Using Microsoft Power Automate for Project Management Automation

Shubhangi Pandey
By | Updated April 17, 2023 | 18 min read

Project management automation, the use of software to complete tasks with little human input, can transform project processes (we recommend Power Automate for project management because it is built right into the Microsoft 365 platform).

Think about how much time you spend answering emails, finding information, remembering to remind your team about upcoming tasks!

Now, imagine how your day would like if these tasks were running in the background with little to no input from you.

Sounds good?

Keep reading to learn more about a no-code automation solution that anyone can use: Microsoft Power Automate.

Manage Project Approvals with Microsoft Power Automate

Streamline the new project pipleline with Microsoft Power Automate and BrightWork 365.

What Is Project Management Automation?

Project management automation refers to the use of software tools and technologies to streamline project management processes, reduce manual work, and improve overall efficiency.

This involves automating routine tasks such as scheduling, task assignment and notifications, resource allocation, and communication, among others.

Automated project management can be achieved using various software tools and platforms that automate different aspects of project management, including project planning, budgeting, time tracking, reporting, and risk management.

These tools can help project managers to manage projects more effectively, reduce the risk of errors and delays, and improve overall project outcomes.

One key aspect of automated project management is the use of project management software, which provides a centralized platform for managing all aspects of a project.

It also involves the use of other technologies such as workflow automation, which can help to streamline routine processes such as approvals and notifications, freeing up time for more strategic work.

Why Use Project Management Automation?

Improved efficiency: Approvals, task reminders, tracking deadlines, vacation requests, purchase orders. There are multiple project processes you can easily automate.  This can free up time for more strategic and value-added activities, improving overall efficiency.

Increased accuracy: Automation is suited to well-documented processes, helping reduce errors and rework in project management processes, providing more accurate data and better project outcomes.

Better collaboration: Automation tools can help facilitate communication and collaboration among team members, stakeholders, and project sponsors, improving overall project performance. As teams work remotely, automating project processes will help you to track work and improve communication without adding more administration work.

Real-time tracking: Automation can enable real-time tracking of project progress, providing greater visibility into project status, milestones, and potential risks.

Cost savings: Automation can reduce costs associated with manual labor, such as data entry and administrative tasks, improving project profitability.

Improved quality: Automation can help enforce quality control standards, such as ensuring that all necessary reviews and approvals are obtained before moving forward with a project.

Scalability: Automation tools can help manage larger and more complex projects, enabling project managers to handle greater volumes of work with greater ease.

Integration: Automation is also ideal for teams using multiple tools to manage their work. With the right processes, you can pull information together from different sources to create a single source of truth. This way, your team can use the tools they prefer whilst you maintain visibility and control over progress.

Automation makes it easy to keep tasks on track, manage documents, and ensure your day runs as smoothly as possible. 

For the rest of this articles we’ll focus on how and why you can use Microsoft Power Automate for project management.

What is Microsoft Power Automate?

Microsoft Power Automate (formerly known as Microsoft Flow) is a cloud-based service that enables users to create automated workflows between different applications and services.

With Power Automate, users can automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflows, without requiring any coding experience.


Power Automate integrates with over 400 different applications and services, including Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint, Dynamics 365, Salesforce, and many others. This makes it easy to connect and automate different tools and services that are commonly used in business workflows.

Using Power Automate, users can create workflows that automate tasks such as data collection and entry, approval routing, email and notification automation, and data synchronization.

Workflows can be triggered by events, such as receiving an email or updating a record in a database, and can be configured to take different actions based on specific conditions.

Power Automate provides a visual interface for building workflows, using a drag-and-drop approach that allows users to easily connect different applications and services.

The platform also provides templates and pre-built connectors for common tasks, making it easy to get started with automation.

Microsoft Power Automate Project Management Automation Examples

There are many ways to use Microsoft Power Automate for project management, here are a few examples:

Power Automate: Approval Workflows

Use to: Manage approvals for documents, forms, travel, vacation requests, and more.


Throughout your project, you’ll need to get approval from stakeholders or other departments, such as finance, to move work forward.

A manual approach to approvals – and reminders – is very inefficient.

Automating approvals combines human input with background workflows to ensure you get what you need quickly.

