my world of work and user experiences

March 31, 2022

How will this help us?

Filed under: Adoption,Digital Workplace,Microsoft 365 — frederique @ 20:24

Recently, I got involved in some training programmes, in which the people from a department could learn about Microsoft 365. These people were collaborating with each other, in a field different from my own: pharmacies and construction. What struck me, were their questions and even accusations: “You are from the head office and what head office tells us to do often does NOT work for our jobs in the field. So what does this mean for us, the people who are not sitting in an office all day working with Office applications? ”

My goal is not to sell as many Microsoft 365 licenses as possible, nor is it forcing users to adopt Microsoft 365 at knife point. What I try to do, is help people to do their jobs more effectively, efficiently and pleasantly. And in many cases Microsoft 365 can help with that, but if and only if they adopt it the right way. So:

  • From the one end, IT needs to make sure that the people get the tools that can actually help them. Not a one-size-fits-all toolkit & approach that does not fit their situation or their needs.
  • And from the other end, the people need to adopt the new way of working, with the new tools. For that they need to become aware of that new way of working, desire it, know enough about it, become able to do it in real life and be reinforced when they make the change. See ADKAR. And we can help them make the change, but only if the new way of working really works.

For example, I heard the following:

  • “Did your project actually ask the pharmacies what they needed, before you started pushing this change on us?”
    Fortunately, we had involved representatives from the pharmacies and done a pilot with them, so we could reassure these people. But we had not communicated this properly with the larger group, so they were still stuck in the sentiment of ‘those idiots from headquarters’ at the start of our training. Something to take into account next time.
  • “We don’t have a full computer or laptop, only a Citrix environment, without desktop applications. ”
    Fortunately, many of the Microsoft 365 application have a nice Online version. What we should have done better, is start with the story of the online versions, to fit their needs. I got catapulted into this training as a last minute resourcing fix, so I did not realise that only a few of the participants could use the desktop versions. Next time I will check, because you don’t want to talk about options that they don’t have….
  • “Why are you talking about Microsoft Teams as a ‘digital office’ for collaboration. In our pharmacies, we only have the one pharmacist who has a computer, what do you mean collaboration? ”
    Fortunately, we had also planned Teams for collaboration at the level of clusters, which made a lot more sense to them.
  • “The assistants in the pharmacies do not have individual Microsoft 365 accounts. How are we going to involve them in all this digital sharing? ”
    Good question, are aware of it. But the business still need to decide if they will get individual accounts and if they do: with which license.
  • “You show us how you can open a document in Teams and co-author it. But we are using a lot of files that can only be opened in non-Microsoft applications. We need these tools for manipulating models, schematics, plannings etc. How do we work with those files that seem exotic to you but are run-of-the mill for us.”
    Fortunately, we could show that they can synchronise the relevant libraries to their Windows Explorer and open those files from there. And yes, they were happy with the additional possibilities for opening links to work in Office files directly from Teams, for example. As long as we don’t try to suggest that this is the only type of files that they need to manage.

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