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Significance of Change Management in the Successful Adoption of Microsoft 365

Posted by Rajiv Dattani on 9/21/21 1:29 PM

Change Mgmt AdobeStock_298457533

Change of any kind or nature can be disruptive, but certain changes significantly impact an organization as much as the introduction of new communication and collaboration technology such as Microsoft 365.

Companies experience a range of benefits from migrating to a digital workplace, including better engagement and productivity among employees. However, the path to a digital workplace isn’t as easy as deploying the necessary technology.

This is where change management comes in as an absolute necessity to bring the entire workforce on board with Microsoft 365. This blog discusses the change management framework and its significance in the successful adoption of Microsoft 365.

The Change Management Framework

In an increasing number of organizations, one of the key reasons why Microsoft 365 adoption slows down or simply fails is the lack of effective change management after deployment. Organizations and leaders simply assume that employees would abandon their old ways of working and adopt new ones independently without any effort put in terms of change management for adoption.

Are you wondering what a change management framework is and why it is important? Read on to know more.

The change management framework refers to the process of planning, implementing, and solidifying changes in an organization. It outlines how organizations handle modifications, such as implementing any new technology, adjusting to existing processes, and managing the shifts in the organizational hierarchy.

To achieve successful Microsoft 365 adoption, the change management framework would include similar steps as taken while adapting to new business processes, organizational restructuring, and any other process that doesn't fit the old ways of doing business.

However, the difference is that it will be tailored to the specific dynamics between the unique business objectives, the users, the platform itself, and the prevailing corporate culture. The action items on the change management framework would be scheduled according to the pre-launch phase, the launch phase, and the post-launch phase, as discussed below -

Pre-Launch Phase

The pre-launch or envision phase is when the organizations need to determine their context, then define the scope and objectives of change and identify people to take change management forward. The other thing to focus on is prioritizing groups affected by it and defining the new behaviours required to achieve desired business outcomes.

Launch Phase

The launch phase is where organizations need to strategize and devise the plans or activities required to implement the change. These include appointing stakeholders, early adopters, and change managers to communicate with, engage and train the entire workforce in driving Microsoft 365 adoption smoothly. 

Post-Launch Phase 

This is where you need to gather feedback from the workforce and identity the anomalies of change to establish corrective measures. This will help your organization analyse business outcomes after a change to improve your adoption approach as per expectations and recognize future capabilities.

Creating a Change Management Strategy for Microsoft 365 and all its apps and services including Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online

An increasing number of organizations fail to help their employees use Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online to the level that ROI is attainable simply due to the lack of a formal plan.

To maximize your level of success with the adoption of the platforms mentioned above, the need is to have a robust plan as it helps you cover several aspects essential to achieve success, including -

  • Having a detailed and clear vision of your specific organizational objectives
  • Helping everyone in the team prepare for the initiative
  • Avoiding random time-consuming activities creating a hindrance in the successful adoption of these platforms

However, it is important to remember that adopting Teams, SharePoint, and Microsoft 365 is not about adding just a few new tools to your existing collection of digital infrastructure but is mainly about the change and how you work.

Here are some of the essential steps that should constitute a change management plan for the successful adoption of these platforms -

  • Identifying and quantifying your individual and business objectives.
  • Systematically driving the workforce's willingness and readiness for change.
  • Recruiting change leaders and using peer influence to encourage change
  • Restructuring applicable business processes if necessary
  • Allocating financial, technological, and human resources
  • Offering adequate training and support
  • Taking efforts to shorten the temporary drop in productivity during the change
  • Developing reward and incentive programs to motivate end-users
  • Constantly gathering feedback from end-users, tracking activities data, and measuring results.

Overall, remember to make your change management strategy comprehensive and responsive as it will help you save time and energy on all the other steps along the way.

Best Practices for Change Management for Microsoft 365 Teams and SharePoint Online

Here are some of the best practices organizations can adopt for implementing change management for Teams, Microsoft 365, and SharePoint Online -

·     Always Begin with Education and Understanding

Before Microsoft 365 is implemented, your employees must be fully familiar with the concept of the platform and what it can do. The best way to do this is through training materials and well-planned communication from change management leadership.

Once the employees understand the abilities and capabilities of Microsoft 365, they can start thinking about how the technology could benefit them or be applied to their specific roles.

·     Generate a Desire for Adoption in Employees

Once your employees fully understand the capabilities of Microsoft 365 and what it can do, begin your efforts about generating interest and talking about how they might be able to use this technology to improve their day-to-day workflow.

One of the best ways to do this is through workshops to discuss the possibilities and gather valuable input and data. Ask your employees about the specific issues they currently face in their day-to-day activities, followed by working together and chalking out a plan on how Microsoft 365 can help solve those issues. Generating this kind of desire among the workforce will help you increase the adoption rate and reduce the overall time it takes for employees to acclimate.

·     Offer Adequate Training and Support

Once the new workflows are established for employees after Microsoft 365 adoption, the next important thing is to ensure that the employees get adequate training in performing these workflows. If not trained adequately, employees can take much longer to complete their tasks, thus decreasing efficiency and getting frustrated with the technology entirely.

·     Continuous Improvement

After successful adoption, it is important to ensure the continuous improvement and successful evolution of the digital workplace. A few steps to take here include updating your old and new employees about the new platform and help them navigate the issues they may encounter due to change through dedicated mentoring and supervision.

How Can TrnDigital Help Your Organization With Adoption and Change Management?

Seamlessly managing the Microsoft 365 adoption internally isn’t always feasible for enterprises that lack the resources or expertise to offer adequate support. This is because transitioning to Microsoft 365 presents a completely new way of working. Change management is a must to minimize the risks of project implementation failure caused by user reluctance.

TrnDigital, with its experience and expertise of many years, can help you remove barriers like low adoption rates for successful Microsoft 365. We have helped several businesses successfully adopt Microsoft 365. Contact us now to understand how we can help your business achieve successful change management during the Microsoft 365 adoption process.

Topics: Microsoft 365, #Microsoft 365 Migrations, Organizational Change Management

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