#Microsoft365 #Office365 #Digital Literacy If you’ve ever read my posts, sat in one of my sessions or simply had a chat with me, you’ll know I’m “protectively passionate” about users. Well about people in general. The change from waterfall development to agile citizen development has a greater impact than you think. And needs more change management than anticipated.

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


Help desk

I’ll start with the help desk scenario. An example I always use is: 

Bob & Mary:

Bob works in the help desk 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, help desk. 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?

Nope. Bob should have told Mary to stop using shortcuts and rather use the Windows Button to search.

Waterfall vs Agile Development

Most of us come from environments where we discussed, documented, planned, and built solutions in DEV environments then eventually moved them across to production environments. This process sometimes took years, and sadly many of these planned solutions never saw the light of day.

Office 365 (Microsoft 365) now allows for solutions to be built by power users – right there – in production. I’m thinking Flow, Forms, PowerApps etc. Even building Intranets with Communication sites can be achieved in a couple of days. That’s simply incredible!!

Microsoft’s training resources has definitely improved, but if you’re thinking of sending your users the Office.com URL and the link to the training resources – you’re making a big mistake. We need to first change users who has been spoon fed for years – into curious, self learning, citizen developers.

There’s no finger pointing here. it’s not the users’ fault or IT – it’s just the way we’ve done things for years. The first place to start would be the help desk. Let me give you another example and possible future state:


Sarah logs a call for accidentally deleting hundreds of mails from her Inbox. 

Current resolve:  Help desk assists by restoring the mails

Future resolve:  Help desk asks why she deleted the emails. She explains that she actually only wanted to delete mails from a specific address and move the other mails to the appropriate folders. Help Desk explains that there are a couple of options for doing this better:

  • Rules in Outlook
  • Quick Steps in Outlook
  • Flow to move emails to OneDrive / SharePoint Folders
  • Supplying suppliers etc. with the email address to your specific channel in Teams
  • Using the shared mailbox address for your Team for Suppliers / Customers etc.

The desired result is not to fix the problem, it’s to fix the user to fix their own problems in future an possibly enhance or automate the process.

Not all your help desk people will be able to deliver this ‘support type training’. And that’s OK. Move them into roles where they become product specialists for Flow or PowerApps or something. Not all end users will become power users, and that’s OK too. Make sure that your employees are supported to move into different roles and that their KPI’s are adjusted to reflect their new responsibilities.

Help desk is the perfect training ground for trainers. Trainers should on a regular basis do a shift on help desk as it keeps them up to date with the struggles of the users.

You will not be able to change your company into a creative, self learning, curious, ownership-driven, citizen developing culture overnight. Nope. Not gonna happen.

What I do want you to know is that it’s possible, and it’s easier than you think it is. YOU just need to start thinking different. 

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ― Max Planck


Some more resources to change the way you think:


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.

You can also find me contributing to REgarding 365. I’m a member of a group of enthusiasts, sharing their stories, thoughts and opinions about Microsoft 365. Catch us at https://regarding365.com | @regarding365 on Twitter and regarding365 on YouTube