One of the key messages during the Microsoft Ignite conference was that the way we collaborate is changing dramatically, especially as more companies transition to Office 365.
Attending several case studies focused on governance and adoption cemented my view that a Office 365 Change Management strategy is necessary in order to successfully launch a tool that will ultimately alter the way colleagues interact with each other. Gone are the days when we only had to worry about a single access point on a company issued computer. Now business users can easily create their own collaboration channels with little IT involvement, leveraging functionality such as Office 365 Groups, Yammer, Delve and OneDrive for Business. Not only have the options to collaborate increased, but also the manner in which people access information has changed. There is an expectation that people should be able to access what they need, when they need it, on any device they choose to use, regardless if it is a personal device or a company issued device. This has created dozens of scenarios that need to be considered and communicated to the company. Maybe you have already heard the whispers in the halls asking, “Where should I upload this document? Am I allowed to create a new Group in Office 365, or do I need permission? Is this document in my OneDrive for Business secured? Can I work on this with my phone?” These questions are just the tip of the iceberg and people are naturally looking to IT to provide them with the guidance. So, what should you do? If you already have a Office 365 Change Management strategy in place, congratulations! But, for those of you who are starting from scratch or an unknown foundation, we have a few tips for you to get you started:
- Assemble a cross functional team who will act as the Steering Committee. You do not need a room of executives but you do need someone to be the Change Management champion.
- Address the immediate needs by publishing answers to the most frequently asked questions.
- Define and track your success metrics to identify what works and what does not.
- Create policies using easy to understand language and reference them when responding to questions.
- Encourage a feedback culture by thanking and acknowledging those that provide valuable input.
- Learn from the success and stumbles of others by reaching out to the community.
- Implement a drop in “Lab day” where people can visit to find answers and guidance on how to make their day easier.
This is just the beginning. Moving to Office 365 means that change will be never ending. With constant enhancements, you need to have a framework in place to keep ahead of the hallway whispers and effectively communicate how change will be handled in this ever evolving landscape. Because if you don’t have a Change Management strategy, a Wild West mentality will be adopted and that can only be sustained for so long before someone shoots an eye out. If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy these other Microsoft Ignite posts: