1. Identify and Communicate “Purpose”
As with most things, we need to start with “why”. I highly recommend understanding the role that technology plays in your organization and how it matches to the vision, mission, and values. Not those glossed over things that might be hanging on your walls, but the true meaning and higher purpose of the organization.
If your users are brought into the overall goals of the organization, then rolling out new technology should be easy. Because technology is ultimately intended to serve the organization by making things easier for your users. If you can align and communicate your technology rollout to the greater and higher purpose that your culture retains, you will be much more successful.
Start with “why”:
- why the organization exists
- why technology exists,
- why you are pushing for adoption
- why should your users care
2. Beware of the Fire Hose
Confused or overwhelmed with all the features in Office 365 intranet? It can feel like trying to take a sip from a fire hose. You don’t have to do it all at once. This isn’t a Band-Aid that needs to be ripped off. This is something that can be planned to continuously add value to your organization over time. In fact, it’s probably best to slowly adopt this technology and ensure success each time you add something rather than try to do too much too fast and fail at all of it.
If you are interested in adopting more than one piece of technology, do it in such a way that solves a specific organizational need. An example would be utilizing a SharePoint Team Site, a PowerApp and a Flow to facilitate contract creation and approval. Whatever it is, take it slow and ensure success.
Here’s what we suggest:
- Pick a technology that you want to explore and start by watching the videos provided here: https://support.office.com/en-us/office-training-center
- Pilot that technology with you and a couple other trusted folks. Kick the tires, see if it makes sense to you and your trusted colleagues. If it does, then it’s a good candidate for a broader audience and could be worthy of a greater concerted effort to roll out.
3. Create a Plan
It doesn’t have to be super detailed or include every piece of technology, but it’s a good idea to understand what piece of technology looks useful and what is not worth investigating further. Then use that high-level information to create a simple timeline of when you might want to consider adopting the technology (i.e. Exchange Online, Groups, Planner, Intranet, Teams with each one adopted over the course of a quarter).
When communicated appropriately, this will make you look like a rock star to your users – and for those users who are anxious to get started will know when something is slated for adoption. This will also give you plenty of time to plan your pilot groups, training, testing and communication plans.
One last thing on plans – be flexible. A plan is always perfect until you encounter the resistance. Your success is determined by your ability to plan while allowing the appropriate amount of flexibility to meet the end goal.
4. Embrace the Change
Things are moving faster and faster. We all see it and feel it, but only when we take a short second to take notice. The same goes for what has happened to our business software. Microsoft used to release new major software releases every 3 years.
Now, that pace has been shortened to 3 DAYS! And the market caused this. In order for a huge behemoth like Microsoft to keep up with the pace of innovation in the market, they have had to completely change the way that they deliver software to us. They host the software and roll out changes as fast as their teams can create the updates.
What does this mean for you? It means several things.
- Changes are sometimes not controlled by you
- Some things you can hold off on and others you cannot
- Eventually, you will probably get the change anyhow
- Sometimes this means that menus move around or look different
- Training will be impacted. Things are moving so fast that as soon as a training video is created and posted on a third-party site, it’s probably out of date the following week
Beware! Change is inevitable. This level of change can be uncomfortable, but if you master it, you will rise above those who cannot embrace the change.
5. Make it Fun
Do you remember when learning was fun? Or maybe it’s only fun when it isn’t “work”. Most people love to learn new things. I know I do. The challenge is, learning some of this Office 365 “stuff” isn’t fun. It’s work. I suggest that we try leveraging more 3-letter words like “fun” and “wow” instead of 4-letter words like “work” and … well, other things. If you recall the last time you learned something and didn’t realize that you were learning, it was probably with someone that you are close to.
Here are some tips for making the learning fun:
- Learn in small
- Make it a 2-hour or half-day event rather than a full day
- Include food! (breakfasts, lunches, coffee and time for folks to mingle)
- Maximize learning by creating a game or challenge for what you’ve learned
For more insights and information or questions, consult Klarinet and talk to one of our pros so we can collaborate for a successful transition for Intranet communications, Office 365 or SharePoint.