It’s time to consider your Microsoft 365 2020 goals

It’s a new year and time to reflect on what you achieved so far with your platform and usage.

What are the obstacles to overcome?

Take the time to plan what is possible or required to really value Microsoft 365 across your organisation.

I have captured below some key areas to review and focus on to ensure you are managing your platform well, supporting your people and driving success.

Consider your ROI

Look at your license structure and think about the total spend versus the percentage of products enabled. I don’t think ROI stops once your accounts are migrated. It can continue to increase over time. Don’t just focus on the big shiny apps that were most likely the key drivers for your initial project or transformation. Consider the small apps that can really make a difference. When reviewing a technical roadmap to overlay with the adoption strategy I often consider and suggest activities for enhancing personal productivity. This is often met with IT Leaders not having any enthusiasm in apps like To-Do. Yet when I work with end-users their reaction is incongruent with the project teams’ attitude. They love it and it usually is an easy quick win. Give smaller apps a chance and open up to greater possibilities.

Have you really embedded new behaviour?

Think about what has been enabled to date, the training provided, any campaigns or communication. Think through what the behaviours were that you were trying to change and consider if those new ways or working have been reinforced and have stuck. This is the year to drive further reinforcement. Help your people understand the benefits. Work more on driving the desire and review if things have changed. You are wasting your time and money if you enable the products and don’t follow through to ensure the spend was worth it. Still seeing documents attached to email? Consider why. Check if things are blocking behaviour change and combat resistance if required or understand why areas of the business or people need to stick with old ways. This is the year to push and try to drive change. Make it worth it.

Are your leader’s role models?

Ensure your leaders embody the new behaviours, if not then they may be setting things back. Success can depend on key roles across the business embodying the behaviour you want to drive. John Kotter once stated, “change requires creating a new system, which in turn always demands leadership”. If you find leaders hard work and resistant, this will be mirrored in the staff down the hierarchy. If your leaders don’t listen or bother to try the new way of doing things, find out why. Consider what could be blocking them from getting on board. You need them to help things be successful.

Ensure your learning material is current

It is important to consider how your learning material will support your staff ongoing. None of them will attend a single training session, walk away and apply all the detail. They will only absorb a small percentage. People need reinforcement. They need snippets ongoing to help drive deeper understanding. Knowledge needs to grow over time and to enable this they need to access content regularly. If you had custom content created during an implementation it is most likely out of date. How will you keep learning material current?
Have you heard of Microsoft 365 Learning Pathways? I suggest you review it, setup in your tenant and leverage from the free content that is going to be updated ongoing. And tailor the site to your brand, and put in the effort to make it work for you. If you use other platforms like QuickHelp, LinkedIn Learning or others, ensure the content is relevant, fits and works for your people.

How will you cope with future enhancements?

A lot of things changed last year in Microsoft 365. Think about when you implemented applications and the last time you reviewed configuration, learning content, processes or other switches or options. You also need to review and have a system in place for how you will absorb changes going forward. Who are the people that need to be aware and involved in changes? How are your staff impacted and supported ongoing with the everchanging environment? Get across the roadmap of updates. Have an internal process for reviewing and adapting to change.

Security and governance – get advice!

Security risks continue to be on the rise. Make it a priority this year to tighten your security and ensure no stone is left unturned with the level of detail across this area. You will most likely need advice though as I believe no single individual can know everything in both security and governance. Don’t risk having gaps. With this, educate your people to reduce risks. Lock them down but in a way they can work with. And review the user experience. Don’t have things requiring more sign-ins than necessary causing frustration. Don’t have things so secure that they get annoyed and jump ship to shadow IT.

Maintaining momentum

Consider how to drive further enthusiasm across the business. You need people to become more adaptable and it is important to try and encourage new ideas or curiosity. Once things are implemented and new ways of working gradually become the new norm, there is opportunity to then have deeper value. Process improvements can be made, further benefits can be realised. Don’t stop looking for opportunities to enhance. With this, try to think of ways to reward individuals or areas of your business and share success. I know this can sound exhausting and am not expecting constant major activity, just give it some thought. Transformation doesn’t happen from a single go-live.

This may feel like a lot to consider but it is all important. Make 2020 your year to step-up. We are well beyond just moving mailboxes and files. You need to reassess how you manage, govern and absorb continue change.
Its going to be a big year. Dive in!

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