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6 Steps to Unlocking the Business Value of O365 – The Next 3

Business Value of O365

In my last blog, I highlighted the first three steps a company must take to unlock the business value of Microsoft Office 365 (O365). In this blog, I highlight the next three steps to unlock the value of O365.

Establish a Measurement Plan

As the adage goes, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” It is critical to establish a measurement plan for a number of reasons:

  • Calculate the ongoing business value/ROI of O365 to prove the business value
  • Measuring adoption is a leading indicator of ROI
  • It may be necessary to collect other business measures that better connect both ROI and adoption. For example, measuring the amount of travel time saved by using Skype and Teams may be very beneficial for calculating ROI
  • Measures of adoption and ROI can be used to provide feedback to the organization. This feedback should occur at three levels:
    • Informational: What are these adoption measures telling me?
    • Impactful: What do these adoption measures mean for the broader organization/business value?
    • Directional: What do I need to do differently to help improve these adoption measures?
  • Measures of adoption and ROI can be used to reinforce improvements in adoption and reward success

In an ideal world, in addition to adoption and ROI measures, it would be beneficial to measure other aspects of performance (utilization, effectiveness, organizational) to fully connect the value chain. See Gartner’s recent depiction of the “Hierarchy of Cloud Office Metrics.”

Address Root Causes of Low Adoption

After a measurement plan is in place, develop a plan to address each root cause of low adoption identified in step two. Each category of cause will need a different adoption strategy. Address root causes related to insufficient direction, awareness, and understanding with actions like having leadership clearly communicate the case for change and demonstrate the use of O365 and display their active support.

Address root causes related to insufficient O365 competencies with training and communications. Low adoption due to insufficient motivation is a more complex issue and would require robust actions around adoption data, feedback on adoption, positive consequences from leadership, etc.

Implement a Dedicated OCM Plan

The above steps are roughly sequential but more important than sequence is that the above steps are thoroughly integrated with a robust technology adoption-focused organizational change management approach to understanding and improving technology adoption. Key components of OCM include:

  • Establish and communicate a clear Case for Change
    • Why is increasing adoption of O365 important?
    • What are the benefits of O365 adoption (individual, business)?
    • How can leadership demonstrate the importance of O365 adoption?
  • Develop a robust OCM stakeholder analysis to identify, specifically:
    • Affected groups/individuals
    • Root causes of low adoption
    • Impacts of increased adoption, both positive and negative
    • Influence strategies
    • Unique support needs
  • Use the results of the stakeholder analysis and root cause analysis to create customized communications, training, and support solutions for unique stakeholder groups to accelerate O365 adoption.
  • Develop and implement an organizational engagement plan (leadership visibility, change networks, etc.). This is an important component of an OCM plan to create a state of permeability for change.
  • Implement an adoption feedback plan. Based on robust adoption measures, implement a plan to pinpoint desired adoption behaviors that have the most impact on business value, and plan for how the organization will reinforce (i.e., motivate) those behaviors. Doing this well can help unleash discretionary performance (i.e., creating the “want to” effect) whereby users want to adopt O365 applications and help the organization use it optimally.
  • Implement sustainability mechanisms. The purpose of this step is to ensure that the adoption gains obtained during the acceleration effort are maintained long after the project has officially concluded. This plan should include ongoing monitoring/management of the adoption processes and associated metrics. Additionally, the plan would also include a roles and responsibilities (e.g., RACI) matrix for ongoing actions.
  • Implement a continuous improvement plan. Given the multitude of features and capabilities of Office 365, additional business value will be obtained by implementing a continuous improvement plan and best practice promulgation.

To learn more, download this guide here to explore the six steps required to begin unlocking the true business value of O365, or you can submit the form below.

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