#Microsoft365 – “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” Albert Einstein. Everything around us is changing, fast. If we want different results we need to start doing things differently. Today I’ll chat about a sensitive topic – IT support.

For previous posts in my #Microsoft365Challenge go to the index page.


Let me start with an example I always use in my presentations and when I deliver training:

Bob & Mary:

Bob works in the helpdesk support department. Mary works in Human Resources and she’s become rather famous for logging calls for silly stuff.

Bob’s phone rings.

  • Bob:  “Hello, helpdesk. How can I assist you today?”
  • Mary:  (Close to tears.) “Hi Bob, It’s Mary. I’ve got a huge problem.”
  • Bob:  (Bob does a facepalm and signals to the rest of the IT guys that it’s Mary on the phone, laughter ensues.) “Yes Mary, what is the problem?”
  • Mary:  “I haven’t been able to do my reports for a week!”
  • Bob:  “Why do you say that Mary,? Give me more detail.”
  • Mary:  “My Excel program is missing. I think it was deleted.”
  • Bob:  (Bob puts his hand as an imaginary gun against his temple and pulls the trigger.)  “Hold on Mary, let me TeamViewer into your machine and fix it for you.”

Bob saves the day and puts the shortcut to Excel back on Mary’s desktop. He’s a hero.

Or is he?

No he’s not. And when I see Bob at a conference again and he complains about how stupid users are, I’m gonna kick his kneecap in. (Now before you get mad at me, read further…)

It would have taken Bob 30 seconds to ask Mary to press the Windows button on her keyboard and search for Excel. Then tell Mary not to use shortcuts anymore – the world has evolved WAY past navigating to stuff – it’s all about search and discovery now. And while Mary discovers the Windows Button for the first time and that she can search for programs, take another 10 seconds and tell her she can search for settings and files in the same way.

Also ask Mary to go share this with 2 other people, that way she won’t forget it and you’ve ended up helping 3 people.

Now I can’t be mad at Bob. Not really. His KPI’s is to solve problems, not train people. And that’s what we need to change.

We need to help both our users and the IT Support Teams. They only know what they know.

Believe me, I also understand how Bob feels. When a user sends me an email that only says:  “It’s not working”, I burst little blood veins in my left eye. Sweetie, you need to give more detail. If you want to be helped, you need to put some effort in too.

  • I cannot upload files to SharePoint.
  • This is the library – copy URL in email.
  • It only happens when I try to upload PDF’s.
  • That are bigger than 5MB.
  • On Mondays.

See, that helps. A lot. 🙂

Now the interesting thing is, I’ve shared this with hundreds of end users as well as IT support peeps. And they all say the same thing. “I never thought of it that way.”

“When you change the way you look at things, then the things you look at changes.”  Dr Wayne Dyer

End User:

The role of the end user is changing. We want to enable them to build their own PowerApps, Flows and Forms. But to do this they need to become self-learners and also need to be taught to do some of their own troubleshooting.

There is no better way to do “In place training” than during support.

IT Support:

I know this was never expected of you before, but you need to become more ‘helpers’, less ‘fixers’. If you don’t, you’ll eventually be replaced. Maybe you’re just not a people-person, and that’s okay (fish-tree reference). Now’s the time to put some extra effort in and become an expert in PowerApps, Flow, Azure or any of the other Office 365 Apps.

There’s a place for everyone, whether it’s the same spot you’ve always been in is up to you.

Please invest in your greatest assets (employees) by giving them the tools and support they need to become digital first citizens.

Purpose of this blog challenge:  I will write 365 blogs in 365 days around Microsoft 365. I did a similar challenge with Office 365, blogs can be found here. I won’t just be talking about the new Microsoft 365 subscription model. I will be sharing any news, tips and tricks around Office / Office 365 / Windows / Mobility and Security. And let’s not forget all the great new Apps & services available.  A lot of what I’ll share on Office and SharePoint will also be applicable to none “Office 365” versions.