq.How Keith decides when to use a low-code option or write code to meet a requirement.The value of documenting our own solutions and decisions, even if it's just for our own benefit later. Developers are used to unit testing, automated regression testing, AI-assisted programming. Do you miss those capabilities when working with Power Platform, especially Power Fx?  How Keith thinks about keeping his skills up-to-date and mastering so many competencies through a weekly learning routine.Why .NET and C# developers should start with PL-900 Power Platform Fundamentals as their starting point for learning how to transfer their skills to Power Apps development.If Keith had a magic wand, Microsoft would enable him to use C# in the Power Fx editor.Keith AthertonKeith Atherton on LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/keith-atherton/Keith's blog: https://www.keithatherton.com/Keith's podcast, On Air in the Cloud: https://onairinthecloud.com/ResourcesKeith's courses on LinkedIn Learning: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/instructors/keith-atherton PL-900 Power Platform Fundamentals training on Microsoft Learn: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/training/paths/power-plat-fundamentals/Real-world examples of Power Platform solution architectures: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/power-platform/guidance/architecture/real-world-examples/overviewSupport the showCONNECT🌏 Amazing Apps website🟦 Customery on LinkedIn🟦 Neil Benson on LinkedIn MY ONLINE COURSES🚀 Agile Foundations for Microsoft Business Apps 🏉 Scrum for Microsoft Business Apps 📐 Estimating Business Apps Keep experimenting 🧪-Neil
A Big Bang? Going Live with Dynamics 365 or Power Platform with Andrew Bibby
19-09-2023
A Big Bang? Going Live with Dynamics 365 or Power Platform with Andrew Bibby
#150. What does it take to have a successful go live event for your Dynamics 365 or Power Platform application. Neil Benson sat down with Andrew Bibby, a seasoned expert in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform business applications. In this episode, Andrew shares his insights on the crucial process of preparing for and executing a successful go live. From addressing technical difficulties to promoting user adoption and measuring success, Andrew sheds light on the often-overlooked aspects of post-delivery project management. He also discusses the importance of training, involving change champions, and effective communication in ensuring a smooth transition. Don't miss this informative episode filled with practical tips for achieving a seamless go-live and maximizing return on investment!RESOURCESAndrew Bibby on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewbibby/Proximo3 on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/proximo3/Proximo3 website: https://proximo3.com/Nordic Summit: https://nordicsummit.info/South Coast Summit: https://www.southcoastsummit.com/TIMESTAMPS03:26 Phased go-live events for Dynamics 36506:06 Effort in successful go-live leads to happiness08:34 Preparation and rehearsal lead to a successful go-live12:39 Prepare and do steps before go-live15:36 Early user involvement is vital for successful projects21:17 Insufficient thought put into IT project training25:45 Change management ensures successful projects and user adoption30:07 Change management enhances project success and communication33:02 Choosing a go-live day38:20 Metrics, monitoring, and justification are crucial42:30 The importance of getting across your message, and change managementSupport the showCONNECT🌏 Amazing Apps website🟦 Customery on LinkedIn🟦 Neil Benson on LinkedIn MY ONLINE COURSES🚀 Agile Foundations for Microsoft Business Apps 🏉 Scrum for Microsoft Business Apps 📐 Estimating Business Apps Keep experimenting 🧪-Neil
Breaking Free from the Tyranny of the Deliverable with Andrew Welch
06-09-2023
Breaking Free from the Tyranny of the Deliverable with Andrew Welch
#149. Andrew Welch is the Chief Technology Officer at HSO. Andrew is an expert in IT strategy and has a wealth of experience advising customers on their big strategic technology decisions. He is also an author, Microsoft MVP, and a regular presenter at conferences. Joining us today, Andrew shares valuable insights on the importance of IT leadership, cloud ecosystems, data platforms, artificial intelligence, and the future of innovation in technology. We dive into the concept of the "Tyranny of the Deliverable" and how it relates to IT organizations organizing themselves into technology-focused teams. Andrew also discusses the need for a holistic approach to digital transformation and the role of a cloud strategist in piecing together various technical components to drive business value. If you're an IT leader, architect, or consultant, this episode is packed with valuable perspectives and tips from Andrew Welch. Don't miss