Some thoughts on defining value with Office 365

Earlier this evening I found myself in a conversation with my daughter with her questioning her abilities in her gymnastics class. It’s a bit devastating for me as she is at an age where she is starting to compare herself to the other girls. Comments like “my cartwheels aren’t as fast and high” or “I cannot hold myself up as strong” break my heart a little. My attempt at smooth the path for her was along the lines of “you have said you want to be an astronaut. Do you think you will ever want to be an Olympic gymnast? No? Well maybe see gymnastics as something that’s great for your body and good for you to get moving across the week but also for fun?”.

This conversation reminded me of the many times I question organisations on why they are doing something.

You want to roll out Microsoft Teams? Why?

You want to enable more Office 365 services available with your license type? Why?

It always surprises me how hard the answer is.

Whenever I run an initiation style workshop I start with considering what is possible and discussing their vision for technology. It really can be hard for people to step out of the detail and consider why it was they decided to do something.

Many IT projects are triggered because a new service is available and it makes sense to progress. What doesn’t always happen is a deep review of the existing platforms or applications. Enhancing the way people work, giving them access to new technology and removing technical challenges in their job is all great. But surely you also have to remove some waste.

Waste could be an out of date process, some bad work arounds, or even an application that is superseded by new features or technology.

If you just ‘turn on’ Microsoft Teams, as an example, then people have more technical load with potential to not understand the purpose. They already use a variety of Apps, and then adding one more doesn’t immediately make their life better.

Do ye old ‘as is’ and ‘to be’. Look at what they do now that you want to reduce or enhance, then understand the ‘to be’. Don’t just implement the new service without this analysis. Understand what value it is providing and what way of working it can replace. Develop the ‘to be’ and drive the change, removing out of date process or behaviours.

Think through why you want the change.

When this process happens it is so easy to then find the ‘WIFM’, the key drivers and bring the adoption journey together.

A cartwheel is made up of many components. There is strong hand placement, getting the legs up high and straight and springing up into a stand when you land. Like a cartwheel Offie 365 has many moving parts — all the features and Apps. Its interconnected. We need the big picture not just a lot of single things that we have turned on. Its a way of working.
When we lose sight of what benefit it brings or why we are doing it, we can suck the enjoyment out of it and this can lead to reducing uptake.

You cannot connect your people to understand the need and value in the change if you haven’t worked through it yourself.

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