Our clients are thrilled to be moving from Office 2010 to Office 365 but the implementation can sometimes be challenging. This is especially true in organizations that don’t have an in-house project team and/or don’t communicate what is happening with employees. We highly recommend explaining the Office 365 implementation process to users, letting them know that while it is a big change, it will make work more efficient and collaborative.
How to Plan Your Office 365 Implementation
Having a team in place for this project, communicating with users, and following up with training is what we experienced as the best way to handle an Office 265 implementation.
- Choose Project Leaders. When it comes to deploying a new technology like Office 365, ask a few team members to act as project leaders. They will be responsible for making decisions on behalf of their department and will act as the point of contact for their team.
- Communicate. The most important part of your Office 365 implementation is to communicate at all levels of the business. That way everyone is aware of what is happening and the timing of changing from other systems to Office 365. As consultants, we find that communicating in different styles is helpful. Some people are visual while others are auditory learners so we like to include communication for each style.
- Encourage training. Utilize the knowledge of project leaders to answer questions of users or to demonstrate different ways to use Office 365. How does the SharePoint Intranet work? Where can users find tips for using Office 365? Using new software is always painful for some, at least in the beginning, so identifying resources is helpful.
- Change is challenging. Moving from Microsoft Office to Office 365 is a big change. It’s not just an update to a new version. It’s an updated way of working. Utilizing the cloud to automate business processes with workflows can be stressful. Be patient with your team and remember to communicate in a way that makes everyone feel involved. Answer questions as best you can and let them know it will be a process. At the very least, they want to know their voice has been heard.
- Teach easy ways to use Office 365. Gain their love of Office 365 by showing users simple ways to use programs that create efficiencies in their work. When using Outlook, users can clear the clutter by using Focused Inbox. Organize meeting notes using Onenote instead of on pad of paper. Encourage collaboration using Share Your Work. This will get users familiar with functions and more secure about using it for workflows or complicated processes.
Remember the FullScope IT team is here to support the Office 365 implementation at your office. We understand the challenges of rolling out new software and can help your team with the rollout, training, and ongoing work.