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Office 365 Adoption Strategy: Five Pitfalls to Avoid

Nov 6, 2019 by Nigel Williams

The keynote session for the adoption track at Microsoft Ignite 2019 outlined five pitfalls to avoid. They seem obvious once you’ve heard them, but they’re frequently responsible for slowing and stalling projects in both large and small organizations, so they’re worth reviewing. 

Here’s what you need to bear in mind.

The Five Pitfalls of Office 365 Adoption

1. Infrequent communication

The first pitfall to avoid is not articulating the need for change. That means explaining what’s in it both for the user and for the organization in concrete terms. You’ll need to communicate the case for change multiple times, through different communications channels to ensure it’s understood. An email will not do the job! 

2. Poor communication

The second is closely linked to the first and is failing to provide a clear vision of the future. In other words, how does the change fit into the big picture of the company’s strategy and direction? The same communication principles I just described apply to this point also. 

3. Lack of resources

The next pitfall is perhaps the most common. Far too many adoption projects don’t provide sufficient resources to enable users to change because they focus almost exclusively on training.

Training is an important resource, but it shouldn’t be the only oneYou’ll need other resources to succeed, such as champions, early adopter success stories, and motivational content. Providing resources like these along with the educational content will make a major difference to the rate of adoption. 

Screen shot outlining rules for an effective Office 365 adoption strategy.

4. Narrow focus

Focusing too much on the technology is a very easy trap to fall into. This puts the focus onto the deployment and generic usage as opposed to the benefits specific to a given role, driving users to tune out and move on. 

5. Ineffective planning

Not having an effective action plan is the last of our five pitfalls. Few organizations spend enough time understanding the users involved and how they work, which compromises the effectiveness of planning. The key to a good adoption strategy is to ensure that it is role-specific, allowing you to target each role with relevant content throughout the adoption campaign.   

Those are the five obstacles Microsoft identified as most likely to impede your adoption progress. Identifying them is a good start, but staying out of them requires more than awareness – but that’s a topic for another time. 

If you’re at Microsoft Ignite this week, be sure to drop by booth #841 to learn all about Adoption Accelerator

You should also register for our upcoming webinar: 3 Practical Strategies to Boost Microsoft 365 Adoption.