Creating a communication strategy that focuses on increasing awareness is a powerful way to ensure you drive adoption of Office 365.
Introducing new processes or technologies can change the way jobs are performed, redefine roles and responsibilities, and even modify reporting structures. Organizational changes also typically involve new expectations, new processes and tools, new partnerships and relationships.
For major change to be successful, you need to have a structured process in place to help people adapt and adopt tomorrow’s new reality. You need to manage the human factor by capturing the hearts and minds of all impacted groups. In doing so, you help the people involved successfully adopt the change presented to them.
That’s where Organizational Change Management comes in. It’s a process that focuses on your users – the key to realizing the full potential of your investments.
You know you’ve succeeded when impacted groups (employees, customers and vendors) commit to the change – as quickly as possible – with minimal business impact and risk. But, to get to that point, you need to develop a communication strategy that drives awareness.
When it comes to implementing Office 365, it’s no different. Creating awareness is a powerful way to ensure that you are maximizing impact and driving adoption of modern workplace. This has to happen before, during, and even after your Office 365 roll-out. That means your communication strategy has to be proactive.
It’s important that you find the right people, the right messages, the right channels, and the right time.
Build Awareness Through Communication
Create buzz around Office 365 in the following ways:
#1 – Inspire and drive new behaviors
A good awareness campaign informs, involves and inspires your users, resulting in a much higher adoption rate. Awareness creates the “buzz” around a new product or technology.
It is important to address change with positive but sensitive messaging that enables users to see the value of the new technology and how they can benefit from using it.
You’re making a fundamental change to the technology your employees have come to depend on for their daily work, which means you may need to spell out the activities you want people to start doing, stop doing and continue doing.
Create clear, concise statements that reflect these behaviors. Use content to communicate those messages. Key questions to answer:
- Why are we moving to Office 365?
- What is required of me?
- How does this help me do my job?
#2 – Plan communication tactics
Use multiple channels to maximize your results and implement a broad marketing campaign that drives awareness.
The goal is to build a communication plan that stays alive long after your awareness campaign and roll-out have ended so user adoption becomes a lifelong company practice.
#3 – Organize champions
Identify a team that will champion the change. And determine what that team will need so they’re able to provide informal training and support to users in your organization on a peer-to-peer basis.
This type of informal learning community has proven extremely effective in encouraging adoption.
#4 – Provide open feedback channels
Throughout the roll-out, it’s important to offer employees a way to ask questions or give feedback. Be sure to create a feedback and “triage” team to address these inquiries quickly.
Can your organization do this alone?
If you have a strong internal change management team, they could do this with the right tools. However, do not underestimate the people-side of the change and expect your project managers or business liaisons to do this work.
You need dedicated change resources to do this well. Otherwise, you will not effectively implement Office 365 and eventually go back to the drawing board after a lot of work and expense.
Have a question? We’d love to hear it! Comment below.
In our ebook, Go Beyond Email with Office 365: How to Drive Adoption of a Collaborative Digital Workplace, we offer practical, pragmatic advice to help you navigate the use and adoption of Office 365.
Learn the steps to building a change management strategy that leads to Office 365 adoption.
Want more detail? Read excerpts from our ebook.
About the Author
Cindy is a Manager with Centric Consulting’s Enterprise Collaboration Team with 20 years of system analysis, design, implementation and development experience specializing in web development, application delivery and software integration for a wide variety of industries. When not thinking about enterprise communications, adoption and implementation, Cindy can be found hiking New England trails with her four dogs.