We all know that Microsoft provides the best enterprise-ready cloud-centric collaboration platform. The integrated collaboration tools are unmatched by any other player in this space. Office 365 usage is on the upswing and G-Suite continues to spiral down in terms of market share. This is great news for Microsoft and for Spyglass MTG, but we need to pause and think about what is most important.
It is so easy to buy tenants, add licenses and fire up services/workloads, that we sometimes lose site of the most important factor - Our Users! User Adoption, Change Management and Training (ACM) must be a key focus from Day 1 when you are thinking about lighting up any of these great tools. This post will highlight some important things to keep in mind as you work to overlay an ACM Program at your organization. Interesting in learning more? - Reach out for a conversation.
- Start with The Top - First and foremost, the executive team and business leaders should be well versed in the capabilities of these tools and the value that they bring to the organization. They don't need to be experts in PowerApps or PowerAutomate (previously 'Flow'), but they should be aware that we are talking about more than just Outlook and OneDrive - the possibilities to impact business process efficiencies are endless. It is important to have top-down messaging to ensure that everyone is 'in the know' about the corporate direction and plan/strategy regarding these tools. It impacts adoption if the C-Suite says 'use OneDrive' but they every message they send out continues to add attachments vs. OneDrive links. Often times, starting with a Customer Immersion Session (CIE), can help get everyone aligned. In these sessions, we facilitate scripted collaboration focused demos for your team as they navigate on Microsoft provided machines in pre-built environments.
- New Hire Onboarding - We suggest that on Day 1 of new hire training, new users are trained on these tools. All too often this doesn't happen and users are 'expected to just know how to use these tools'. To some users, learning how to properly share a document and give view access and not edit is confusing. There are so many tools - that a simple 'what tool to use when' document can also help. The training for new hires should not just be a PowerPoint deck but rather it should be users touching and interacting with the tools (sharing files with others in the room, working in a Team…etc.) Perhaps also follow-up with an assessment run via Microsoft Forms!
- Office 365 Changes & Enhancements - One of the great things about this platform is that Microsoft is constantly changing and improving it. Flipping that over - one of the challenging things about this platform is that Microsoft is constantly changing and improving it. Organizations need to have a process to review and digest the monthly updates and changes and have a process for communicating these to end-users. Users definitely don't need to know about every little thing but there are key enhancements that people should be made aware of. A recent example of this would be the roll-out of private channels in Teams.
- Internal Champions - One of the issues that organizations run into is that the folks in the business don't have enough deep knowledge of the capabilities of the platform to suggest/architect new modern solutions. We suggest having internal champions embedded within the business. These O365 evangelists would receive extra training and support and meet regularly w/ a central IT coordinator to ensure they are up to speed on Microsoft's O365 platform developments. This de-centralized approach can alleviate some of the support that IT carries as users will also turn to their co-worker sitting next them vs. calling the help desk as a first step when stuck.
- Training - No ACM plan is complete without a training plan. Users should have access to some form of training on these Microsoft tools. Training should not only include 100 and 200+ level offerings on the Office products (Word, Excel...etc.) but also include more advanced offerings that dive into solution design. Microsoft is really pushing the notion of 'citizen developers' - using low-code and no-code solutions to provide immediate business impact. For smaller organizations that likely don't have a large internal training budget - there are many other offerings to consider - like LinkedIn Learning for example. Keep in mind that people learn in different ways - for some a web based video is fine but for others a face-to-face interaction is needed.
- Promote Success Stories - Try to identify and promote internal success stories. For example, if the Finance department was able to leverage PowerAutomate in a way that helped overhaul a business process with great results - document and use this internal win to sell the value to the rest of the organization. Users are far more likely to listen to the message from a friend/co-worker then they are to a blog entry from Spyglass! The key message here is to try to use your own people to help drive adoption - perhaps a quick video interview…leveraging Stream - post to your SharePoint intranet - see, it's all connected!
- User Feedback - Listen to your users and check-in with them frequently on how they are doing/adjusting to these new tools and to the 'modern workplace'. To some/most, it's a piece of cake - others will need significant hand holding. Often times, IT turns all this stuff on and because it's super easy and obvious to them, they assume that everyone understands it at that same pace. In reality - some users need a much different process. Send surveys out 30 days after a new hire joins to check-in with them. Use targeted/smart questions in surveys - avoid things like 'Do you like Office365?" but rather ask 'If you need to share a file with a single co-worker what tool would be best for that?'
- FYI - Microsoft is Awesome! Don't forget about the great tools Microsoft offers (free!) already to help you on your ACM journey. The Microsoft Learning Pathways site is a nice tool that provides on-demand custom training content from Microsoft. This can easily be added to your Office365 tenant. Be sure to also check out the Microsoft End User Adoption Guide.
Interested in learning more? We would love to help you frame up and implement an ACM Strategy and Program. Reach out for a discussion….