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Upskilling your staff to leverage all that Microsoft 365 has to offer

In this third part of our three-part blog series on the use of Office 365 to build your modern workplace, we’ll look at upskilling your staff to take full advantage of the modern workplace.

Upskilling your staff to leverage all that Microsoft 365 has to offer

You’ll remember ‘Contoso’, the large, multi-national manufacturing company with a high percentage of field workers across sales and technical support divisions.

From a technical perspective, Contoso plans to implement Microsoft 365 to provide a modern workplace which is secure, flexible and collaborative.

Read part 2 in the blog series – How you can enable a modern workplace through mobility.

At the heart of Microsoft 365 is “Teams”; a social, chat-based collaboration app, providing a “one stop” experience for collaborating, sharing, chatting, meeting and calling. Teams is far more than just another app in the already complex Microsoft 365 landscape. If implemented and adopted, effectively, it can transform the way Contoso works and lead to a greater return on its investment in Microsoft 365.

But that transformational effect is also a major challenge for the organisation, which has a multi-generational workforce with varying levels of experience and comfort with social, chat-based collaboration. There’s an embedded dependency on email and server-based file sharing, and wide use of cloud-based file sharing services outside of Contoso’s remit.

Contoso plans to implement a “collaboration pilot”, in which the approach to adopting a new way of working is tested and refined, before spreading broadly throughout the rest of the organisation. The pilot will follow four main phases:

Find the people

It’s essential to identify the right pilot group. An ideal pilot group will be able to work independently of the rest of the organisation, to avoid dependencies on information and people outside of the pilot. Contoso has identified a project team working on the implementation of a new manufacturing plant. The team has identified problems with existing collaboration and is receptive to trying something new. After discussion and demonstrations, the team is now aware of the possibilities offered by a new way of working and is keen to try it out.

Support the business process

Having identified the pilot group, its important to have a clear idea of the business processes to be supported, to maximise the time spent within the Microsoft 365 pilot environment. The project team is currently preparing for procurement of a new HR system, so it’s agreed that the pilot will initially support the discovery, tendering and procurement processes. The team now has greater awareness and understanding of how Microsoft 365 will help them in their work.

Support the information lifecycle

Business processes create and consume information. Currently, creatiion of information happens mostly in file shares and on desktops, and shared via email, for review and feedback. The pilot will focus on containing the information lifecycle entirely within Microsoft 365. This requires analysis and preparation of business information, and migration of some existing information into the new operating environment.

Prepare the people

To help the pilot team prepare, a training plan is created, comprising a mix of awareness and basics self-learning through online resources, followed by practical, hands-on training around how the actual business processes will be supported and executed. This training is delivered in a classroom environment, using real business templates, information and workflow. On completion of this training, the team is now able to demonstrate the skills and behaviours required to adapt to the new way of working.

Support the people

When the pilot commences, Contoso ensures that the pilot team are supported by the training and technical teams, with on-premises “floor-walking” so that help is never far away. Simple one-page “cheat sheets” act as reminders for key functionality and starting points for business processes.

Contoso plans to conduct regular feedback meetings with the team to continually improve the pilot and identify where the team needs further support and training.


This post is part of the Modern Workplace blog series. At Empired we have great depth of experience in helping organisations on their journey to creating a modern workplace. Talk to us to find out how we can help you get started.

Your work, your way, securely

Posted by: Doug Baxter, Solution Specialist | 05 December 2019

Tags: Security, Digital Workplace, Collaboration, Modern Workplace, #workyourwaysecurely, data security

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