It has been a crazy few months of researching and interviewing organizations around Office 365 usage and adoption. We released some of our preliminary findings and guidance at Ignite 2015 about guiding users and adoption more effectively. You can get a copy of our latest guidance, "How To Decide: When To Use What In Office 365," in this free 60+ page whitepaper. Now we are working on another whitepaper that delves deeper into adoption and usage scenarios of Office 365.
In this article I wanted to share an excerpt of one of the interesting things we had learned about adoption and technology readiness for SharePoint and Office 365.
One of the outcomes of our research has been that in hindsight, many organizations wish they had done something different after having deployed Office 365, a new social network or a new intranet on SharePoint.
For many organizations, what they wish they had at the start of the implementation was a better understanding of the underlying technology and what could be done with it. Other organizations wished they had a better strategy and clear goals for how they intended to leverage the technology. What was consistent from all the individuals and organizations we interviewed was that almost all of them wished they had spent more time on adoption.
In fact, many wished they had asked certain questions sooner, or had pushed for answers to certain questions earlier in the deployment.
Here are 15 of those important questions that organizations have nominated or recommended others ask before getting too far in your Office 365 or SharePoint implementation.
1. Has a clear purpose been established?
2. Has the technology been connected to business purposes and business outcomes?
3. Does a culture of trust and sharing exist?
4. Has leadership set the tone and embraced the new technology?
5. Have champions been identified and engaged?
6. Have influencers been identified and engaged?
7. Have key business stakeholders been personally engaged?
8. Has an effective internal marketing campaign and adoption plan been crafted?
9. Does leadership know how you plan to improve adoption?
10. Have clear policies for usage (can/cannot use) been developed and communicated?
11. Has the user experience’s usability been tested with workers?
12. Has a strategic approach and clear plan for managing sites, groups and communities been created?
13. Has content been seeded to help improve participation and content direction?
14. Has a reward plan been put into place to reward the most significant contributors, collaborators and sharers?
15. Have you set up effective channels and opportunities to capture user feedback?
At the end of the day, technology adoption is a complex subject. The best way to improve it is to take action, often pro-active action, to improve awareness, interest, understanding and the realization of value.
Think through the answers for each of these questions and challenge your own organization before you get too far in the deployment or implementation of that next collaborative or productivity focused technology like SharePoint, Yammer or Office 365.
Ask yourself: Has your organization answered all of these questions? Are there any important ones missing?
Let's work together to avoid wishing we had said something sooner, or done something different—adoption is a responsibility and commitment we all share in IT.
Interested in learning more about adoption? Be sure to check out the webinar this week on The Top 10 Ways To Improve Office 365 Adoption this week (Wednesday July 22 at 11:00am to 12:00pm EDT).
As always; hope this helps,