Driving Effective Use of Office 365 – the Four Components

In Auckland next week I’ll be presenting a new workshop focused on driving effective use of Office 365. One of the ideas I’ll be exploring during the day is what effective use actually looks like, and then by implication, what you need to put in place to help people get to that point. The four components of effective use I will be exploring are:

1. A Valued Outcome. Someone – be that the person taking the action or another person for whom the action is targeted – needs to place a value on the action happening. The value could be communicating a new idea, giving feedback, or asking for help.

2. Productive Behaviours. The individuals involved need to enact productive behaviours. For example, if the valued outcome is a decision, a productive behaviour is to explore the options before prematurely stating a decision.

3. Efficient Process. The way a process is carried out – using a combination of tool, task, and behaviour – should be designed efficiently. Waste should be eliminated, and unnecessary steps, actions, or requirements should be engineered out of the process.

4. The Best Tool. The best tool for the job – out of the available options – should be used by the individuals within the process or activity. Of course, some processes may require the use of multiple tools, and if so, should be clearly identified.

With many organisations taking up Office 365, we have the stage set for a classic adoption challenge: the tool is great, but without appropriate business engagement, sufficient tool competence, and an ability to re-imagine effective work in light of new capabilities, little will be gained. For organisations this will lead to frustration at the high expense for little value. For Microsoft this will lead to high future churn of Office 365. Thus helping people get to effective use will address both problems.

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