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Office 365 Change Management

o365Through the web, in-print, and from subject matter experts you can find many materials, scenarios, and use cases on how to migrate to Office 365. It is likely that your unique situation has been partly documented somewhere or an external resource can ease your mind as you begin to evaluate unplugging on-premises hardware.
Don’t forget your line-of-business employees.
Your organization’s core may consist of employees that can be drastically disrupted by the solutions your migration has to offer. Here a few tips to manage that disruption.
Help users understand  “the cloud”
To most nontechnical employees “the cloud” still remains a confusing buzzword. Educating your end users on basic cloud principles can lead to wins:

  • Less confusion at the help desk: Do your employees understand the difference between a web app and desktop app? Microsoft has helped with distinctive names (i.e. Word and Word Online), although you may need to go a step further.
  • Front line data loss prevention: Understanding the cloud will help users decipher when they are using their personal cloud versus their workplace cloud, thus preventing inadvertent actions.
  • Ease their nerves: The concept of having all information available anywhere is scary to most folks. Help your users establish good habits so that they are confident about protecting their data and able to identify if they happen upon a misstep.

Brief and simple communication
If you send emails or training documents too often you run the risk of being taken likely. Some may assume neglecting a piece of communication is okay because it will be there the next time around. Strategically plan your communications and adjust as you evaluate your execution. Have a centralized place where all communications, FAQ’s, and roadmaps can referenced.
Customization Within
Each department of your organization has unique processes and workflows. The technical realm will change consistently across the organization, however how each segment adopts and uses new tools will vary. Be flexible with respect to the various groups and certain that your communication is receptive.
Identify Advocates
As you begin turn on solutions and deploy software look for those who are eagerly receptive to new tools and are fast learners. These individuals will likely want to know more than the necessary details and can relate your content to their job role better. Enable them to teach others that work closely with them. They are advocates for change, immediate aid to their colleagues, and will be great sources for feedback.
“Always learning” for many employees does not include staying up to date with new technologies that help them do work. Their specialization is important to your line-of-business and any change outside of that should be handled tenderly. Your IS department can improve productivity and positively influence workplace culture by mitigating stresses that come with drastic change.

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Bill Mitchell

Bill Mitchell is an Associate Technical Consultant on Perficient's National Microsoft team.

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