it!TIMESTAMPS02:09 Importance of CIOs leading technology ecosystem integration.04:48 Enterprise architects focus on specific workloads. Another architect, a cloud strategist, is needed for building capabilities and driving business value.07:55 Microsoft's platform is versatile for mix and match.11:11 Lunch with Ana Demeny, discussing Microsoft versus Google.16:09 AI investment: data consolidation for value-delivery.20:26 Tyranny of the deliverable: siloed teams, wrong solutions, budget incentives, counterproductive. Solution: subscription as a service model. Move away from hourly charges and fixed scopes.24:55 Andrew presenting 5 strategies at Nordic Summit.RESOURCESAndrew Welch on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewdwelchAndrew's blog: CloudLight.House: https://CloudLight.houseDynamics 365 and Power Platform UK User Groups: https://d365ppug.comNordic Summit, 23 September 2023: https://nordicsummit.infoForeceworks Services-as-a-Subscription: https://forceworks.com/the-works-from-forceworksSupport the showCONNECT🌏 Amazing Apps website🟦 Customery on LinkedIn🟦 Neil Benson on LinkedIn MY ONLINE COURSES🚀 Agile Foundations for Microsoft Business Apps 🏉 Scrum for Microsoft Business Apps 📐 Estimating Business Apps Keep experimenting 🧪-Neil
Chris Huntingford Doesn't Believe in Citizen Developers
19-07-2023
Chris Huntingford Doesn't Believe in Citizen Developers
#145. We're back with another incredible episode of Amazing Apps, and this time we have an amazing guest on board. Neil Benson is joined by the Low Code Lead & Platform Evangelist at ANS Group, Chris Huntingford. Chris spills the beans on citizen developers, he talks about the concept of ecosystem enablement, the potential of low code platforms, the importance of enabling everyone to build apps and flows, hackathons, and more. Hit the play button and dive into this insightful conversation between Neil and Chris!TIMESTAMPS00:03:39 The importance of citizen developers00:07:24 The power of fusion teams00:09:09 Building skills with hands-on experience00:13:30 All about hackathons00:16:38 The importance of ecosystem enablements00:18:16 The importance of people in digital transformation00:20:31 Customer shift in app development00:22:09 The future of Dynamics and Power Platform00:26:07 What it’s like to work for Microsoft or a partner00:32:13 The impact of timing on conference attendance00:34:00 Tips for effective learning and building solutions with DataverseRESOURCESChris Huntingford on LinkedInChris Huntingford on YouTubeThat Platform Guy on TwitterANS Group on LinkedInSupport the showCONNECT🌏 Amazing Apps website🟦 Customery on LinkedIn🟦 Neil Benson on LinkedIn MY ONLINE COURSES🚀 Agile Foundations for Microsoft Business Apps 🏉 Scrum for Microsoft Business Apps 📐 Estimating Business Apps Keep experimenting 🧪-Neil
Joining an existing team as a new scrum master with Matthew Venamore
05-07-2023
Joining an existing team as a new scrum master with Matthew Venamore
#144.  Neil Benson is joined by Matthew Venamore, a scrum master with extensive experience coaching Dynamics 365 teams. Matthew shares valuable insights into the challenges faced by new scrum masters when joining existing teams and emphasizes the importance of empowering the team. He advises taking a standoffish stance initially, observing the team and their work before making any changes or adding value. Matthew shares his personal journey, starting as a software delivery manager and eventually becoming a scrum master. He highlights the importance of coaching and guiding a team towards self-management and offers insights into handling various challenges, such as developers working on product backlog items that are not ready. He discusses the benefits and potential drawbacks of having a definition of done and a definition of ready, emphasizing the need for flexibility and open discussions within the team.Tune in to this enlightening episode of Amazing Apps podcast as Matthew Venamore provides valuable insights and practical advice for both new and experienced scrum masters, shedding light on the importance of empowerment, simplicity, and continuous improvement within agile teams.Matthew VenamoreMatthew Venamore on LinkedInResourcesAmazing Apps 45: Live inside my Daily ScrumScrum GuideSupport the showCONNECT🌏 Amazing Apps website🟦 Customery on LinkedIn🟦 Neil Benson on LinkedIn MY ONLINE COURSES🚀 Agile Foundations for Microsoft Business Apps 🏉 Scrum for Microsoft Business Apps 📐 Estimating Business Apps Keep experimenting 🧪-Neil
Navigating the role of an architect in a Dynamics 365 Scrum team with Allan de Castro
19-05-2023
Navigating the role of an architect in a Dynamics 365 Scrum team with Allan de Castro
