7.5 min to readDigital WorkplacePublisher Advisory Services

Adopt 365: Using Microsoft 365 to deliver lasting change

SoftwareOne blog editorial team
Blog Editorial Team
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In parts one and two of this series, we covered how to envision your Microsoft 365 (M365) adoption and how to onboard users. Now, we will be focusing on driving value within your organization and how to reach sustainable success of your adoption strategy.

The success of your planned, organization-wide deployment depends on usage and satisfaction. So, once you have planned both the Envision and Onboard phases, it’s time to tackle the final phase: Drive Value. This phase is all about how to take what you learned in the earlier two stages and apply it towards cultivating a strategy that runs like a well-oiled machine. Keep reading to learn more about how to maintain the momentum you’ve gained and build upon your success for planning the launch of M365.

Learn to expect resistance

In order to drive value, you’ll need to monitor end user adoption from the outset. Adopting Microsoft 365 is more than just a simple change, it is getting your organization to fundamentally change its way of working - and that is no small feat. The first thing to note is that there will be resistance. Resistance is a fact of life in any situation involving change. If you anticipate resistance to the adoption of M365, you can be proactive and manage it effectively.

An important thing to note here is that resistance is a given. Look at it as something to uncover rather than something to avoid or overcome. The next step, then, is to recognize the common themes of resistance. Some may feel they simply don’t have the time, they could have an insecure platform, or they may view it as just another tool. This is why it is so important to have a proper training program in place as users may feel that they don’t have enough support or training to move forward. Another component of this is management reinforcement. Make sure management is leading by example so that everyone in the organization is taking the adoption seriously.

And if none of those seem to be the reason for resistance, consider the fact that they just might not be ready. Change is not desirable, and again, you’re essentially asking employees to change the way they work. Be patient, expect the pushback, and employ resistant management techniques. These techniques can be as simple as expressing empathy and listening to employee concerns at the individual level. For remote employees, you may want to schedule regular calls with team leaders so they can communicate any shortcomings. Then, find ways to remove barriers, create hope, and show the benefits of change in a real and tangible way. Making your employees feel as though their pain points are really being heard will go a long way.

How does that translate into actionable steps? The top reported activities for driving Microsoft 365 adoption are:

  1. A defined vision of how Microsoft 365 will be used.
  2. Support from senior leadership that encourages people to use Microsoft 365.
  3. A good training program for end users – Microsoft 365 is a huge and complex platform.
  4. Heightened awareness through the use of email, Intranet announcements, posters, newsletters, and teaser videos.
  5. A coaching plan for team leaders to reinforce expectations and define the ‘why’

Measure and report usage

Now that we know growing your change management processes begins with the ability to listen to your end users and understand their objections, it’s time to measure and report usage. If your organization is not meeting its success criteria, try to learn why your end users have yet to adopt M365.

Distribute a satisfaction survey to gather feedback. This will help you determine the success and weak spots of your rollout, and what the actionable next steps should be. These surveys can be distributed just before launch to understand the baseline knowledge of end users, at mid-launch to make adjustments and create any new training content needed, and after launch to reassess satisfaction.

Be sure to make use of Microsoft’s extensive collection of access reports and tracking tools. By consistently measuring the progression of your organization’s adoption, you’ll gain better insight into which areas are consuming the most. It is important to remember that consumption does not mean adoption, however. Use these reports to measure against your success criteria and look for areas of improvement.

Encourage ongoing engagement

It is no secret that adoption takes time. One of the best ways to increase the adoption of M365 is to create ongoing activities. Publish weekly or bi-weekly Tips & Tricks emails to let users know about features they may not have heard of before, and to keep the conversation going. The more tailored and personal these emails are, the more effective they will be. You can also use these emails to share success stories, promote engagement events, and even announce competitions to celebrate how people best use M365 to work differently.

Also, make sure you are always communicating with your core project team. Create a Yammer group or Teams channel to chat with sponsors and user champions. This way, you can easily receive feedback, talk about successes, discuss new features, and nail down best practices for your organization. Remember, your champions are going to keep the momentum going so you should always be in contact with them.

As you drive deeper engagement, look to tried and true strategies. Reward end users who have changed the way they work, define relatable examples and patterns, and provide training on a continuous basis. After all, there will always be a new feature to learn! When you continue employee engagement, you’ll even find new user champions. Take note as new advocates crop up and ask them to help spread the word on the benefits of M365.

How SoftwareOne can give the support you need

Proper use of Microsoft 365 begins with proper adoption - and when your entire team understands how Microsoft 365 can empower their remote work capabilities, productivity will soar. However, many organizations are struggling to open clear channels of communication that help them onboard remote users virtually. There’s a bit of a learning curve, and in some cases this can cause unacceptable delays.

At SoftwareOne, we have a vision of the Future Workplace. We aim to focus on enabling our customers to maximize the efficiency and productivity of their employees through the adoption of modern technologies. And we know that a failure to digitally transform directly translates into falling behind the curve. That is why we created 365Simple to help organizations with ongoing support and a dedicated service manager to help you get even more from Microsoft 365. The Adopt365 program aligns existing visions, practices, and technologies in order to focus on the business value created for our clients.

Adopt 365 is just one of the ways that 365Simple can help you build a customized approach to the adoption process so your organization can get on its way to realizing the full benefits of Microsoft 365 and making changes that last.

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M365 is the change your organization needs

Request part three of our on-demand webinar series “Adopt 365” to learn more about how Microsoft 365 can deliver lasting change to your organization.

M365 is the change your organization needs

Request part three of our on-demand webinar series “Adopt 365” to learn more about how Microsoft 365 can deliver lasting change to your organization.


SoftwareOne blog editorial team

Blog Editorial Team

We analyse the latest IT trends and industry-relevant innovations to keep you up-to-date with the latest technology.