Frequently Asked Questions

Do it yourself Office 365 adoption

We know that many organisations haven't budgeted for adoption, organisational change management, or other activities to increase or sustain adoption of new ways of working.

If you can't afford or haven't allocated resources to engage a specialist partner focused on helping organisations adopt future ways of working using Office 365 (*cough* like Adopt & Embrace) -- don't worry, there are plenty of resources available that will help guide you.

 

Before we begin... one caveat

We promise this isn't to convince you to hire us... more to make sure that you know what you are about to get into to:  helping a team (let alone an organisation) change their behaviours at work is tough, and requires a real commitment on behalf of your project and more importantly your management team.   Success in our field isn't about sending a few emails, hanging a few posters, and running a few training sessions.

To be successful you can't go into this with a "how do we get people to use SharePoint / Teams / Yammer / Skype / OneNote / Sway / OneDrive / PowerBI / Office 365 mindset.   You need to flip this on its head and become user, or people focused.  How can we help you achieve your personal and professional goals at work?

As you will see from some of the resources below...unfortunately a lot of the guidance and tools available are still very much product centric.   Awareness of what a tool can do, and the knowledge to use the tool is just a small component of making change stick (see the Prosci resources below).  If you are doing it yourself, you really want to have dedicated headcount focused on unlocking value for your workforce well beyond the end of the "Office 365" or "Digital Workplace" project.

So, with that small caveat in mind... here is where you should start looking for DIY Office 365 guidance.

 

Resources from Microsoft

If you are about to commence or are in the middle of a roll out of Office 365 to support your workplace of the future... the first place to look is the resources section on the Office 365 FastTrack website.  In this video, Mike Grafham explains what is available through the FastTrack service

 

 

Here you can find email templates, posters, and online training which you can share with your workforce to help them get started with Office 365.  They are categorised into different "scenarios" including "Get it Done", "On the go", "Collaborate on content", "Make meetings matter", "Bring your organisation together" and "Provide a chat-based workspace"

What do we like about these resources:

  • they are a great place to start if you want to quickly put together a small communication campaign or share learning resources for specific Office 365 workloads

What to be weary of:

  • they are still very 'product centric' and not focused on people, their work practices and processes;
  • we know from research (see Prosci resources below) that this style of communication and learning is only a small component of sustaining effective change;
  • the scenarios and the resources built around them are still very generic, and do not take into consideration the specific characteristics of your people, your market, and the way you work.
  • this content focuses on "what is new", and not "by the way, there is some stuff that has been in this suite of tools for a while that is incredibly relevant to your team, they just don't know about it yet"
 

Resources from Prosci

We base our organisational change approach based on the work of Prosci.  We are licensed to use a subset of their methodologies and tool sets through our engagement in the Microsoft Adoption and Change Management Partner program. Whilst you can't get access to those tools without being a licensed practitioner, Prosci do provide several free resources including informative webinars to help individuals, teams and organisations understand the value of change management.

What do we like about these resources:

  • Prosci do a great job of positioning the value of change management and providing insights based on evidence collected since the 90s.

What to be weary of:

  • It is easy to think after looking at the "hey we just need to remember to 'ADKAR' and everything will be OK"... as you dive deeper into organisational change management you will realise that it isn't just a "thing you do", but a discipline that requires practice to master.  Most people can't manage a technical project by just 'throwing together a few tasks'.  Change management is the same;
  • Understanding the core concepts of organisational change management is important... but execution is even more important.  The free resources don't give you access to the practitioner toolkit that will help you effectively plan and execute your adoption and change management initiative.

 

Resources from Microsoft Conferences

Let's be honest, there is a lot of great content presented at conferences that Microsoft and the broader Microsoft community put on... so we thought we would point you to a few of our favourites.

Microsoft Ignite Australia 2017

Microsoft Ignite North America 2016

What we like about these resources:

  • A great variety of perspectives and experiences that you can draw on directly from Microsoft product teams, or from specialist partners who do this day in and day out

What to be weary of:

  • We just listed almost 20 hours of YouTube content for you to consume.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  Once you get through that, then you need synthesise, reflect, and dive into more research on the topic to develop the right position for your organisation... whilst building your domain knowledge on the ever-changing platform that is Office 365.  It is possible, just time consuming. 

 

Office 365 Infographics

There are several visual representations of Office 365 that may be helpful to help your core project team understand how all the different moving parts of Office 365 fit together, and the capabilities they deliver.  The three that are quite popular are:

What we like about these resources:

  • The provide a simple to digest, comprehensive view of the different workloads across Office 365 for those who need to know how all the components fit together (i.e. IT);
  • Great to provide a high-level overview to your project sponsors or steering committee of the different technologies your project will be implementing

What to be weary of:

  • Most non-technologists (and Microsoft competitors) will look at these infographics and say "well... that looks complicated". 
  • Remember that when working with your workforce it isn't about them understanding and using every aspect of Office 365.  You don't need to explain it to them.  Instead, focus on how you can help them improve the way they work.  How you can help them achieve their personal and professional goals.  It just happens that you show them how to do that using a few bits of some tool called Office 365.
  • Don't believe us?  Find a group of 5 of your peers outside of IT.  Try to explain Office 365 groups to them.  Then walk away knowing that you don't really need to do that at scale because there is little value in your workforce knowing specific information about the platform (focus on helping them... not explaining what Office 365 is)

 

There are examples of organisations that have effectively unlocked value from platforms like Office 365 to improve the way their people work using some of the resources we shared in this FAQ.  One of our favourite stories is the success that Mott MacDonald (and the lead on their internal adoption efforts Simon Denton) saw when they actively used the FastTrack adoption methodology.  Lead with Business Objectives.  Have a Plan.  Take Action.  Measure and Motivate.

It does however take sustained internal resourcing (from passionate people like Simon) to spin up and maintain momentum.  You can do it yourself, or work with a partner like Adopt & Embrace to give you the kick start you need.

 

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