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Successful Office 365 implementation with the AAA adoption strategy

As IT manager or digital workplace manager, you are responsible for the digital workplace and for the implementation and adoption of Office 365. For many organizations, it is already quite a task to implement Office 365. But once the installation and implementation of Office 365 has been completed, the real work begins. Why? The implementation of Office 365 is in addition to a technical implementation, above all a change process. It is challenging to change employee behavior in organizations. If employees don’t want to, can’t or aren’t allowed to change, change will not take place. This fact has caused many IT projects to fail. Employees will only behave differently if they see good reason to, if they feel the urgency and recognize the added value. Your aim is that employees embrace Office 365 and that it contributes to their productivity. With the AAA adoption strategy you reach your goal.
Esther van Wijngaarden

AAA adoption strategy

The AAA adoption strategy guides employees in three phases towards embracing the Office 365 platform. The three phases of the adoption strategy are:

  1. Awareness: create awareness and inspire the employees
  2. Activate: mobilize the employees by conducting pilot testing
  3. Adoption: embrace a new way of working

Phase 1: Awareness

In the awareness phase the focus is on creating insight and understanding and inspiring your employees. The aim is that they understand why it is better to work with the new technology and to make one whole digital workplace. Explaining the usefulness and necessity of the change is therefore your most important task. You achieve this by completing four tasks in the awareness phase.

  1. Create a change team

Put together a team, consisting of operators and staff, who will work together intensively and discuss the progress and the direction of the change process.

  1. Compose your vision

Organize a vision session with management and directors to determine how the organization should collaborate digitally and share knowledge. You will need to formulate a vision statement that will help your decision-making on the communication and implementation of Office 365.

  1. Create use cases

In a use case you describe how your employees want to work together and how the Office 365 applications are used. Think of: smarter meetings, collaboration on documents or agile work for a project. Clarify the work process, the organizational culture surrounding cooperation and knowledge sharing, the competencies of the employees and the applications and tools used. See the image below for the use case ‘Smarter Meetings’.

  1. Complete the Target Group Pyramid

A tool for mapping employee wishes and needs is the Target Group Pyramid (see illustration). This pyramid is based on three layers: the individual, the team and the organization. Using the use cases you determine which Office 365 applications fit the different target groups.

Phase 2: Activate

Once the importance of the new work method is clear, you will then let the different target groups work with the apps. This phase is also divided into four practical tasks:

  1. Conducting pilot testing with employee ambassadors

Give innovative employees who have affinity with Office 365 the task of carrying out small-scale pilots and experimenting with use cases. The pilots will show which use cases are successful, which need improvement and which are not suitable.

  1. Draw up a communication plan

In the communication plan you describe, in collaboration with the change team, the communication concerning the changes and which means of communication will be used for this.

  1. Provide training and supervision

Use the pilots to find out to what extent and in which form training and supervision is needed.

  1. Draw up a Governance plan

In a governance plan you record important agreements to facilitate the management process, such as the policies, procedures, responsibilities and activities for managing the Office 365 environment. This way you manage the expectations during the implementation.

Phase 3: Adoption

In the final phase the use cases are implemented broadly throughout the organization. This is the most difficult and time-consuming phase, but at the same time also the most valuable. Here you as an individual, team and organization create the most added value. You achieve this by performing the following four tasks:

  1. Scaling up the entire organization

Scale up the previously carried out successful pilots, to all employees. Launch the renewed platform with a kick-off, for example by means of a festive 'go live'.

  1. Secure successes with best practice

Secure the new way of working in best practices and spread them across the organization. The goal is to improve online collaboration and knowledge sharing and to implement the best practices in the working methods.

  1. Monitoring usage figures

Adoption is a continuous process that can be measured with Office 365 applications such as Power BI. Through the measurements you receive important management information on use, improvement potential and the prioritization of the further development.

  1. Create a feedback group

Designate a feedback group, consisting of key users and ambassadors, to continually gauge the needs within the organization so that you can facilitate the platform optimally.

Adoption completed

The adoption is completed when the use cases have been successfully implemented. The employees are trained and supervised and now make effective use of the Office 365 package. The result of a successful implementation is a full adoption of Office 365.

Do you want to read the extended version of the AAA adoption strategy? Download this whitepaper now.

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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