The challenges of Office 365 user adoption


Too many organisations fail to fully understand where they and their employees are at when they decide to move to Office 365 in terms of how they work. The first point in pre deployment is so important. But from experience it is often overlooked. Too often it is seen as a project with a start and end date. That’s why the post deployment elements usually end too quickly. The training sessions are over, the training materials produced and gathering dust and so on. But adoption doesn’t stop. It’s ongoing. So organisations need to plan and cost for that over an extended period of time.

Migration is also not treated as a major change management exercise. It changes significantly how people work. What tools they currently use and have to learn to use. They are expected to change their habits just because you have given them a new set of tools. That’s hard to do.

As all organisations are different and depending on size it gets more and more difficult, it’s important to understand how people work and what tools they use and indeed what their work day habits are. You could do this by surveys, focus groups/meetings. Then this will give you a picture of what Office 365 can bring or problems it can solve. Focus on the problems it can solve first. Show people how the tools and ways of working can solve those problems. Office 365 can’t be all things to everyone. You have to focus on the little battles, the quick wins or the simpler problems. Get those right and you will be on your way.

After deployment you can assess whether those problems have been ‘fixed’ for people. If not you have to go back and see what went wrong. If they have then move to the next set of problems.

As Office 365 continues to change and offer new features you have to aware of any problems that can be fixed but also problems that may arise from a change or new feature (bug!!). That is where the ongoing adoption process comes in. It’s why Office 365 adoption and migration is not a project, it’s a journey with bumpy roads….and of course you can get some help with that area of Office 365.