Understanding your workforce for roll-out success
Technology is often implemented in a company with little or no training. Little consideration or real understanding is given to how people currently work. Simply rolling out Office 365 out of the box and providing the latest and greatest software to its users, isn’t going to guarantee an increase in an organisation’s productivity.
In most organisations new rollouts, features and skills are blasted at individuals during ‘instructor-led’ training sessions, in a bid that enough knowledge will remain to make use of the new technology going forward.
To ensure the successful adoption of Office 365, there are a few things you can address. One of the most important concepts is to develop an understanding of how people work now. Even if you think you know, take a fresh look and conduct a workforce analysis. Knowing how people currently work helps in developing and delivering training that is relevant to an organisation and roles within that organisation. Here are some starting points.Getting to the heart of how people work helps increase the relevance of your Office 365 adoption program Click To Tweet
Focus on the essential and the relevant for the workforce.
You explain WHY the new technology will help. You focus on the essential skills and reduce overwhelming the individual. Technology should not distract from the work at hand. We have work to do, and we can only learn so much in between the tasks of a regular workday. When the new skill is relevant to what we do during the day, we have more opportunity to practise it and internalise the skill. The skills relevant to a role are not lost in the noise of all the other features and capabilities.
Learning by association
People learn new skills by associating them with what they already know and do. When we learn an entirely new skill for an existing activity, it is difficult to remember and practise it. We don’t have our own experiences as context. A training workshop introduces us to the new skill. But it should also explain why the skill is relevant and important. By having familiarity with the way people work, key scenarios and processes can be used to illustrate how the new skill is performed in the context of real work. It is far easier to form new habits in the context of tasks and processes you already perform. Measurements need to start from somewhere and you can’t measure success without first measuring your starting point.
Six to 12 months after a project has been delivered, you need to be able to look back and see where the organisation has developed and noted ‘how did we work back then?’. How do we work now? Define your goals for the new technology. Observe and measure the current behaviour. Document the desired behaviour and plan to use the same methodology and units to measure the current behaviour.
A fresh workforce analysis uncovers current pain points in the context of work. The simple act of talking to someone about how they work can reveal much including discovering the opportunity for technology to make work life easier. Give individuals a voice in the process of implementing Office 365 by listening to their needs. Demonstrate that those needs have been considered in the choices and implementation of the technology. When people feel like they’re being listened to, they show more support and make more of an effort to use it.
Performing a workforce analysis is an important activity in planning for user adoption. The outcomes don’t stand alone as a report. They are used throughout the project, from project communications to developing and delivering training, to measuring success.
For more on understanding the ‘why’ behind working with your people and their technology.