#141. On this episode of Amazing Apps, podcast host Neil Benson is joined by Allan de Castro, a senior technical consultant for the Power Platform at Avanade France.They discuss their experience applying Scrum to recent projects, including the role of an architect in the Scrum framework. The episode covers key challenges such as the importance of ensuring clarity in the backlog, prioritization of sprints, and addressing technical requirements while focusing on business and added value. [00:06:23] Allan, an architect and technical lead, discusses the challenge of finding their place in a team using the Scrum framework for the first time, and navigating discussions related to technical requirements and architecture while also focusing on business requirements and added value. [00:10:15] Focus on delivering continuous testing value during sprints, even if it means sacrificing some business value.[00:11:56] Agile and Scrum framework used for new project, integrating systems and iterating for development. Customer familiarity with Agile important.[00:13:12] Capture project requirements early to avoid issues in development.[00:16:36] Business analyst helps product owner with basic questions on application building, including object lifecycle. Dynamics 365 provides out-of-the-box features, such as bulk edit mode, without development needed. It can be demonstrated in demo instead of user story.[00:19:10] To successfully execute a Dynamics 365 project using Scrum framework, it is important to ensure technical requirements are included in the backlog and fully estimated. It is also important to train the customer on Dynamics 365 and focus on prioritization during sprints. Custom development must fit into the security models provided by Dynamics. Workshops may be needed to refine new business requirements.[00:24:06] Team delivers daily or every two days into the UAT environment, with testing by a quality insurance person and a dual check by the project owner or business analyst before marking as done. UAT phases were conducted initially, but now testing is continuous without UAT phases.[00:26:13] The architecture and requirements were complicated due to unclear data sources and ongoing system construction. Agile methodology requires clear definitions before development, and cultural differences affect analysis phases. Workshop and design are necessary for identifying potential risks and managing sales territory was a major concern.[00:31:14] Ensure clear backlog, communicate dynamics to team and stakeholders, define sprint process, architect advisory role, avoid influencing sprints.[00:32:34] Dev team used Azure DevOps for backlog management, linking work items to pull requests and builds for easy tracking and communication with end users. They also suggest creating automatic task generation for consistent task patterns.Support the showCONNECT🌏 Amazing Apps website🟦 Customery on LinkedIn🟦 Neil Benson on LinkedIn MY ONLINE COURSES🚀 Agile Foundations for Microsoft Business Apps 🏉 Scrum for Microsoft Business Apps 📐 Estimating Business Apps Keep experimenting 🧪-Neil
Running experiments to build Dynamics 365 and Power Platform apps
27-04-2023
Running experiments to build Dynamics 365 and Power Platform apps
#140. Today, it’s just me, and I’d like to discuss what EMPIRICISM means to teams building complex, enterprise Dynamics 365 and Power Platform applications.In this episode, I’ll break down what empiricism is and its importance in Scrum, provide examples of work that would benefit from an empirical approach, and share insights on how we can use empiricism to build better business apps and improve our processes, tools, and techniques.HIGHLIGHTS[01:45] Why Scrum is based on an empirical process[05:01] Example of how empiricism works[06:21] Why the defined process control is the opposite of empiricism[10:01] The importance of empiricism in Scrum[10:53] Examples of simple work where Scrum is unnecessary[11:42] Examples of more complex work that would benefit from an empirical approach[14:07] What I love most about Scrum[15:50] Lessons that my business apps teams and I learned from our experiments[17:27] My challenge to you RESOURCESWhat is the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle? OODA Look by John Boyd explained: the processGrinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s by Ray Kroc Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) in Aquorea Victoria EmpiricismThe Scientific MethodSupport the showCONNECT🌏 Amazing Apps website🟦 Customery on LinkedIn🟦 Neil Benson on LinkedIn MY ONLINE COURSES🚀 Agile Foundations for Microsoft Business Apps 🏉 Scrum for Microsoft Business Apps 📐 Estimating Business Apps Keep experimenting 🧪-Neil
Agile Testing for Dynamics 365 with Emma Beckett
29-03-2023
Agile Testing for Dynamics 365 with Emma Beckett
