When we talk to our clients about implementing new tools for them, we often tell them:
“It’s not about the tool, it’s about the problem.“
We ask them: what is the problem you are trying to solve? What are the needs of your users? Only when you can answer those questions, can you start on planning a successful tool introduction.
This doesn’t only apply to social enterprise networks: it also applies to other tooling, such as Office 365. Thing is, that nowadays most employees arrive into a company already knowing what problems to solve with most, but not all, office 365 tools. We’ll get to that later…
Why is that?
When it comes to the most well-known tools in the Microsoft Office suite, they are all tools that essentially make very traditional work processes digital: they follow quite a linear path from the office work that we knew before the computer was invented.
Check out this image:
When it comes to a product like Microsoft Word, employees already understand what to use it for: after all, creating a document on a computer isn’t conceptually different from creating one on your typewriter. Sure, it’s much easier and it does speed up the work a whole-bunch, but it’s easy to understand what to do and it doesn’t change the way employees work all that much.
That’s why, for instance when Skype for business is introduced to a company, they are probably fine simply giving access to users, explaining briefly what functionality is available and how to use it.
Where companies run into problems is when they are introducing tools that in order to be most effective, require that employees rethink the way they work. That’s why products like Microsoft Teams and Yammer present a challenge for many companies. Imagine this: a scrum coach coming in, setting down a scrumboard and moving on? That’s not how it works!
The type of training employees really need.
So, to fully harness the power of the full Office 365 suite, what you need to do is to make sure employees are trained on how they can work smarter. Only by doing this, will you actually reap the full benefits of the technology: after all, if employees continue to replicate paper processes digitally there is only so much they can gain. If you help them rethink how things get done, in a way that solves their challenges: that’s how you make an impact on the organisation.
So how do you approach it?
Develop some inspiring cases, showing other users how their peers have achieved better results using the O365 tools in an innovative way.
Then, help employees to do this, and use the O365 tools themselves to train the employees not on how to use them, but what for.
If you think about the O365 tools in this way, introducing them into your company will not only be a lot more successful, but also will make employees all over the organisation more efficient and effective. Don’t be daunted by the task anymore!