Driving Adoption for Office 365, Part 3


The first part in this series talked about the importance of adoption for the success of Office 365 within your organization. The second part described the vision, goals, and business scenarios for our digital transformation roadmap. We are continuing with our roadmap. Let’s talk about the stakeholders and the audience.



Stakeholders: IT


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Times have changed for IT. Long ago, IT had all the control within a company. They decided what tools you were going to utilize during your working day. Due to the rise of the Cloud, which resulted in easy access toward collaboration services such as Slack or Dropbox, the times have changed. IT does not facilitate any longer. People are going outside the company walls. Do not think they won’t. They definitely will. IT has to become a facilitator again. They need to improve the business with the Modern Workplace. Doing so can help to get their job done as well as make everyone’s work lives easier, more efficient, and more fun. We need IT to cover the complete technical side of implementing Office 365. IT needs to make sure all the employees are able to connect with Office 365. IT also needs to ensure everyone has up-to-date software on their work devices.

Stakeholders: Business

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Let’s talk about the users who are going to work with Office 365 on a day-to-day basis. Find people who are excited to start working with Office 365 and other new technologies. These people are going to be your early adopters and champions. Make sure you include a few skeptics too! Once you have convinced them of the advantages of Office 365, it will be much easier to convince all the other doubters. This strategy will help increase the adoption rate of Office 365. We always select one or two stakeholders per department.

Stakeholders: Executive Sponsor

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Let’s face the facts. Adopting and implementing Office 365 costs money. You need a sponsor that provides you with a budget (bag of money) to work on the project. The executives need to be aware of Office 365 and why it is important for the company. They are making corporate decisions and defining the overall strategy. There cannot be any decisions or strategies that go against the use of Office 365 simply because the executives were not aware of its existence.

Audience: The People

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You have to make an analysis of your people in order to develop your Office 365 implementation strategy. There are two kinds of people:

  1. People who love new technology
  2. People who are easily frustrated with technology

Being aware of your people groups is going to directly impact your technical and functional decisions for delivering the business scenarios. Why? I am not trying to be rude or mean. Sometimes you must make solutions that are straightforward and easy to understand for the second group of people. The first group will always find new technology easier. They will generally know how features work without any training or additional guidance. Therefore, you have to learn to speak to the people in the second group. Do not expect people to understand how technology works just because you do. This is something I have had to learn the hard way.

Audience: The Company

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You have to make an analysis of your company in order to develop your Office 365 implementation strategy. There are two kinds of companies:

  1. Formal
  2. Informal

The type of company you are determines the communication and learning methods you are going to deploy. You cannot release an Apple type commercial that introduces OneDrive for Business in a formal and closed company. It will not go over well. You also cannot provide a paper manual in an informal and open company. Know your audience.

What’s next? The following part of this series is going to talk about communications, learning, and launch methods. Stay tuned!