Digital Workplace Predictions for 2017 – by Paul Miller

Writing on the Digital Workplace Group blog, Paul shares his ten predictions for digital workplaces in 2017. One in particular has been a focus of mine for the past decade:

2. Focus shifts from “firing up tech” to changing behaviour and culture

This is a striking change that we in the Digital Workplace Group have seen strongly in 2016. For the first time, many large enterprises are most concerned about culture and behaviour change when deploying new digital workplace services – and are viewing turning on the technology more as a “hygiene factor”, particularly as services move relentlessly to the cloud.


For one major pharma client in Germany, their new collaboration services were straightforward technically – but after evidence from their history that simply implementing new technologies doesn’t bring the much-touted benefits to employees, this time they turned to change management and culture as the levers they needed to tackle. This pattern will extend for many organizations and the so-called “soft skills” of digital workplace improvements will take centre stage.

I hope this thinking spreads far and wide …

Read more: My 10 digital workplace predictions for 2017

Re-Imagining Grocery Shopping

Amazon is experimenting with a grocery store with no checkout lines or counters:

E-commerce giant Amazon has opened a bricks-and-mortar grocery store in Seattle without lines or checkout counters, kicking off new competition with supermarket chains.


Amazon Go, the online shopping giant’s new 167-square-metre store, uses sensors to detect what shoppers have picked off the shelf and bills it to their Amazon account if they do not put it back.


The store marks Amazon’s latest push into groceries, one of the biggest retail categories it has yet to master.

My children and I have talked about this type of approach to grocery shopping when we’ve been at our local store. Self-scanning has become a mainstream option in almost all of the grocery stores I frequent … this takes it the next level.

Read more: Amazon lays down challenge to the supermarkets

User Adoption Strategies (2nd Edition): Now Available as Digital Book

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My book on user adoption strategies is finally available as a digital book. You don’t have to wait for your copy to wing its way across the world any longer – just pay, download, and get stuck into reading. And then into applying the ideas / strategies / concepts in your work (which of course was the point in writing the book in the first place).

The digital book is US$19, compared to the previous price of US$49 for the printed book (with the majority of the difference the cost of postage).

Table of Contents
Foreword – by Nancy White (Full Circle Associates)
Chapter 1. Focusing on User Adoption is Critical
Chapter 2. The Context for User Adoption Strategies
Chapter 3. What We Know About Change
Chapter 4. New Ways of Working
Chapter 5. The Four Stages Model of User Adoption
Chapter 6. Winning Attention
Chapter 7. Cultivating Basic Concepts
Chapter 8. Enlivening Applicability
Chapter 9. Making It Real
Chapter 10. Crafting Your User Adoption Approach
Chapter 11. Measuring and Evaluating User Adoption
Chapter 12. User Adoption for Advocates of the Old Way
Chapter 13. Final Thoughts

Look Inside the Book
To check out the book, download the Look Inside extract. It is 38-pages in length and contains:
Introduction to the Book
Foreword – by Nancy White (Full Circle Associates)
Chapter 1. Focusing on User Adoption is Critical
Chapter 4. New Ways of Working

SharePoint Intranets-in-a-Box v2 – from Clearbox

Sam and his team at Clearbox Consulting have published another great report: the 2016 update of their SharePoint Intranets-in-a-Box report:

Our comprehensive guide to turn-key SharePoint solutions will accelerate your purchasing decision and ensure you make the right choice. It is full of practical advice on the tools that can give you a quick-start to an intranet. Is Unily better than Rise? Is LiveTiles right for you? What are Wizdom’s strengths and weaknesses?


We review 26 of the solutions on offer, using eight common scenarios based on our years of experience in SharePoint consulting. Because we focus on the business side of SharePoint and don’t sell any products, we are able to give you a genuinely independent evaluation.


The report contains over 250 pages, including screenshots, scenario-based evaluations, and our honest opinion. You won’t get this kind of information just from vendor websites or anywhere else. To top it off, we have comparison tables across the board to help you identify options to match your requirements, budget and location.

Available immediately for purchase from Clearbox.

See also:
– Martin White, “The definitive guide

Microsoft Ignite 2016 – New Zealand

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Photo Credit: Smoke Photography Ltd

Last week I had the privilege of attending and speaking at Microsoft Ignite 2016 in New Zealand. And although the photo above makes it look like I tried my vocal chords at singing, I was really only speaking!

A couple of comments on the event:

  • Ignite was by far the largest event I have attended in New Zealand. There was something like 1700 people there; the largest conference I have previously attended in New Zealand would have been in the 600-700 people range.
  • Microsoft and the conference organiser team did a great job of making the logistics work – getting people between rooms and sessions. There were some crunch points – the long registration line on Tuesday morning, and that first lunch on the Tuesday – but the other things seemed to flow well. People were encouraged to come early to register on Tuesday morning, but the several hundred people in the line when I arrived off my flight from Christchurch close to the start time of the opening keynote apparently didn’t get that memo. There must be another way of doing registration to avoid the crunch.
  • The three venues being used for the conference were closely situated, and everything was within easy walking distance.
  • The food service was excellent. Good choices for lunch and at other times during the day, and the wandering people giving out various food items added a bit of spice to the experience.
  • As a speaker, Microsoft appointed a speech track owner to corral speakers and slide decks in advance of the event. I worked with Emma Woods, who did a great job of providing timely feedback and input before the event, and coordination on the day of my talk.