#139. Today’s guest is Emma Beckett, an experienced test professional who runs her own company, Fortitude 17, in London, UK. A professional footballer, Emma pursued a career in software testing, even though her first role in tech was in Desktop Support — hardware, not software!As you’ll hear, Emma is a Certified ISTQB Test Consultant and trained in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&SCM, CE, and HR. She is currently training on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Ceridian Dayforce (HCM) solutions.In this episode, Emma shares how she got into software testing and discusses 1) professional testing, 2) how she approaches business application projects, and 3) what testing at large can bring to Dynamics applications.HGHLIGHTS[01:06] How Emma came to open her own testing consultancy[09:01] Emma’s approach to professional testing[12:48] The qualities that Emma looks for in good test professionals[18:09] The relationship between testing and training[20:00] Approaches to acceptance testing that have worked well for Emma[24:25] How Emma approaches other forms of testing on projects[29:43] How Emma deals with testing challenges[32:28] Other solutions that Emma’s consultancy has worked on[34:22] Emma talks about her recently launched podcastRESOURCESFortitude 17Connect with Emma Beckett on LinkedInCheck out the elbeckio showSupport the showCONNECT🌏 Amazing Apps website🟦 Customery on LinkedIn🟦 Neil Benson on LinkedIn MY ONLINE COURSES🚀 Agile Foundations for Microsoft Business Apps 🏉 Scrum for Microsoft Business Apps 📐 Estimating Business Apps Keep experimenting 🧪-Neil
Deep dive into Dynamics 365 Marketing with Malin Martnes
21-03-2023
Deep dive into Dynamics 365 Marketing with Malin Martnes
#138. My guest today is Malin Martnes, a Microsoft MVP and MCT who runs her own company MaCoTra AS in Oslo, Norway. As you’ll hear, Malin doesn’t have any technical background on Dynamics 365 and Power Platform but she focuses on using these systems.In this episode, Malin talks about how she came to be a CRM consultant and set up her own consulting business.  With years of experience as a user and trainer of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, she also discusses the integration of the HR solution with Finance & Operations, tips for deploying Dynamics 365 Marketing, and the events and training sessions she helped organize. Show Highlights [01:25] Malin’s background and how she got started as a CRM consultant[04:56] The story behind MaCoTra’s unusual name[10:06] Malin talks about the recently concluded Cloud Technology Townhall Tallinn 2023 event[15:16] Malin talks about the Norwegian Marketing Day she co-organized with fellow Microsoft MVP Guro Faller[18:31] Malin discusses the integration of Dynamics 365 Human Resources with Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations[22:53] Who Dynamics 365 Marketing and ClickDimensions cater to[26:02] Malin discusses the projects she’s done with Dynamics 365 Marketing[29:25] How Dynamics 365 Marketing handles deliverability[35:35] Malin shares tips to be aware of when deploying Dynamics 365 Marketing[44:08] What’s next for Malin? Resources Malin's company: MaCoTra ASBecoming a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant by Malin MartnesConnect with Malin Martnes on LinkedIn, Twitter, or via her websiteCustomery AcademySupport the showCONNECT🌏 Amazing Apps website🟦 Customery on LinkedIn🟦 Neil Benson on LinkedIn MY ONLINE COURSES🚀 Agile Foundations for Microsoft Business Apps 🏉 Scrum for Microsoft Business Apps 📐 Estimating Business Apps Keep experimenting 🧪-Neil
What's Next for Customery Academy?
22-02-2023
What's Next for Customery Academy?
137. Customery Academy is my online business through which I coach and train Microsoft customers and partners to build amazing, agile business applications.In this episode, I share a short history of Customery Academy, where it's at today, and my goals for 2023. Halfway through editing the episode, there's a surprise about just how many Customery Academy students have achieved their Professional Scrum Master certification thanks to my son's detective work.ResourcesCustomery AcademyAgile Foundations for Microsoft Business Apps free courseScrum for Microsoft Business Apps courseWinning Agile Projects masterclass for Microsoft partnersEstimating Business Apps courseNew Zenler online course platformAmazing Applications podcastPodpage podcast website hostingBonjoro personalised video serviceHumanitix ticketing checkoutStudio1Design web design agencyLouise Williams branding expertKarthik Vijaykumar from Design Your Thinking and The Launch Plan podcastBuyMeACoffeeReview Amazing Apps on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or AmazingApps.ShowCustomery on LinkedInSuperware.aiPeople mentionedBrian IllandHugues ImbeaultPaula DunlopDani KahilAndrew BibbyHamish SheildScott DurowLisa CrosbieBen InksterNirav MehtaJohn BordinSupport the showCONNECT🌏 Amazing Apps website🟦 Customery on LinkedIn🟦 Neil Benson on LinkedIn MY ONLINE COURSES🚀 Agile Foundations for Microsoft Business Apps 🏉 Scrum for Microsoft Business Apps 📐 Estimating Business Apps...
