Creating Your Adoption Plan for Microsoft 365: Assembling Your Team

June 13, 2019 Alex Ivanov

One of the most challenging aspects of our highly technological world, is adopting to change. With rapid increases in cloud technology, and productivity platforms, modern workers are being asked to learn new tools regularly. We understand the challenges of adopting technology such as Microsoft 365, so we’ve dedicated a blog series for outlining how to develop your adoption plan.

We will examine 3 different initiatives for envisioning your plan:

  1. Assembling your team
  2. Business Scenarios
  3. Technical Readiness

Stakeholder Buy-In

The first part of envisioning your roll out, starts with identifying stakeholders and team members who will assist in adoption. Forming a dynamic team of committed individuals makes up your change network, who will drive and effect change.

Common Stakeholders in an Organization:

  • Executive Sponsors (87% saw better adoption rates when executives were onboard)[1]
  • Business Leaders from different departments in your organization (i.e. Director of Sales, Director of HR, Senior Managers, etc)

Start by engaging with different stakeholders, and those who will participate in which stage and part of the process. It’s easy to get lost in the buzz of digital transformation, and lose interest from your stakeholders. You want to bridge the gap between IT (who’s implementing this technology) and your stakeholders (who’s using this technology), by educating them early.

Buy-in strategies include leadership meetings between the managers of different departments and discussing the roll-out with them. It’s also important to demonstrate how Microsoft 365 solves these issues. Pinpointing easy fixes, and demonstrating value, will be a strong way to gain stakeholder buy-in.

Assemble Your Team

Now that you have identified your stakeholders, and started the buy-in process, it’s time to start assembling the team with members assigned specific roles.

A great way to approach this is by splitting your adoption team into groups:

  • Executive Sponsors
  • Champions (Those who drive enthusiasm around adoption)
  • Success Owners (Whose responsibility it is for a smooth adoption)
  • Early Adopters (Business Leaders, IT members, Users from across different lines of business)
  • Slow Adopters (Important to understand and address their needs during launch)

However, we understand not every company has a big pool of employees to choose from. Some companies might have smaller IT departments than others. In our experience of helping to support adoption initiatives with our clients, we have found there are multiple ways to achieve success:

  • If you’re a larger company, with adoption projects that are more complex, there will most likely be a dedicated team just for change management. Therefore, structuring your team in these roles will be beneficial for driving successful adoption.
  • If you’re a smaller organization, generally the demands will be less complex and there will likely not be a dedicated team for change management. Therefore, you would be engaging with leaders in different departments to be your champions and having them drive change into their respective areas. It’s ok for a team member to be taking on more than one role during this process.

Once you have identified your team, start categorizing them into different roles. It’s time to start looking more closely into business scenarios, and how adoption will take on those challenges and provide value.

Conclusion

Careful planning will make adoption a smoother process. The first step of building an adoption plan, is getting stakeholders involved early, and building teams based on your organization’s capabilities. In our next blog post, we will dive into a closer look into business scenarios and how to demonstrate the use of Microsoft 365 in solving them.

Microsoft Adoption Guide. 2018.

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