Power Automate supports five types of approvals and custom approvals:

  • Single: The approver can respond via email, Power Automate, or the mobile app.
  • Sequential: Pre-approval is required before the final approver can agree. For instance, a purchase order above a certain amount may need pre-approval from your finance team before stakeholder approval.
  • Parallel: Multiple people are required to give approval and approval is independent of other approvers.
  • Everyone: All assigned approvers have to agree but any approver can reject the request.
  • Add attachments to approval requests.


To deploy an approval flow, simply search for an approval template or create a custom flow.

Approvals are tracked in the ‘Action Items’ area. Here, you’ll find approvals created by you or shared with you, and the history of your approval flows.

Power Automate: Document Management

Use to: Store documents in a central location and track the creation of new files.


Storing documents in a central place is key to collaboration, especially for remote project teams.

However, not everyone will remember to use your document library!

Using Power Automate templates, you can easily:

  • Move files shared via email attachment to OneDrive or SharePoint.
  • Move files between SharePoint libraries or within OneDrive (accounts and folders).
  • Copy new files from your computer to SharePoint.
  • Sync files from Google Drive or Dropbox.


This way, you’ll always know where to find the files.

On large projects, it’s easy to lose track of new files or changes to existing files. Use templates to automatically track the creation of new files or to trigger an approval workflow for new items.

Power Automate: Power BI

Use to: Create and share project reports.


Power BI and Power Automate are part of the Power Platform from Microsoft.

Power BI is a business intelligence tool used to transform data from various sources into interactive reports and dashboards.

As covered previously, project managers can use Power BI to report on the timeline, ongoing tasks, and late items.

Power BI also generates powerful portfolio reports,  giving senior executives real-time visibility into risks, resources, and timelines.

Power Automate is often used to refresh the datasets behind Power BI reports and to send alerts if a data threshold is exceeded.

In terms of projects, you can combine Power Automate and Power BI to:

  • Update reports if a SharePoint file is updated.
  • Create and share reports via OneDrive or email.
  • Create a task from a Power BI report.


For more ideas and uses, see the Microsoft Power BI Community.

Power Automate: Microsoft Teams

Use to: Manage flows and processes directly in Microsoft Teams


Microsoft Power Automate is available as an app within Microsoft Teams. From here, you can create and manage your flows without needing to switch between multiple apps.

Microsoft Power Automate also includes templates for Microsoft Teams, including:

  • Post a welcome message when a new team member joins the Team.
  • Schedule a meeting with a message sender.
  • Send a meeting reminder to Microsoft Teams during weekdays.


Power Automate: Notifications

Use to: Manage email alerts, reminders, and notifications

Power Automate can be used to automate project notifications, such as email reminders for upcoming deadlines or alerts for critical project updates.

For example, you could create a workflow that automatically:

  • sends an email to team members when a task is overdue, ensuring that everyone is aware of the potential impact on project timelines.
  • assigns and alerts new tasks to team members when they are added to a project plan, to ensure team members are aware of the new task and any deadlines associated with it.
  • alerts the appropriate team member that a document is awaiting approval or that a document has been approved.
  • send a new project request for review and approval.


Power Automate: Productivity

Use to: Manage your time and stay on top of your to-do list.


There are numerous ways to use Power Automate to reduce your daily ‘busywork’ and create more time to spend with your team.

You’ll find templates under ‘Productivity’, ‘Notifications’, and ‘Events and Calendar’, including options to:

  • Keep track of project tasks in Planner with daily emails and notifications.
  • Get a daily email of upcoming meetings.
  • Manage your calendar with automated time-blocking.
  • Create a OneNote page for meeting to record notes and minutes.
  • Get a push notification when you receive an email from a manager.
  • Copy important emails to OneNote.


Project management automation of repetitive tasks can save time, increase productivity, and improve project outcomes.

With Power Automate project management templates, you’ll have more time to complete your work and help your project team.

Manage Project Approvals with Microsoft Power Automate

Streamline the new project pipleline with Microsoft Power Automate and BrightWork 365.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


Image credit 

Shubhangi Pandey
Shubhangi Pandey

Shubhangi is a product marketing enthusiast, who enjoys testing and sharing the BrightWork 365 project portfolio management solution capabilities with Microsoft 365 users. You can see her take on the experience of the template-driven BrightWork 365 solution, its unique project management success approach, and other personalized services across the site and social channels. Beyond BrightWork, Shubhangi loves to hunt for the newest Chai Latte-serving café, where she can read and write for hours.

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