So now that I’ve got your attention: It’s not ‘new’ cloud technologies, or #Microsoft, #Office365 or the #Cloud ‘s fault, because the software is not ‘intuitive’ enough, or because your users are just difficult… it’s YOU and by that I mean, US. That’s if you’re part of management / IT who made the decision to move. Maybe you’ll read the rest of the article, maybe you won’t, But I can promise you, you need to hear this. And it will change the way you think about rolling out new technology, forever.


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This is not a 5 minute read, and it’s sure to upset a couple of people. If you do get mad at me, at least promise me you’ll read to the end of the article, then reach out and tell me I’m hallucinating. Go get coffee, bite down on a pencil, let’s do this.


I’m known as a disruptive, aggressive, passionate, change management, user adoption, #Office365 productivity specialist, trainer, whatever you want to call it – person. And that’s SO spot on. I don’t take no for an answer, I don’t pretend, I don’t bow down to bureaucracy, I don’t care about the management hierarchy and office politics in your company. Frankly I don’t care about any of those things.

The only thing I care about is “Facilitating the evolution of human capabilities.

Simply put, that means that I care about your users, I want them to achieve more, be more than they were yesterday, feel better about their work, be more efficient & effective, and pretty much love their jobs. And I’ll keep on fighting for them, long after you’ve given up. That’s a promise.

I have never “sold” a Microsoft 365 | Office 365 subscription in my life. I don’t profit from saying it will improve users’ lives and in no way do I do this to continue being an MVP. Nope. Not at all.

I truly believe that using the tools we are presented with, efficiently, after receiving the communication & training we deserve, WILL help us be better off. #TrueStory

And that brings me to why these projects are failing….

Your most important asset:

You can’t sell a treadmill to someone and promise them that they’ll lose weight by merely buying it. Strangely enough we’re doing it with Microsoft | Office 365.

“If you buy these licenses, your users will be more productive, you’ll save on IT cost of ownership and users will communicate better and be happy.”

Really?

Well no actually. It will give them the platform to achieve that though, through hard work, relevant communication, sufficient support, effective training and continued measurement, to name a few. And no, it’s not because Microsoft technologies is not “intuitive” enough. It’s not because tech is getting more difficult instead of easier, it’s because we’ve NEVER invested in our users and trained them on how to efficiently use technology.

They sucked at using Windows XP and Office 2001 and they’ll continue hating the newer technologies. Now it will just be faster and more transparent, and you’ll have some fancy-pants reports to prove it. And NO, it’s not their fault. It’s ours. We continued to put all their shortcuts on the desktop, migrate the crazy nested folders on file shares, as is, fixing their problems for them instead of showing them what they could have done different and built complicated navigation in #SharePoint to get them to where they wanted to be – we never taught them how to search, or how to troubleshoot or learn on their own.

Yes, I’m mad. For what we’re doing to your users. Those people who come in everyday, slave away for 8+ hours, don’t earn the big bucks, creates the company’s income, sell the products, most probably don’t even have their own parking space. Yes. Those people. No, I don’t care if I lose business because of my crazy statements, if you’re not all about your greatest assets – your employees, then I’m not about you.

The quick fix:

You’ve signed up for FastTrack and downloaded the Microsoft 365 Adoption Guide. You’ve got the email templates – you’re sorted, right?

Or are you?

So sending out a pretty email with a banner, a URL to a Stream video of the CEO telling you how amazing it is, and a link to the Microsoft Training Portal is not going to cut it.

If you (management / IT) don’t visually support this, communicate your support, go on training first, start using the product immediately – then why did you sign off on that budget? This is not a new network printer everyone will be using or newly approved, branded stationery. This is a new way of life as we know it. It will change everything. AND it will benefit your company, bottom line and employees if you do it right.

Technology and the way we do things will never be the same again. NEVER EVER. So if you want different results. You need to do something different.

Microsoft Resources:

Even though Microsoft has done their best to make you aware of the preparation you need to do, you still think you just have to switch on the licenses. Here’s some of the resources Microsoft has made available to help. But yet again, we turn around and blame Microsoft for too many choices, too little guidance etc. How strange.

In a company of 5,000 employees earning average salaries, it will cost about 7,800,000 to train them in the basics (includes time they have to invest in learning the new skill), but you’ll have an investment gain of 55,000,000 just on the 33 minutes they could be more productive a day. Still, we don’t train them.

What we should be doing:

These are just some ideas:

  • Start communicating way in advance. And not just emails. Posters everywhere with information creates familiarity.
  • Ensure that management gets training and starts using the product first.
  • Don’t just focus on the new bling, raise awareness on where we’re lacking, how much time we waste not being productive, errors made, etc.
  • Upgrade your support processes, upskill your IT team and Power Users (Citizen Developers).
  • Pay attention to your Governance – all the settings that need to be applied before you unleash the dragon.
  • Host awareness sessions and share information about digital literacy.
  • Allow for feedback and questions – and address them.
  • Put measurements in place through feedback and reporting – you need to measure before and after to prove success.
  • Get a pilot team to start using ALL the technology to get feedback and make changes to your roll-out plan.
  • This pilot team as well as management and IT should create short videos loaded on Stream – success stories, how it’s helped them etc.
  • Rebuild your Intranet on SharePoint Online, so you can use the new modern news pages for communication as well, and add the tab to the Intranet on all the new Microsoft Teams.
  • Document your migration roadmap (simple infographic) so that employees know when their file shares will move or the old on premises SharePoint Sites etc.
  • Create content and communication ‘ flow charts’ so they can clearly see when to do what. Don’t expect them to figure it out on their own.
  • Check the Microsoft 365 Documentation to ensure that you’ve ticked all the technical requirements.
  • Create product specialist forums with evangelists that can help carry the message into the company.
  • Keep momentum. Don’t launch and run away, the support, training and communication will become less, but it still needs to happen to reconfirm that message and help the users.
  • Keep in mind, people don’t know what they don’t know. Basic training should be compulsory or you’ll only reach about 20% of your users. Every user I’ve ever trained told me they wouldn’t have come for basic training, and afterwards told me it’s the best thing they ever did. (Except for the Education space – they know what’s important and what adds value).

Be careful to think that adoption and consumption is the same thing. It’s not. Just because someone is using something (forced or not), doesn’t mean they’re using it right, enjoy using it, or that it adds to their overall productivity and efficiency.

Still here? 🙂

Below you’ll find more disruptive blogs I’ve written about the topic:


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”.

Find me on:  Website > LinkedIn > SlideShare > Twitter > Medium > YouTube > MVP Profile

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