#Microsoft365 #Office365 #SharePoint This is a follow up post after my “SharePoint Training Checklist & Considerations” blog a couple of days ago. I’ve seen and heard some complaints from people not overly happy with the new modern sites and I would love to share some ideas to help you Adapt & Adopt as well as some considerations. And yes, this is NOT a 5 minute read either.

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


In my recent blog SharePoint Training Checklist & Considerations I shared a checklist for training and a lot of ideas / considerations for user adoption. I had some great feedback and after chatting with some folks, decided to share my take on the adoption journey from Classic to Modern SharePoint sites. Thanks for the inspiration.

DISCLAIMER:  How’s that for having two disclaimers in one blog. Then you know you’re gonna ruffle some feathers. Change hurts, if it doesn’t we’re doing something wrong. Then that’s not revolution, it’s merely evolution in baby steps. We don’t like hearing we’re doing something wrong – but please take the time, have a glass of wine, think about it. We need to change too.
No. I did not just give you permission to drink at work… 🙂

For years I thought my inability to see complexity made me stupid. I reckoned I didn’t understand it enough on a technical level etc. And then I came across the word Juxtaposing. And I decided that’s what my brain does. It automatically changes something complex into something easy for comparison and explanation. This really helps me a lot when training people.

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

So to prove my point, I’m gonna talk about the change from Windows 7 to Windows 8, not about SharePoint. I’m not comparing Windows 8 to Modern SharePoint Online for 1 moment (I’m a big Windows 10 fan), but the jump to the new UI was a shock to users as well. So hang in there, you’ll see why 🙂

Windows 7 / Windows 8

When Windows 8 was released end 2011 / beginning 2012, chaos erupted in the world of everyday end-users. I trained at companies where I saw with my own eyes how they had ‘downgraded the Windows 8 to look like Windows 7 OS with less functionality‘. Yes, I have no idea what that was called, but it was stupid and wasted money.

A user from a Road Construction company (he’s an engineer and must have been close to 60), explained to me that Windows 8 just caused so much hassles he couldn’t get his job done. I didn’t blame him – I was however mad at whoever ‘downgraded’ his machine.

They should have just taken 2 minutes to show him the Windows Button on his keyboard, and showed him how to search for stuff and stop navigating to stuff. That’s a #WTF moment right there! And of course that stands for “Why Tech Fails”.

I also find companies who reach out to me for training after they’ve re-branded their Intranet. What? So it used to be pink and now it’s blue and the web parts sit in a different place – and you have to retrain you users? Mmmmmh, me thinks whoever did the training first time round, did it wrong. It’s like blaming the user or the platform when people don’t adopt. Nope. They might add to the lack of user adoption, but I can assure you that lack of or incorrect training will be the biggest culprit.

And no, I’m not saying it’s all your fault Mr or Mrs Trainer. Just like I believe the KPI’s of IT Support People should change, so I believe how we train should change. The world has changed, tech is different, we should change.

So let’s go back to Windows 7 and Windows 8. In a recent blog The Evolution of Finding Stuff I spoke about the evolution of finding stuff. We’ve gone from See > Navigate > Search to Discover. Sadly many people are stuck between See / Navigate. And this is exactly why they struggle adopting new technology. We’ve never taught them the basics. And yes, I said we. I’m very much at fault too.

Windows 7 and older was still very much See and Navigate. We put everything on our desktops and double-clicked our days away through crazy deep folder levels. If you didn’t have the Excel shortcut on your desktop – you didn’t have Excel and IT had to “Team viewer” into your machine to change your Screen Resolution – cause who knows where those settings sit these days? Newer technology relies heavily on Search and Discovery because we honestly deal with too much information to navigate to it.

I’m sure by now you get where I’m going with this?

Invest in your greatest assets (users) by helping them become digitally literate. Don’t teach them SharePoint Online or 2016. Teach them about the basics of SharePoint and Web Browsers, Search, opening pages in new tabs, page layouts, responsive web parts, site contents and recycle bins. SWAT (SharePoint Weapons and Tactics – like versions, restore, alerts, permissions etc.). E-safety when using the web, passwords, sharing and promoting content. Etc. This way they should be able to apply their basic knowledge and skills and ADAPT.

“ADAPT is the main ingredient for ADOPT” ~ me

Teaching people the right skills create self-learners. Self-learners don’t need re-training all the time. They will start to figure things out on their own. We need to change the way we train because technology is changing too fast, we will never keep up with the old methods.

More Insights:

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.