10 Things IT Pros Should Care About While Designing a Great Digital Work Experience

1. The 80/20 rule 

As we always say: digital transformation is 80 % about people and 20 % about technology, we should walk the talk and think about our customers – our users. They deserve a workplace experience where they can evolve a creative, productive and sustainable way of work in order to create value, not to be occupied by managing their insane inbox the whole day.  

2. Don’t call your Office 365 launch an IT project 

Please be careful not to call your launch of Office 365 an “IT-Project”. 

First, it’s not a project at all; by definition, a project is a specific activity that has a beginning and an end, and the result is a tangible and well-defined product or service. When the organisation moved its files to SharePoint and/or mailboxes to Exchange Online, transformation isn’t done!

Second, if we want the benefits of Office 365 for our organisation, it’s more than the IT perspective of deploying tools & services and it’s way more than a few feature-f@cking-trainings. We need to change our customer’s behaviour and this is only possible when our users are adaptable and willing to change. But this say-yes-and-embrace-change-attitude doesn’t come up automatically.  

3. #startwithwhy 

Why does your organisation want Office 365 to be introduced? To save on licensing costs or because the support for an outdated version expires? Your boss told you so? Its very important to clarify which business objectives can be facilitated, accompanied or benefited by an Office 365 introduction. Office 365 is not a means to an end! Office 365 is not just a small, unimportant IT-thing, but is intended to be used to support the company’s goals and help employees work more creatively, productively, faster, more networked and more mobile.  

4. Sponsors at C-Level 

For this to work and actually make changes in the company, it requires the understanding and participation of the management level of the organisation. It is therefore imperative to have one or more friendly allies in the management circle.  

5. Communication vs Contribution  

Not only communicate at an early stage, but let your users contribute to those decisions which will affect them directly. Ask departments and teams what work they need to get done, how they work, with whom they work and what tools and business processes are involved. Take care about media discontinuities and whenever they say “email”. You will learn a lot about ways to work and I strongly encourage you to listen – you will have the chance to learn a lot about your company. You can’t skip that part, it’s crucial. If you don’t take your time for this, your users won’t get what they need.  

6. Visualisation 

Modern approvals in Office 365 with Power Automate and Microsoft Teams
Visualise what you have heard in order to show the big picture, to make ideas visible, to ensure better decision making and to promote creativity. It’s a great way to encourage employees and its’s an inspiring way to communicate.  

7. Don’t focus only on risks, see chances 

In a data migration, of course, there is the chance to create a better structure. Information retrieval is becoming more and more important. Displaying content in the right context makes it easier for knowledge workers to get their work done. With new technical features, we can not only digitise cumbersome, analogue processes (and then have cumbersome, digital processes), but have the ability to think about completely new processes — which can have a big positive impact throughout the company. 

8. Clean up the mess 

So we have to clean up! For the employees this means: mailboxes (Outlook wasn’t built as enterprise content tool), personal drives, USB sticks or cloud storage places in shadow IT solutions. Delete all those copies of copies of copies of outdated team meeting material and archive those files your organisation needs. Departmental and public drives must also be evaluated: what is useful, helpful content? What is ballast, or just a copy? If you skip that part, SharePoint and Office365 won’t flourish. You all know that rule:
Garbage in – garbage out.  

9. Focus on adoption 

Design the workplace experience your users need, but do not focus on tools, focus on adoption. Increase adoption with professional coaching and self-learning material. Give users both ability and opportunity to exchange their views with others.  

 10. Empower every person 

As said above, users (and IT Pros) need to evolve, so stay connected and don’t stop learning and growing together. And don’t even think about naming users with limited IT skills “dumbest assumable user” or something like that. Respect every person, empower every person! You need people in your team who don’t suck at things you suck at 😊.  

 

 

Check out this article and more articles from top columnists and speakers including Jeff Teper in the ESPC18 magazine- download for free here.

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