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6 do’s when introducing a new Office 365 tool

As a digital workplace manager you want to be able to offer tools that are fully accepted by the organization. You have selected the perfect tool for your colleagues and done the preparatory work. The plans are drawn up, the vision is communicated and you have management´s full support. Now it´s time to introduce the tool. But what do you need to know to introduce a new tool successfully? We have listed the six most important ones for you!
Esther van Wijngaarden

1. The use case as starting point

The best basis for introducing a new tool is the use case. In this use case you describe how employees want to work together and how Office 365 applications are to be used for this. Imagine that OneNote is the new tool you want to introduce. In the use case 'smarter meetings', you explain how OneNote will support this way of working, presented in the visual below. This is a practical way to explain the practicality of the tool, because the use case is based on a current situation in your organization. It is easy to implement and employees can identify with it. You have drawn up the use case based on input from your colleagues about the way they want to work. When answering any questions, you explain the effectiveness of the tool based on this use case. The organization’s needs, which you have incorporated in the use case, are your starting point to introduce the new tool.

2. Select ambassadors

Select innovative employees within your organization who are motivated to spread the new tool actively. These ambassadors will help you to enthuse the rest of the organization about the new tool. They make an important contribution to motivating and guiding colleagues to work with a new tool. The ambassadors are close to the employees who use the new tools every day, know their needs and notice where things falter and resistance develops.

3. Conduct a pilot test

Pilot testing is the perfect way to test the new tool within the organization. The ambassadors function as forerunners. They carry out small-scale pilot testing and experiment with the use case. In order to stimulate use of the new tool based on the use case, it will prove useful to include the broadest possible reflection of the organization in pilot testing. By working based on the use case, your end users will shape the transformation themselves. The pilot testing shows whether the new tool is successful and suitable for your organization.

4. Organize a kick-off

When you scale up the successful pilot testing for the entire organization, do not let this moment go unnoticed. Mark the moment with a kick-off. For this you can organize a festive go-live to introduce the tool to all employees. This emphasizes its importance within the organization and makes it more likely that employees will work with it.

5. Offer training and supervision

Use the pilot testing to find out to what extent training is needed and in which form. Think about questions such as: "Do we train everyone or only specific groups?". Based on need, you set up the training and supervision. In general, up to five generations are at work within an organization. The youngest generation will immediately start using the tool, while the oldest generation will need more training to become familiar with it. In any case, make sure that employees have somewhere to go if they have questions. To do this, set up an online support community on SharePoint or Yammer.

6. Communication, communication and communication

The new tool must be top-of-mind with your colleagues, otherwise they will not work with it. Activate and encourage employees to actively use the tool. Inspiring and appealing communication is indispensable at this stage. Communicate through various channels about the new tool to keep it up to date. One of these channels is the word-of-mouth advertising that the ambassadors take care of for you. Promoting the tool via Yammer, in meetings, presentations and interactive sessions also contributes to the use. A correct mix and use of these channels and the power of repetition is decisive when introducing a tool.

Whitepaper: Adopting Office 365 in three steps

Do you want to implement Office 365? How can you convince everyone of the usefulness of Office 365? Which strategy do you use and how do you get the most out of the new digital workplace?

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