The crux of a successful Microsoft 365 adoption plan is a person-centric approach. This means getting employee buy-in by any means necessary. In any technology rollout, the Pareto Principle would broadly estimate that 20 percent of success is driven by the actual technology, while 80 percent is driven by how people use the technology. This means that everyone that will interact with Microsoft 365 products needs to be told exactly how these products can improve their day-to-day work, and emphasize how exciting it is.
However, generating enthusiasm among employees is easier said than done. Thankfully, there is a simple four step process that organizations can follow to help them drive adoption in a person-centric manner. Let’s break down each step:
Step One: Plan Your Rollout
The first step is to plan your rollout, and determine which areas will need additional support. Keep in mind that adoption is a top-down process – if executives are snubbing Microsoft 365, the rest of the organization won’t take it seriously either. Next, assign Ambassadors across your organization. These ambassadors should dedicate time every week to find new ways to use Microsoft 365 in your organization, so they are a wealth of knowledge for their peers to lean on.
Before launching the program, make sure that you’ve created a format for user interviews, and scenarios for users to practice their Microsoft 365 know-how. This will help you understand how users are using the applications, and where they need further training.
Step Two: Generate Awareness
Once the product is ready to be deployed, it’s time to begin officially educating ambassadors, and building excitement among the organization as a whole. Go over the different functionalities of Microsoft 365, and explain exactly how Microsoft 365 will benefit workers within your organization. If you have many employees who seem set in their ways, it may be worthwhile to invest in Change Enablement, which will help users accept that change not only necessary, but good.
Step Three: Teach and Empower Users
After building interest in Microsoft 365 and rolling the new services out, your workforce should be educated about best practices. It’s best to leverage a combination of formal training, and more informal interaction between users and internal Microsoft 365 ambassadors. Using internal employees as a point of contact will ensure that your employees are learning the most efficient way to use this technology within the context of your organization. Not only that, but these internal agents should be vigilant to ensure no employees are backsliding into old, outdated methods.
After the solution has been deployed, have your IT team and ambassadors test the solution on a regular basis. Since Microsoft 365 includes constant feature updates, sometimes the best practices for these applications can change on a week-by-week basis. Consequently, it’s important to ensure that employees are always given new tips and tricks to make the most out of Microsoft 365.
Step Four: Encourage Readiness and Promotion
Optimizing your Microsoft 365 deployment never has a clear end. On one side, Microsoft 365 features many applications that constantly change, requiring organizations to re-examine their approach on a regular basis. On the other side, employees aren’t always going to adhere to best practices. To make the most of their deployment, organizations need to continuously promote the benefits of Microsoft 365 and provide ongoing educational and learning materials to ensure that employees are as knowledgeable as possible.