I was supposed to attend all four days of the conference, but had to pull out for various reasons at the start of day 3. It was definitely a privilege to attend, and I commend the Microsoft New Zealand team for their hard work in preparing a great event.

Meeting Rules

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When I was in Europe last month I spent a few days in Rotterdam. Down the road from my hotel was a yoga studio that I walked past on the way to the Rotterdam train station each day, and inside the window were the above “Studio Rules.” They struck me as directly transferrable to meetings:

1. Make at least one friend today.
Make an effort to have a conversation with someone you haven’t met before at the meeting, or for whom you don’t get to speak to regularly.

2. What could be more important than taking an amazing class? Leave your phone outside our yoga room.
Devices off, unless you are using said device(s) for taking notes or as input into the essence of the meeting. Don’t get distracted by what’s going on outside the room – in email, on Facebook, or via text.

3. Why rush? Come early. Classes always start on time. You don’t want to miss out on the beginning.
Imagine that – if your organisation had that rule embedded in actual practice: meetings always start on time, precisely. Not the “Let’s wait for a few minutes to see who else comes,” or “Should we get started now? (6 minutes after the scheduled time).” But right on time.

4. Get ready to sweat! Bring a towel, wear a clean outfit and you’re good to go.
Get ready to work hard. Do your preparation – read the pre-meeting materials, do your pre-meeting thinking/analysis/discussions. Then you’ll be good to go … to make a contribution, to make the meeting a valuable event, to learn something you can use in your work.

So go ahead … write some meeting rules and post them to the door of your meeting rooms. And the walls.

Interview with Cirrus Insight on User Adoption – for Salesforce

I had a discussion recently with Joshua from Cirrus Insight on applying the strategies in my User Adoption Strategies book to Salesforce implementations.

Salesforce adoption is one of the biggest issues facing orgs today. If employees don’t use a piece of software, it doesn’t matter how useful it might be. It’s costing you money.

Read the blog post: on Cirrus Insight
Listen to the discussion: on YouTube

Surface Studio – the Surface Hub for Professionals?

At its reveal event in New York yesterday, Microsoft introduced the Surface Studio, its first desktop computer under the Surface brand. Basically it’s a very large Surface Pro or Surface Book (with a 28″ high-resolution display), made in such a way to enable “creative professionals” to draw and create … plus do everything else you can do on a desktop with a large display. The Surface Dial adds a new way of interacting with application controls – e.g., when drawing it can control colour and brush width/type.

What I’m wondering about though, is whether the Surface Studio can provide an answer for individuals or small groups (2-3) joining an online meeting where one of the meeting rooms has a Surface Hub – the 55″ or 84″ version. While you can do screen sharing already from a Surface Hub to a Surface Pro or Book, there’s quite a difference in physical screen size between the two ends. And yes, you could connect an external display to the Pro or Book, but the Surface Studio would give quite a large touch-capable display that would make such a meeting a whole lot more natural.

Interesting. I look forward to seeing where this goes, and how the Surface Dial can be utilised in other applications – like Skype for Business and OneNote.

Your Future with SharePoint? Answer the 5 W’s

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Earlier in this series:
1 – Your Future with SharePoint? Looking Back
2 – Your Future with SharePoint? Looking Forward

Answer the 5 W’s
Microsoft’s future with SharePoint offers increased simplicity (e.g., new modern libraries and lists), mobile interaction (e.g., the new SharePoint app for mobile phones), and efforts to make SharePoint core to the Office 365 platform – not a shrinking shadow of yesteryear. In the first post, I explored Microsoft’s journey with SharePoint over recent years.

In the second post, I took a wide view and reported on some of the principles and frameworks that can be used to inform an organisational journey with SharePoint. That was an exercise in listing numerous principles and frameworks to build an evidence set, not the work of synthesis across the frameworks to look for patterns, similarities, and common items.

My sense in looking at the principles and frameworks in the second post, is that organisations need to answer five questions in planning their future with SharePoint; and the questions are all of the W words:

  • Why? … the question of vision. In light of the business outcomes being pursued by an organisation, why is SharePoint the right answer?
  • Where? … the question of governance. With all that’s on offer in SharePoint, where does it make sense to use SharePoint, what internal guidance is needed to ensure alignment with business priorities, and what rails need to be laid to decrease the likelihood of everything turning to custard (e.g., proliferation of low-value and out-of-date sites)?
  • Who? … the question of people. Who are the key influencers in your organisation that need to be engaged to create context for the successful use of SharePoint? There are certain categories of these people – and their involvement needs to be shaped appropriately.
  • What? … the question of engagement. Everyone across your organisation has current ways of working; what aspects of their work should be transitioned to SharePoint?
  • When? … the question of adoption. Adoption of new ways of working doesn’t work without intentional activity. What strategies will be used to encourage adoption and drive effective use?

In future posts, I’ll look in more detail at each of these W’s.