Thank you #Microsoft for supplying the ABC’s, resources and tools to not only support us, but help us make our voices stronger in our daily Change Management / Adoption projects.
When engaging with a new company, one of the first things I always do is insist that I train the C-Level Management users first. When they resist this, I know we’ll have an issue going forward. Leadership is all about “leading by example”. or “Eat Your Own Dog Food” as they might say. Here’s a couple of reasons why management support is SO crucial in your projects:
Executive Sponsorship & Support
What do I mean by this? I’m not just referring to C-Level, it also includes management in the various departments. And support / sponsorship does not always refer to financially (only). That’s how we’ve done it in the past, and it didn’t’ really work. If you’re a C-Level or manager reading this, I beg you to take a look at the benefits of doing this different.
I know that your time is unbelievably precious, and the pressures you’re under will keep anyone awake at night. If you feel that you simply do not have the time to go through a training session, and waste time learning a new technology or platform, please have empathy for the thousands of users who feel the same. We all only have 24 hours in a day, and frankly have better things to do.
- a person or organization that pays for or contributes to the costs involved in staging a sporting or artistic event in return for advertising.
- a person who introduces and supports a proposal for legislation (or product/service)
- bear all or part of the weight of; hold up
- give assistance to, especially financially
Benefits of management support:
Lead by Example:
It’s only human to resist change and not want to start using new technology. Especially when you’re comfortable using what you have, and feel you don’t have time to learn new stuff.
It’s also difficult when you realize the value of using the new technology, but your manager still sends emails and doesn’t actively and visually use the new product. That’s you fighting a losing battle right there.
Now imagine your boss starts using #MicrosoftTeams (first) and insists that all meetings and collaboration happens on that platform going forward. Yes, that might be a bit more forced, but once people start using it, I promise you they’ll see the value.
When management levels are exposed to the product first, it creates empathy. Because yes, change is not easy. This also helps with input into the adoption program as they understand the pain points of the end users so much better. It also rectifies their expectations and understanding of practical timelines and outcomes.
One Unified Message:
End users always think these projects are IT projects and driven by IT’s motivation. As they already have a negative experience / relationship with IT, that’s a foot in the wrong door.
IT initiatives should ALWAYS be aligned with the company’s strategic objectives. If it doesn’t, then why are you doing it?
When management communicates the initiatives, explain the benefits and puts focus on how it supports the company’s strategic objectives, it becomes a company project & organizational initiative. Their continued visual support and unified communication builds “camaraderie” and a mutual sense of purpose.
If you’re new to change management / adoption programs, Microsoft has released the Service Adoption Specialist Course to help you with the tools and insights you need. This is definitely worth doing!
Moving to the Cloud? Contact me for a FREE 60 minute, Microsoft 365 Immersion Experience.
Disclaimer: I create content about Office / Microsoft 365. Content is accurate at time of publication, however updates and new additions happen daily which could change the accuracy or relevance. Please keep this in mind when using my blogs as guidelines. And yes, I change my mind all the time as well, because “The only thing that is constant, is change”.