Using Office 365, I mean really using it to its full potential, is more than just technical. There is also a good deal of cultural change and process change required for moving to the cloud.
And you’re not going to accomplish all that without a thoughtful adoption strategy in place. A good Office 365 adoption plan includes extensive communication, ongoing training, and a focus on results that matter to the organization.
Focus on behavior, not features
Real value comes from adoption of Office 365 and using it to enhance productivity and workflows. That means it all comes down to how, when and why people interact with the new tools and solutions.
Ask yourself, “What actions and behaviors do we want users to start doing, and what do we want them to stop doing?” From there, you’ll have a much more useful Office 365 adoption roadmap.
Using champions to facilitate behavior change
Internal champions can be an exceptionally useful addition to your overall Office 365 adoption strategy, especially since behavior change is a long, iterative, winding road.
An Office 365 champion is a team member who receives additional training, becoming especially well-versed in the technology and your internal Office 365 policies and best-practices.
They can help coach people along as the old ways of working are deprecated and the new ways of working become ingrained.
Equipped with extra know-how, champions help transform the organization from within. They lead by example, and help their peers use the technology more effectively.
Research shows that the majority of learning happens in the daily workflow. Empowering champions to be proactive as well as reactive during daily operations is a great way to use this naturally occurring phenomenon to the team’s advantage.
Establish your Office 365 champion program
Make it a real thing. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but at least outline the steps, milestones, and expectations.
Have a kick-off, schedule training, facilitate communication among champions so that they can learn from each other and support each other. Provide your champions with resources and support, and empower them to make changes. And somewhere along the way, be sure to show them some appreciation and recognition!
Identify your champions
Team leaders are a popular choice. If they are already the go-to people for employee questions, then giving them deeper Office 365 knowledge is just another way to build their credibility and their tool sets.
- People who want to take on the extra responsibility...they will undoubtedly do a better job than those who are forced into it.
- People who are interested in extra Office 365 training as part of their own professional development pathway.
- Team members from multiple job roles in different parts of the organization. Ideally, you might want a champion embedded in each functional area.
- People who have sufficient computer skills PLUS great people skills. Patience and being able to teach and explain things are key requirements!
Talk it up!
Most importantly, make sure that all employees know who the champions are and how to engage with them. Pave the way for your champions to provide direction to all team members on the use of Office 365 technology.
Set the expectation that it’s a two-way street: employees can approach champions with question and concerns, while champions can also initiate conversations with employees about best-practices and appropriate uses of the technology. It’s their job to be on the lookout for Office 365 opportunities through the daily work of the organization.