Professional Scrum and DevOps with Richard Hundhausen
15-02-2023
Professional Scrum and DevOps with Richard Hundhausen
136. My guest is Richard Hundhausen, a former Microsoft MVP and Regional Director, Scrum.org Professional Scrum Trainer, and co-creator of the Nexus Scaled Professional Scrum Framework. As you’ll hear, Richard doesn’t have a background in Dynamics 365 or Power Platform, but he’s no stranger to developing apps on Microsoft technology.In this episode, Richard talks about his experience working with Microsoft and how he got started with Scrum. Drawing from his over 30 years of software development experience and over 20 years of training experience, he also discusses the merits of big bang releases versus incremental releases, product thinking versus project thinking, and what’s next with Scrum.Show Highlights [06:07] Richard’s Scrum origin[13:55] Richard’s guidelines for helping a team decide when to adopt Scrum[20:56] On the interplay between Scrum and DevOps[26:06] How product owners can be successful[31:32] Big bang releases versus incremental releases[34:53] The origins of Nexus Scaled Scrum Framework[44:03] Where Scrum is headed nextResourcesAccentientNexus Scaled Professional Scrum FrameworkProfessional Scrum Development with Azure DevOps by Richard HundhausenConnect with Richard Hundhausen on LinkedIn or Twitter"Flaccid Scrum" by Martin Fowler“Should Our Team Use Scrum?” by Richard Hundhausen“Larman’s Laws of Organizational Behavior” by Craig Larman“Role of Manager” by LeSS"Resurrecting the Much-Maligned Scrum of Scrums" by Charles Bradley"unSAFe at any speed" by Ken SchwaberSupport the showCONNECT🌏 Amazing Apps website🟦 Customery on LinkedIn🟦 Neil Benson on LinkedIn MY ONLINE COURSES🚀 Agile Foundations for Microsoft Business Apps 🏉 Scrum for Microsoft Business Apps 📐 Estimating Business Apps Keep experimenting 🧪-Neil
Is Power Fx really low code? with Rishona Elijah
31-01-2023
Is Power Fx really low code? with Rishona Elijah
#134. Today’s guest is Rishona Elijah, a Microsoft MVP (Business Applications) and Microsoft Certified Trainer who works as a Power Platform Trainer and Evangelist at Barhead Solutions in Sydney, Australia. She spends most of her time running training sessions and delivering events around Power Platform to business users to show them what they can achieve with this technology.In this episode, Rishona shares how she got started in Business Applications, how she uses her blog to help business users, and the latest innovations with Power Virtual Agents. Rishona also talks about whether Power Fx is really part of a low-code platform and new features from Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance that are being incorporated into Power Platform.Show Highlights[02:05] Rishona’s work at Barhead Solutions[05:47] What Rishona blogs about[07:38] The latest innovations with Power Virtual Agents[13:25] On whether Power Fx dispels Microsoft’s promise of no-code solutions[16:40] The types of people that attend Rishona’s training sessions[21:32] The latest innovations with Power Automate[25:22] How Rishona got into Business Applications[26:47] Rishona’s advice for people thinking about a career in Business Applications Resources Barhead SolutionsConnect with Rishona on LinkedIn, Twitter, or TikTokCheck out Rishona’s blogCustomery AcademyEstimating Business ApplicationsSupport the showCONNECT🌏 Amazing Apps website🟦 Customery on LinkedIn🟦 Neil Benson on LinkedIn MY ONLINE COURSES🚀 Agile Foundations for Microsoft Business Apps 🏉 Scrum for Microsoft Business Apps 📐 Estimating Business Apps Keep experimenting 🧪-Neil