Office 365: Migration Communication Planning

Posted by David Thibault  /  January 1, 2019  /  Team Leaders / Managers, Workplace Culture, Training   —   No Comments ↓


Don’t expect your staff to meet a Microsoft Office 365 migration with perfect enthusiasm and seamless adoption. Resistance to change is a common outcome of a new program roll-out. Prepare your staff for implementation by tackling this potential problem head-on with proper migration communication planning. Take the following steps to prepare your staff to switch to Office 365 before launching the new platform for the best possible transition.

Map Your Communication Timeline

A common oversight companies make when migrating to Office 365 is focusing on end-user adoption after roll out. Most people assume they won’t have any adoption hang-ups from their staff members, and don’t pay any attention to adoption until they already notice their employees ignoring the new program or using it incorrectly. Waiting until this point, however, will waste valuable time and productivity. Instead of taking a wait-and-see approach, be proactive about adoption.

Map out an employee communication timeline that runs parallel with Office 365 implementation and launch. Warn your staff that the change is coming, announcing a set launch date as early as possible. Help everyone prepare for the transition by cleaning up files and hosting pre-launch training sessions. Make sessions mandatory or offer incentives to go to optional ones. Be open about the migration from the very beginning to encourage communication and get the conversation started.

Anticipate User Questions and Troubleshooting

Part of your early adoption program should be to answer any employee questions and concerns about the new platform. Do your research about the most common roadblocks to Office 365 adoption at companies like yours. That way, you can anticipate and prepare for end-user questions and potential program troubleshooting. Common questions may include:

  • Why are we switching to Office 365?
  • What are the benefits of this transition for me?
  • Whom do I talk to if I need help?
  • What will happen to my old systems and data?
  • Will there be training sessions available? Are they mandatory or optional?

It’s your job to demonstrate the value of Office 365 migration, and to stress the importance of adoption after roll-out. Don’t make the transition optional. Stick to a launch date by which everyone must start using Office 365’s tools and features. Then, do your best to prepare your staff for this date with early training and ample communication.

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Delegate Training to Others

Find employees who can take ownership of the changes and communicate them to coworkers. These people should be tech-savvy, able to learn the system, and have a positive attitude about the migration. They can help facilitate a successful roll out by setting a good example, answering questions, and walking employees through training. Delegating can make for a much smoother transition for you and your team.

Getting the most return for your Office 365 investment takes a proactive approach to platform adoption. The earlier you start preparing your staff for the switch, the more successful the transition will be. Continue to drive adoption after launch by measuring engagement and fixing the source of any resistance. Stay open to future improvements and platform personalization opportunities as your team becomes more comfortable with Office 365.


Topics: Team Leaders / Managers, Workplace Culture, Training