Creating Your M365 Plan – Defining Business Strategy

July 15, 2019 Alex Ivanov

business strategy-M365

In our previous blog post, Assembling Your Team, we discussed how to assemble an adoption team, who will help you drive adoption across the organization. The next big challenge is defining a business strategy, by identifying key business scenarios where the technology can play a role. This will help you win over your stakeholders and enable members of your adoption team to clearly articulate benefits when promoting adoption.

Pain Points

Begin the process of defining business strategy, by identifying key pain points across your organization. This allows for you to see clearly which opportunities are most tangible from M365 adoption.

Questions to ask:

  • Where are our pain points in communication and collaboration?
  • How the organization improve in this regard?
  • Are there any key business areas where Microsoft 365 can assist?
  • How is information disseminated across the organization?

Focus on the easiest pain points first, and then onto the more difficult ones. This allows for clear demonstration of value for new technology coming into the workplace. For example, maybe you’ve been using a 3rd party video conferencing solution, but chat on Slack. You can introduce Teams, which combines both video conferencing and a workplace chat platform.

Make sure you give consideration to each department, or team, as they might have different pain points. Both of these issues can be solved with M365 technologies, however they are two different challenges, and understanding that allows for more buy-in from different areas across your organization.

Business Scenarios

After identifying your pain points, it’s time to transform them into real business scenarios. They are an important part of driving adoption. It allows for stakeholders and their teams to understand how the technology can benefit them.

What are examples of business scenarios? Always apply issue, business goal, solution, and measuring framework to put your scenarios into real life examples. This allows for you to easily communicate with stakeholders the key objectives and the reasoning behind it.

For example:

  • Issue: Too many communication tools, one for video conference, one for chat, and one for email. Creating shadow IT issues
  • Business Goal: Increase communication and collaboration efficiency
  • Solution: Implement Microsoft Teams with chat and video conferencing, with Outlook as the email client
  • Measurement: User surveys, usage rates, costs of 3rd party vs M365

 

  • Issue: Logins are secured, but not on every device, and there’s no MFA
  • Business Goal: Secure our communication and collaboration technology
  • Solution: Enable Azure Active Directory service
  • Measurement: Number of security issues, user surveys, security

 

  • Issue: Takes a while to get everyone’s approval on a document
  • Business goal: Increase efficiency of approval process
  • Solution: Create power-app to automate approval processes of documents
  • Measurement: Time spent on approving a document, user surveys

In each of the examples, it’s clear that attaching a business mindset to each issue and providing the solution via technology, creates a vivid picture of how Microsoft 365 will drive business goals.

In addition to setting these business scenarios, one would also have to prioritize different business scenarios. Try to focus on the “easy” pain-points first. This is on a case-by-case basis, but a good example would be deploying a chat-centric video conferencing platform, over focusing on just improving the on-boarding process. The platform will have immediate effects, while on-boarding will take longer to setup.

Next Steps

Work with each business or team leader from different departments in your organization. This can be done via workshops or discussions. By addressing each teams pain points, you can clearly articulate how Microsoft 365 will help them, and make it easier for adoption to occur. Rather than just dropping new technology and expecting everyone to embrace it. The next challenge is to assess technical readiness, so be sure to be on the look out for our next blog post!

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