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Mistakes we made, so you don’t have to make them!



The past years we perfected our knowledge in Office 365 implementations. Since this year we are Microsofts official user adoption partner for Office 365 projects.

During the roll-outs in different companies we have discovered that some approaches are less effective than others. It would be a pity if your company would make the same mistakes as we did. Below you can find our most valuable ‘lessons learned’.



1. The sponsor wasn’t “all in”

As explained in a previous blogpost, is the attitude of the sponsor key for a successful change. If the sponsor is telling everyone that it is ‘only an Office implementation’ the sense of urgency and focus towards the project will be lower. For a lot of employees, the office tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) are already known. But Teams, OneDrive, OneNote, ... are very often new for them and the needed user adoption is underestimated by the sponsor.


2. The roll-out plan is purely technical focused

Before employees start using the Office 365 tools they must be rolled-out in the company. Often the planning for the roll-out has a technical focus. For many sponsors, project managers and technical leads this is a ‘no brainer’. Nevertheless, we noticed that it is worth to have a discussion about the roll-out planning from an user adoption point of view. Some thoughts to discuss can be:

  • Does everyone need the same Office 365 applications?

  • What are our ‘quick wins’?

  • Which story do you want to tell the employees?

  • Is it easier to explain SharePoint in Teams instead of explaining SharePoint first followed by the explanation of Teams?

  • Do you want to have an optimal user adoption by using user scenario’s?


3. The governance rules aren’t clear

Office 365 opens a world full of opportunities for you and the company. The fun part is that everyone can use the tools as they prefer. The risk is that everyone is and will use the tools differently. As a consequence, people will ‘get lost’ in the options, tools and settings.

During the last implementation we always tried to clear out some guidelines for everyone in the company. It is key to find a balance between having too much rules and guidelines or giving people the freedom to experiment. Grace to this exercise employees will have some guidelines to hold on to. Using a framework won’t block you form adjusting these guidelines later on, due to experience and insides you gain in the Office 365 tools.


4. Trainings are tool based

A lot of companies organize their trainings tool-based. Often the decision for this training approach is based on the tool-based implementation sequence. The risk is that you must organize a lot of trainings for everyone and people will become bored of trainings.

We like to combine different training methodologies. We always start with scenario-based trainings. The focus in this type of training is ‘as an employee I want to do X (fill in an action)’. To become an optimal result, it is essential that the scenario includes more than one Office 365 tool. For example, a scenario about ‘effective meetings’ can discuss OneNote, Outlook, Teams and OneDrive as tools. Additional to the scenario-based trainings, we love to organize lunch and learn sessions. During this ‘learning-moment’ the focus will be on one of the Office 365 tools. The goal is to stimulate people in discovering the tool and expand their knowledge of it.



Do you want to share experiences or receive advise over user adoption in Office365? Don’t hesitate to contact us info@changelab.be!


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